Pacific Northwest Spine was founded in 2011 by Gus Varnavas, MD, a board-certified, fellowship-trained neurosurgeon. Pacific Northwest Spine is a work in progress, with the goal of developing a regional referral center for back and neck pain for the Yakima Valley of Central Washington State. Dr. Varnavas is referred some of the most complex spine cases from the region. Dr. Varnavas emphasizes a broad spectrum of treatment options for the person with back pain or neck pain, including non-surgical options like spinal injections and spine-specialized therapy in advance of spine surgery. If spine surgery is necessary, however, Dr. Varnavas is able to provide minimally invasive spine surgery to reduce the length of the incision and speed return to activity with a less painful recovery. Our goal is to provide an excellent spine care for those with back pain or neck pain so they no longer have to drive to Seattle or Portland for top quality spine care. Now isn’t that a welcome relief?
You might be surprised to learn that 80 percent of the time, back and neck pain is simply a result of strain or soft tissue injury. Click here to learn about the different conditions related to neck and back pain and how to relieve symptoms through treatment.
The goal of this Washington spine center is to emphasize non-surgical spine treatment options as well as spine surgery capabilities, including minimally invasive spine surgery, to help the back pain or neck pain patient return to an active lifestyle as quickly as possible.
Click here to read how Dr. Varnavas helped these patients return to their normal, active lifestyles.
Gus Varnavas, MD Board-certified Neurosurgeon
Fellowship trained in Neurosurgery
Dr. Gus Varnavas is a board-certified and fellowship-trained neurosurgeon. Dr. Varnavas completed his M.D. degree in 1990 at the University of the Health Sciences, Bethesda, Maryland. He then completed a seven-year neurosurgery residency at State University of New York and a one-year neurosurgery fellowship in 1998. Dr. Varnavas served in the Air Force as a neurosurgeon medical director. In 2007, Dr. Varnavas relocated to Yakima and started Pacific Northwest Spine. Click here to learn more.
The vast majority of back problems improve on their own or with nonsurgical treatment. There are a few warning signs, however, that may indicate serious spinal problems. Weakness or numbness in a leg or arm, especially if it is severe—and it is getting worse—also points to nerve damage. Nerve damage associated with these symptoms can be permanent if not treated immediately. Numbness, pain or tingling that radiates into the arm or leg is also a source for concern and should be seen within a few days by a spine specialist.
Click here to learn more about what symptoms mean and when to see a doctor.
The vast majority of back problems improve on their own or with nonsurgical treatment. There are a few warning signs, however, that may indicate serious spinal problems. Please take a moment to view frequently asked questions that can help you understand pain symptoms.
Spine surgery is commonly a last resort alternative, after all nonsurgical methods have been exhausted, or when complications such as severely herniated discs or damaged vertebrae simply will not respond to nonsurgical treatments. With this knowledge, the ultimate goal of spine treatment is to reach the root of the problem, while causing the least amount of disruption to the patient’s lifestyle.
Pacific Northwest Spine is referred some of the most complex spine patients from across Washington State. Under the expertise of Dr. Varnavas, spine surgery can successfully repair degenerative or herniated discs that haven’t responded to non-surgical treatment. Click here to learn more.
At Pacific Northwest Spine we develop home exercise programs that are customized for an individual’s specific back problem. These exercises can be done on the living room rug while watching TV. Other stretching exercises can be done throughout the day to increase flexibility. The way to prevent future back or neck pain is by using customized exercises that make the back stronger, more flexible and resistant to injury.Just as someone with a heart problem needs to watch their cholesterol, diet and exercise, someone with a back problem needs to keep their back flexible and strong. When faced with the task of lifting an object, it’s essential to use proper body mechanics, or even to get assistance if the object is too heavy, in order to avoid injury.Click here to learn more.
The physicians at Pacific Northwest Spine stand at the forefront of minimally invasive surgical treatment. They can diagnose and treat many types of bone and joint problems using these highly advanced techniques. Use of minimally invasive surgical techniques decrease the recovery time of many patients because the surgical incisions are considerably smaller than conventional surgery and therefore less damaging to the other vital soft tissue structures.
New spine surgery instrumentation & techniques enable the Pacific Northwest Spine surgeons to make smaller incisions to access the spine. This means a less painful rehab after surgery, and a fast return to work. Click here to learn more.