First Visit

Welcome to the Advanced Spine Center

At the Advanced Spine Center (ASC) our aim is to remove or reduce the stressors caused by the initial visit to the doctor’s office. We are often asked, “Is there anything we can do before we come to the office?” We offer the following advice with a goal to make the initial visit as easy as possible.


For Auto Accident patients

Understandably, you were just in an auto accident and probably worried about getting your car fixed. You might or might not have reported the incident to your insurance company. Your insurance card identifies your policy and contains a phone number you should call if in a crash. Call the number and report the crash and tell the representative that you were physically injured and plan to see a doctor. You don’t have to explain your injuries to them. They are not a doctor. The insurance representative will give you a claim number. Write it down and bring the number with you. The ASC will use the number to bill your insurance company on your behalf so you will not have to.


REMEMBER: YOU MUST SEE A MEDICAL PROVIDER WITHIN 14 DAYS OF THE ACCIDENT OR LOSE YOUR PIP BENEFITS. It is a good idea, to see a medical provider no matter what your condition so you do not lose your benefits. This is especially true for children whose condition is hard to read. Often, injuries from motor vehicle crashes become a problem of a more serious nature after the 14 days limit.


We have been treating auto accident victims for over 15 years and have developed useful treatment protocols that will help you heal. When you come to the ASC for the first time, you will complete three actions:



Paperwork

Fill out paperwork. Bring with you a copy of the police or the crash report given to you at the scene, a copy of your insurance policy or binder, and your drivers license. These items have information needed to complete the paper work. We have thought of every possible situation where you will have to fill out a form. You will complete all of these now and we will never call you back just to fill out a form.



Examination

Undergo a complete physical examination. The doctor will examine you head to toe to find any and all issues that affect your health and determine any injury resulting from the auto crash. The exam takes about 40 minutes depending on how injured you are. If you have been in accident before, try to get the name of the doctor that treated you so we can get a copy of those records. Based on the exam, you may undergo an X-ray examination.

Auto Crashes

All auto crash patients will undergo a static X-ray study to look for damage to your neck, back, shoulder, arm or knee. Our 15 years of experience help in reading the X-rays to determine the extent of damage which will be important in confirming an “emergency medical condition or EMC”(required by FL law) which will allow you to get your full insurance benefits. The X-rays will be used to confirm your diagnosis, i.e., tell you what is wrong. Dr Corkins has come to appreciate the fact that people want to know what happened to them in the crash and they want to understand just what is wrong.



Cash Patients

We have paper work for cash paying patients. Please fill out your contact details and the Oswestry Pain diagram. This medical instrument helps in determining improvement over time.

Major Medical Patients

We have been treating people with musculoskeletal problems covered by major medical insurance companies for a long time. The healthcare system has become more complicated for people trying to use their insurance and doctors trying to determine what is covered. The ASC recommends you call before the first visit and provide us with your health insurance particulars. The ASC will call and find out the deductible, co-pay, etc. so there is minimal to no surprises.

Our Treatment Protocols

For each patient, individual protocols are established based on the type and extent of the musculoskeletal problem. For auto accident patients, we usually find a multitude of problems that have to be addressed. As we proceed the doctors at the ASC are acutely aware there is a legal aspect to the patient’s treatment and we try our best to provide the patient with a service that an attorney will need and appreciate. As specialists, we attempt to provide accurate diagnosis backed up with objective findings that are undisputable.

Our first treatment goal is to get the patient out of pain and try to improve their function. This will make you feel better and prepares you for the next step, which is more corrective or restorative type of care. As you start to move and feel better, you will be subjected to a Digital Motion X-Ray (DMX) study to clearly define the extent of your injuries. The DMX is unique in that it shows anatomical areas that are damaged and at the same time determines the extent of damage as well as explains abnormal movement patterns. For those who are severely injured the DMX study exacerbates their injuries and we have to work to get them out of pain and reduce the muscle spasm. This is why the DMX study is done on the 4th or 5th week of treatment so the patient has the range of motion to adequately define the problem. If the DMX is done too early, you can miss important damage because the neck is too locked up. Once the DMX is done, we now get our first view of the damage and based on this we send out for a weight bearing MRI. Is has been our experience that there is excellent correlation between the results of the motion X-ray study and the result of the MRI study. Again, your attorney should appreciate these data because it provides objective evidence supporting the character of the injuries.


The MRI shows a different aspect of the injury and as such may require changes in the treatment protocol. For example, it is not unusual for a person to have disc damage at one or more vertebral levels. Disc damage comes in several forms: a broad based protrusion or herniation that is reducing the amount of space the nerve or spinal cord has to move around during normal motion; or a disc herniation could involve the inside guts of the disc to spill out into the surrounding space much like squeezing a jelly donut and having the insides jelly ooze out. The MRI study gives us insight as to the health of the vertebral discs. Vertebral disc problems require different treatment protocols. Decompression therapy is used for restoring function to the disc and reducing the negative signs and symptoms a bulging disc cause.
Later, when you are out of pain and the muscle spasm is minimal, muscle strengthening using “static contract” techniques will help you adapt to any impairment you may have as a result of your injures.


The overall goal of the conservative care is to get the patient out of pain and restore function in order to avoid more invasive treatments such as the use of addicting drugs and/or surgery.