WVU Medicine is committed to providing high quality brain and spine care to the Eastern Panhandle of West Virginia and the surrounding area, including western Maryland, southeastern Pennsylvania, and northern Virginia.
With a location in Hagerstown, Maryland, and another coming soon in Martinsburg, West Virginia, WVU Medicine Brain and Spine offers top level neurosurgery services.
John Caruso, MD, a board-certified neurosurgeon who has practiced in Hagerstown for the past 20 years, serves as the director of neurological surgery at Berkeley Medical Center. Dr. Caruso is experienced with treatment of complex, traumatic, degenerative, and oncological conditions of the brain and spine, as well as state-of-the-art minimally invasive surgical techniques.
WVU Medicine Brain and Spine provides innovative inpatient and outpatient brain and spine care with superior expertise that greatly benefits patients. The new clinics are part of the WVU Department of Neurosurgery, based in Morgantown, West Virginia. Dr. Caruso is also on staff at WVU Medicine J.W. Ruby Memorial Hospital.
To make an appointment, call 240-513-4591.
John R. Caruso, MD, FAANS, FACS, is a board-certified neurosurgeon who has served the local tri-state region for the past 20 years.
He received his training at Eastern Virginia Medical School, and then University of New Mexico Graduate School of Medicine under Dr. Ed Benzel, international pioneer in spine biomechanics, who is currently at the Cleveland Clinic.
Dr. Caruso is highly experienced in treatment of complex, traumatic, degenerative, and oncological conditions of the spine, as well as state-of-the-art minimally invasive surgical techniques. Intracranial and peripheral nerve conditions also remain an important part of his practice. On a continuous quest to innovate and improve the quality and efficiency of healthcare in our community, Dr. Caruso has been, and will continue to be, highly involved on many levels.
- State of West Virginia
- State of Maryland
- State of Pennsylvania
- State of Virginia
- State of Colorado
- State of North Carolina
- 1994-1996 University of New Mexico, Division of Neurological Surgery, Graduate School of Medicine
- 1991-1994 Eastern Virginia Graduate School of Medicine, Department of Neurological Surgery
- 1990-1991 Eastern Virginia Graduate School of Medicine, Department of General Surgery
- 1986-1990 Eastern Virginia Medical School, Norfolk, VA Degree: M.D., May 1990
- 1982-1986 Hampden-Sydney College, Hampden-Sydney, VA Degree: B.S., June 1986
- 1985 University of Connecticut, summer study
- 1984 University of Madrid, Spain, summer study
Societies and Memberships
- American Association of Neurological Surgeons
- Congress of Neurological Surgeons
- American College of Surgeons
- Southern Neurosurgical Society
- Maryland Neurosurgical Society
- Council of State Neurosurgical Societies
- Member, Peripheral Nerve and Spine Section
- Society of Minimally Invasive Spine Surgeons
- Society of Lateral Access Surgery
- International Society for the Advancement of Spine Surgery
- Spine Arthroplasty Society
Teaching Experiences and Media Appearances
- 94-96 Micro vascular Surgery Technique Instructor, UNM Division of Neurosurgery
- 12/94 Metastatic Spinal Disease, Surgical Options- UNM Grand Rounds
- 10/95 Chondrosarcomas, Prognosis and Skull-based Approaches-UNM Grand Rounds
- 11/95 Biomechanics and Complex Spinal Fusions- Southwest Regional AANN Meeting
- 05/96 Albuquerque Comprehensive Spine Review- Clinical Instructor
- 02/97 Closed Head Injury Recognition- RMC CME lecture
- 05/97 Spine Fusions-WHAG AM radio open talk show interview/ discussion
- 10/97 Trauma Care; The Team Approach Workshop- Meeting of Surgical Technologists, Anatomy instructor, workshop leader, lecturer
- 11/97 Osteoporosis: Prevention, Detection, Treatment for Primary Care Providers-open meeting, Hagerstown, MD
- 12/97 Management of Cervical Spine Fractures, Indications for Fusion- Medical Grand Rounds, WCH
- 01/98 The Aging Back and Lumbar Spinal Stenosis- WHAG AM radio open talk show interview/ discussion
- 01/98 Spinal Cord Injuries, Quarterly Trauma Board Review- CME lecture, WCH
- 01/98 Spinal fusions and Management of Complex Spinal Disorders- CME lecture, Chambersburg Hospital
- 11/98 What’s New in the Treatment of Spinal Disease- MD Society of Radiological Technologists, Hagerstown Junior College, lecture
- 11/98 Understanding Spinal Fusion Workshop and Seminar- American Association of Registered Nurses annual meeting, clinical instructor, lecturer
- 03/99 Complex Spinal Disease- Grand Rounds, City Hospital, Martinsburg, WV
- 07/00 Posterior Fixation Workshop- faculty instructor, Georgetown University, D.C.
- 05/03 Vertebroplasty, A Treatment for Compression Fractures- Fulton County Medical Center, CME lecture, McConnellsburg, PA
- 08/03 Cleveland Clinic Comprehensive Spine Review-clinical instructor, Cleveland, OH
- 01/05 Invited speaker Maryland House and Senate Special Session to address litigation Reform and the Malpractice Crisis in Maryland
- 12/05 Invited speaker at nine Maryland Hospitals for discussions of Tort Reform
- 04/05 Minimally Invasive Treatments of Vertebral Fractures, Hagerstown Magazine Spring Issue
- 06/06 Invited speaker, Becker’s ASC annual Meeting, Chicago, “Developing a Neurosurgical Spinal Ambulatory Surgery Center”
- 09/07 Invited speaker, Salisbury, MD, “Creating a Neuroscience Center”
- 03/08 National Audio conference, “Developing an Outpatient Spine Center”
- 06/08 Invited Speaker, Orthopedic, Spine, and Pain Management Driven ASC Conference, “Developing a Spine Driven ASC: From Opportunity to Profitability”
- 06/08 Invited Speaker, Orthopedic, Spine, and Pain Management Driven ASC Conference, “Contracting for Spine Cases, Get Excellent Reimbursement and Not Pay Too Much for Implants”
- 06/08 Invited Speaker, Orthopedic, Spine, and Pain Management Driven ASC Conference, “Handling Spine Procedures in an ASC”
- 04/09 Presentation to senior management, Washington County Hospital, “Outpatient Spine Development for Inpatient Spine Service Line Growth”
- 05/09 Invited speaker, National Anesthesia Meeting, “Transitions in Spine Care,” Chicago
- 06/09 Invited speaker, Becker’s ASC annual meeting, Chicago, “A 2 Year Experience With a Spine ASC”
- 06/10 Invited speaker, Becker’s ASC annual meeting, Chicago, “Improving the Bottom Line in a Spine ASC”
- 09/10 Invited speaker, West Virginia EMS meeting, “Spine Trauma, case review”
- 10/10 Invited speaker, Frederick County, MD EMS meeting, “Neurotrauma”
- 10/10 Invited speaker, Becker’s ASC annual meeting, Chicago, “ Neurosurgical and Orthopedic Associations, Future Vision”
- 02/11 WHAG TV appearance, “Closed Head Injury and Prevention”
- 06/11 “Key Concepts to Improve the Profitability of Spine Programs” “How and Why Might Orthopedics and Neurosurgeons Team and Partner to Create Musculoskeletal Centers of Excellence”, “Lessons Learned-What Did I Do Right and What Might I Do Differently, Creating a Spine ASC”, 9th Annual Orthopedic, Spine and Pain Management-Driven ASC Conference Chicago
- 06/11 Invited speaker, “Neurosurgeon as CEO”, Boston, MA
- 07/11 “Dr. John Caruso: Becoming a Champion in Healthcare Change”, Becker’s Hospital Review
- 12/11 Invited speaker, “Trauma and Neurosurgery”, Waynesboro Hospital and EMS responders, Waynesboro, PA
- 12/11 “Now is a Great Time to be a Physician: Q&A with Dr. John Caruso on Physician Involvement in Healthcare Changes”, Becker’s Spine Review
- 06/12 Panel discussion led by Sam Donaldson, “Implications of Healthcare Reform”, Chicago
- 06/14 Invited Panelist, “Six Key Questions for Spine Surgeons: Where is Pay Headed? Where is Reimbursement Headed? Should I Own an ASC? Should I Become a Hospital Employee? How do I recruit a Fellow? How Much Can I Make for Co-management?”, “New Entrepreneurial Ideas for Spine Surgeons” 12thAnnual Spine, Orthopedic & Pain Management Driven ASC Conference + The Business of Spine, Chicago
- 06/15 Invited speaker, “ The Biggest Challenges in Our ASCs Today”, “New Entrepreneurial Ideas for Spine Surgeons-Ancillaries, New Ideas on Organizing, Politics, Real Estate, and More” Becker’s Chicago ASC Conference
Specialty Studies, Advanced Teachings, and Meetings
- 02/95 Review Course in Neurological Surgery- Chicago, IL
- 06/95 Neurosurgical Endoscopy, 3rd Ventricular Tumors and Endoscopic Carpal Tunnel Workshop-Practical Anatomy Workshop, St. Louis, MO
- 02/96 30th Meeting of the Neurological Society of the Virginias- Hot Spring, VA
- 05/96 Spine Surgery, Hands-on, A Comprehensive Approach for Neurosurgeons-UNM, Albuquerque, NM
- 02/97 Surgical Management of the Brachial Plexus and Peripheral Nerves-LSU, New Orleans, LA
- 02/97 Minimally Invasive Spinal Technologies- Joint Section of Spine Meeting, Rancho Mirage, CA
- 08/97 EBI Neurosurgeon Forum participant- New York, NY
- 09/97 Neuroaugmentation for Pain Control, Cerebral Protection Techniques and Management, Spondylolysis and Spondylolisthesis Management, CNS Meeting, San Diego, CA
- 01/98 32nd Meeting of the Neurosurgical Society of the Virginias-Richmond, VA
- 08/98 EBI Neurosurgeon Forum participant- New York, NY
- 10/98 Anterior Circulation Aneurysms, Anterior Skull-Based Surgery Workshop, Lateral Skull-Based Surgery Workshop, CNS Meeting, Vancouver, Canada
- 01/99 33rd Meeting of the Neurosurgical Society of the Virginias-White Sulfur Springs, WV
- 02/99 Neurological Symposium, Current Concepts- Cleveland Clinic Foundation, Naples, FL
- 03/99 Neurosurgical Approaches to the Carotid Artery- Practical Anatomy Workshop, St. Louis, MO
- 04/99 Pituitary Days-University of Virginia, Charlottesville, VA
- 04/99 4th Ventricular Tumors- AANS meeting, San Francisco, CA
- 07/99 Sulzer Medical Advisory Board Meeting- Pine Hurst, NC
- 11/99 Advanced Coding Concepts of Neurosurgery- Phoenix, AZ
- 03/00 Advanced Application of Image Guided Surgery- Naples, FL
- 06/00 Surgeon visit with Professor Jurgen Harms, Head of Orthopedic and Spinal Surgery, SRH Klinikum Karlsbad-Langensteinbach, Karlsbad, Germany
- 10/01 Anterior Lumbar Interbody Fusion Meeting- New Orleans, LA
- 11/01 Spine Education Summit- Palm Springs, CA
- 11/01 Oral Boards Review Course- Houston, TX
- 02/02 17th Annual AFIP Neuroradiology Course- Washington, D.C.
- 05/02 Failures of Spinal Surgery- Baltimore, MD
- 07/02 Neurosurgical Leadership Development Course- Washington, D.C.
- 07/02 8th Annual Montana Neurosurgical Symposium- Pray, MT
- 09/02 Vertebroplasty and Kyphoplasty Workshop Peripheral Nerve Lesions and Entrapment Syndrome Course CNS meeting, Philadelphia, PA
- 10/02 Inflatable Bone Tamp Technology Course, Kyphoplasty Techniques- Silver Springs, MD
- 04/03 Controversies in Lumbar Spine Meeting- Las Vegas, NV
- 05/03 Cyberknife Training- Sinai Hospital, Baltimore, MD
- 07/03 Innovations in Spinal Fixations, An Advanced Course- Memphis, TN
- 08/03 Cleveland Clinic Spine Review Course- Cleveland, OH
- 11/03 2nd Annual Dynamic Spine Stabilization Course, Arthroplasty Techniques and Technology- Dallas, TX
- 11/03 Spine Education Summit- San Diego, CA
- 06/04 2nd Annual Orthopedic-Driven Ambulatory Surgery Center Conference-Chicago
- 06/05 Advanced Concepts in Minimally Invasive Vertebral Compression Fracture Management- St. Michaels, MD
- 08/04 SEAK educational series, Malpractice Survival Training- Falmouth, MA
- 10/04 North American Spine Society meeting- Chicago, IL
- 11/04 Spine Arthroplasty Meeting- Dallas, TX
- 01/05 Charite Artificial Disc Training-Cincinnati, OH
- 02/05 Minimally Invasive Spine Course- Memphis, TN
- 04/05 AANS meeting-New Orleans, LA
- 06/06 Spine Arthroplasty Meeting, Vienna, Austria
- 01/07 International Spine Surgery Symposium, Mayo Clinic, Hawaii
- 03/07 Southern Neurosurgical Society Meeting, Georgia
- 07/07 International Meeting on Advanced Spine Techniques
- 02/08 Current Concepts in Spinal Disorders, Cedar Sinai Medical Center
- 04/08 AANS Annual meeting
- 05/08 American Physician Fellowship for Medicine in Israel, Evaluation of Trauma Preparedness
- 06/08 6th Annual Orthopedics, Spine and Pain Management-Driven ASC Conference
- 11/08 Annual Meeting of the Society for Minimally Invasive Spine Surgery, Nevada
- 02/09 Weekend Update: Interactive Review of Clinical Neurosurgery
- 03/09 American Osteopathic College of Anesthesiologists 57th Annual Meeting, Chicago
- 03/09 Spine and Peripheral Nerve Joint Section Annual Meeting, Phoenix
- 06/09 7th Annual Orthopedics, Spine and Pain Management-Driven ASC Conference: Improving Profitability, Business and Legal Issues, Chicago
- 02/10 Review course for Maintenance of Certificate exam, Arizona
- 04/10 IME course, SEAK training, Florida
- 05/10 Executive Physician Business Course, Wharton Business School, Philadelphia “Strategic Management for the High-Performing Practice”
- 07/10 Wilderness Medicine Society Meeting, Big Sky, Montana
- 08/10 Minimally Invasive Neurosurgical Society Meeting, Mackinac Island, Michigan
- 02/11 Southern Neurosurgical Society meeting, Orlando, FL
- 07/11 Neurosurgeon as CEO: The Business of Medicine, Boston, MA
- 08/11 University of Virginia, Darden School of Business, Executive MBA
- 10/11 Congress of Neurological Surgeons meeting, Washington, D.C.
- 02/12 SEAK meeting, Naples FL, “Starting a Consultant Business”
- 06/12 10th Annual Becker’s ASC meeting, Chicago
- 10/12 19th Annual Ambulatory Surgery Centers Conference
- 11/12 Healthcare in Transition-Strategies to Success
- 04/13 Congress of State Neurosurgical Societies meeting, New Orleans
- 04/13 AANS meeting, New Orleans
- 01/14 ISASS Advanced MIS Course: Navigating Controversies, Las Vegas
- 01/14 Association for the Collaboration of Spine Research Meeting, Current Concepts and Controversies, San Diego
- 03/14 Endoscopic Spine Course and Lab, Wolfe Medical, IL
- 06/14 Becker’s 12th Annual Spine/Orthopedic/Pain Management-Driven Conf, Chicago
- 10/14 Congress of Neurological Surgeons Annual Meeting
- 02/15 Lateral Approaches to the Spine, Seattle
- 03/15 66th Annual Southern Neurosurgical Society meeting
- 04/15 8th Annual Society for Lateral Access Surgery Research Meeting, San Diego
- 12/15 Spinal Deformity Symposium
- 04/16 International Society for the Advancement of Spine Surgery Meeting, Las Vegas
- 06/16 Becker’s Annual ASC Meeting, Chicago
- “Management of Ossification of the Posterior Longitudinal Ligament”, Chapter 137, Principles of Spine Surgery.
- “Neurological Complications”, Chapter 107, Spine Surgery; Techniques, Complications Avoidance and Management.
- “Degenerative and Noninfectious Inflammatory Disease”, Chapter 40, The Thoracic Spine.
- “Traumatic Posterior Sagital Sinus Occlusion from Depressed Skull Fractures; Management Techniques”, AANS Meeting, Boston, April 1993.
- “Bone Graft Failures of Cervical Spine Fusions”, AANS Meeting, Boston, April 1993
- “Tethered Cord Evaluation by MRI”, CNS Meeting, Vancouver, October 1993
- “MRI Investigation of Tethered Cord”, Southern Neurosurgical Society Annual Meeting White Sulfur Springs, WV.
- “The Outrigger Attachment for Vertebrectomy with Posterior Instrumentation”, Rocky Mountain Neurosurgical Society, Idaho, June 1995.
- “Getting Comfortable with Outpatient Spine Cases”, Blue Chip Publication, 2009
- “A Big Picture Vision for Spine Care”, Feb, 2010, Becker’s ASC review
- “Becoming a Champion of Healthcare Reform”, July, 2011, Becker’s ASC Review
- “1-800-SPINECARE- a Big-picture Vision for Outpatient Care” Blue Chip Publication, Perspectives, 2010
- “7 Best Practices for Increasing Spine Center Profitability”, May 2012, Becker’s Spine
- Molecular Cytogenetic Laboratory Research Assistant, Center for Pediatric Research, EVMS and The Children’s Hospital of the King’s Daughters, 1993-94
- Collaborator, “Molecular Cytogenetics of Pediatric Acute Lymphocytic Leukemia And Wilm’s Tumor”
- Collaborator, “Comparative Genomic Hybridization for Molecular Cytogenetic Analysis Of CNS Tumors, with Focus on Pediatric Glial Cell Lines”
- Ocular Pharmokinetics, “The Development of a Topical Aminocaproic Acid Treatment For the Prevention of Rebleeding after Hyphema”
- Construction of a Pediatric Brain Tumor Data Base, EVMS, Children’s Hospital of the King’s Daughters
- Development of neurosurgical protocol for fulminant hepatic failure at UNM
- Participant in the cooperative study of PEG-SOD and Ciba-Geigy experimental phase III trial drugs at EVMS for use in critical head injury patients
- Ongoing Clinical research, Far Infra-red Heat for musculoskeletal and consumer use
- Engineering Consultant, K2 Spine, Leesburg, VA, for surgical instrumentation development
- Engineering Consultant, LDR Medical, Austin, TX for surgical implant and instrumentation development
- Technical Consultant, Safe Orthopedics, Paris, France, for outpatient spine strategies for penetration into US ASC markets
- Board Certified Neurosurgeon
- Fellow, the American College of Surgeons
- Phi Beta Kappa
- Omicron Delta Kappa national leadership society
- Chi Beta Phi honorary science fraternity
- Venable Merit Scholar
- “Ten Spine ASCs to Know-Parkway Surgical Center” Becker’s ASC Review, 2008
- “10 Spine Surgeons to Know”, Becker’s Spine Review, Feb 2009
- “31 Spine Surgeons You Should Know” Becker’s ASC Review, 2009
- “170 People to Know in the ASC Industry”, July 2009 Becker’s ASC Review
- “Top 50 Health Care Places to Work, Parkway Surgical Center”, Becker’s ASC review, 2010
- “50 Spine Surgeons and Specialists to Know”, Becker’s ASC Review, Feb 2010
- “Orthopedic and Spine Industry Leader to Know”, July 2010, Blue Chip publications
- “100 of the Best Spine Surgeons and Specialists in America”, Becker’s, March 2011
- “Super Doctor of Virginia, Maryland, & D.C”, Nov 2011, Washington Post supplement
- “350 People to Know in the ASC Industry”, Nov, 2011, Becker’s Review
- “Top Spine Surgeons to Know”, April, 2012, Becker’s Spine Review
- Becker’s Spine Review Annual Spine Leadership Award 2013
- “Most Compassionate Doctor Award”, 2011, 2012
- “ASC Leader to Know: Dr John Caruso of Parkway Surgery Center” Becker’s Review April, 2012
- “Patients’ Choice Award”, 2012, 2013
- “100 Physician Leaders to Know in the ASC Industry”, Jan. 2013, Becker’s Review
- “20 Spine Surgeons Leading ASCs as Founders and Leaders”, Becker’s April 2014
- “230 Spine Surgeons to Know” Becker’s Spine Review, Aug 2014
- “38 Spine-Driven ASCs to Know” May 2015, recognizing PSC, Becker’s Review
- “341 Spine Surgeons to Know” Becker’s Spine Review, Jan 2016
- “21 Smart Spine Surgeons with Gifted Business Minds”, Becker’s Review, July 2016
- Staff Neurosurgeon, Meritus Medical Center, Hagerstown, MD (1996-2010)
- Staff Neurosurgeon, Chambersburg Hospital, Chambersburg, PA (1998-present)
- Staff Neurosurgeon, Frederick Memorial Hospital, Frederick, MD (2012-2015)
- Cyberknife Neurosurgeon, Sinai Hospital, Baltimore, MD (2003-2005)
- Managing Partner, Neurosurgical Specialists, LLC (2000-2005)
- Creator and Managing Partner, Parkway Neuroscience and Spine Institute (2005-2013)
- Secretary, Maryland Neurosurgical Society (2005-2011)
- Vice President, Maryland Neurosurgical Society (2011-2012)
- President, Maryland Neurosurgical Society (2012-present)
- Founding member, “Save Our Doctors, Protect Our Patients”
- Board Member, Maryland State Surgical Association, American College of Surgeons
- Alternate member, Governor’s Task Force on Malpractice Reform
- President, Parkway Surgical Center (2006-present)
- Board member, Blue Chip Surgical Associates, Cincinnati, Ohio
- Chief Medical Officer and Board Member, York Biomedical, Frederick, MD
- Board Member, Western Maryland Hospital Closed Head Injury Section
- Director of Neurological Trauma and Spine, Meritus Medical Center
- Medical Advisory Board Member, Code Blue Solutions, Richmond, VA
- Medical Advisory Board Member, Phymedica, Richmond, VA
- Member, Medical Executive Committee, Meritus Medical Center
- Member, Strategic Planning Board, Meritus Medical Center
- National Spokesman, Doctors for Medical Liability Reform
- Ringside Physician, Maryland State Athletic Association
- Technical Design Consultant, K2M Medical
- Consultant and Teaching Faculty, LDR Medical
- Consultant, Safe Orthopedics
- Clinical Assistant Professor of Neurological Surgery, Hershey Medical Center
- Maryland Representative, Council of State Neurosurgical Societies
- Community Preceptor, 4th year rotations, West Virginia School of Osteopathic Medicine
- President, Parkway Brain and Spine (2016- present)
If you are suffering from chronic, acute, or traumatic spine pain, WVU Medicine Brain and Spine can help. Most problems can be addressed with non-surgical treatments – sometimes called non-operative or conservative therapies. However, there are times when surgery is the only treatment.
Many factors can lead to spine injury – including aging, incorrect body mechanics, trauma, and structural abnormalities – causing back pain and other symptoms, such as leg pain or weakness.
Conservative therapy involves a trial of non-operative treatment. Examples are physical therapy, pain medication, or bracing. The trial period varies, but six weeks to six months is typical.
If non-surgical treatment does not relieve symptoms, surgery may be recommended. Surgery is considered when the healthcare team can determine the source of pain, such as a herniated disc, scoliosis, or spinal stenosis.
WVU Medicine Brain and Spine uses a team approach to diagnose and treat chronic back pain. Dr. Caruso and his team are happy to help you gather information and encourage you to take your time making an informed decision that will fit with your lifestyle and physical activity level.
Below are some of the conditions we treat and treatments we offer.
- Ankylosing Spondylitis
- Cervical Spine Disorders
- Complex Spinal Disorders
- Degenerative Disc Disease
- Degenerative Spinal Conditions
- Facet Syndrome
- Failed Back Surgery Syndrome
- Herniated Disc / Bulging Disc
- Low Back Pain
- Lumbar Spine Disorders
- Osteoporosis / Spinal Fracture
- Sciatica / Radiculopathy / Leg Pain
- Scoliosis and Deformity
- Shoulder Injury
- Spinal Cord Injury
- Spinal Infections
- Spinal Stenosis
- Spinal Trauma
- Spinal Tumors
- Sports Injuries
- Thoracic Spine Disorders
- Upper Back Pain
- Work Injuries
- Anterior Cervical Corpectomy
- Anterior Cervical Discectomy and Fusion
- Anterior Lumbar Interbody Fusion (ALIF)
- Cervical Disc Replacement
- Kyphoplasty / Vertebroplasty
- Lateral Lumbar Interbody Fusion
- Lumber Corpectomy
- Minimally Invasive Surgery
- Neck/Cervical Spine Surgery
- Posterior Lumbar Interbody Fusion (PLIF)
- Posterior Cervical Foraminotomy
- Posterolateral Lumbar Fusion
- Reconstructive / Revision Spine Surgery
- Scoliosis Surgery
- Spinal Cord Surgery
- Spinal Fusion
- Spine Surgery
- Transforaminal Lumbar Interbody Fusion (TLIF)
- Acoustic Schwannomas
- Chiari Malformation
- Head Trauma and Skull Fractures
- Metastatic Brain Tumors
- Pituitary Tumors
- Primary Brain Tumors (Such as Meningiomas and Gliomas)
- Skull Lesions
- Sports Injuries
- Subdural and Epidural Hematomas
- Trigeminal Neuralgia
- Work Injuries
- Chiari Malformation Decompression
- Neuronavigational-Assisted Brain Biopsies
- Trigeminal Neuralgia Microvascular Decompressions
- Ventricular Peritoneal Shunts for Hydrocephalus / NPH
WVU Medicine Brain and Spine uses the Mazor X robotic surgical guidance system. This state-of-the-art technology is a transformative leap forward in spinal surgery. Mazor X maximizes surgical predictability and allows surgeons to achieve greater precision for optimal patient benefit.
Minimally invasive procedures can mean less pain, less blood loss, smaller incisions, shorter hospitalizations, and shorter recovery time for patients. Smaller incisions usually pose a challenge to surgeons due to the limited view of the anatomy. The Mazor X system helps to overcome this challenge with a 3D comprehensive surgical plan and analytics that give the surgeon unprecedented information before the surgery even starts. The result? The surgeon may operate with greater precision, efficiency, and confidence.
Mazor X offers data-enabled surgery for a streamlined and connected operating room environment with three integrated processes:
- Pre-operative analytics – These tools help to create a comprehensive surgical plan of the whole surgery using 3D planning.
- Intra-operative guidance – This utilizes precision mechanics and the surgical arm to guide tools and implants at the right trajectory and position, according to the surgical plan in the surgical field.
- Intra-operative verification – Before instrumenting, the Mazor X eye camera provides intra-operative verification of the surgical arm and position.
WVU Medicine Brain and Spine is committed to patient-centered care that enhances the patient’s experience through the often confusing and frightening process of spinal, brain, and nerve problems.
Before seeing a neurosurgeon, it’s important to have a good relationship with your primary care physician. If you have been experiencing back pain for six weeks or more, and it is not relieved with conservative treatment, you may want to ask your doctor for a referral to WVU Medicine Brain and Spine for a neurosurgical opinion.
Other signs you may need to see a neurosurgeon are extremity pain, numbness, or weakness; or sudden loss of bowel or bladder control.
Our focus is to diagnose the medical condition, and then educate the patient and family, so that they have a thorough and honest understanding of their condition and course of treatment. We explore all non-surgical options before any surgery is considered.
Depending on your course of treatment, WVU Medicine Brain and Spine may refer you to physical therapy, pain management, or other recovery options.
How do I make an appointment?
Ideally, your primary care physician should give you a referral to a neurosurgeon after they have already tried conservative treatment and ordered some imaging, such as x-rays, CT scans, or MRIs. Some insurances require this. You can call our office at 240-513-4591 between the hours of 8 am and 5 pm, and we will be happy to get you in as soon as possible, with or without imaging.
What will happen at my appointment?
Dr. Caruso meets some patients on the initial visit; however, your first appointment may be with one of our neurosurgical-certified physician assistants. Dr. Caruso will consult with them and determine the course of action. He will then discuss with you in depth whether or not your condition would likely improve with surgery, and make sure you have a thorough and honest understanding of your condition and treatment.
What should I bring to my first appointment?
You should also bring your insurance cards, a photo ID, any co-pay required by your insurance, a referral if required by your insurance, and any copies or CDs of imaging, such as x-rays CT scans, or MRIs if you’ve had the within the past year.
If you have a list of medications or previous surgeries, it would be helpful to bring a copy.
If I need surgery, what happens next?
If it is determined that surgery will improve your condition, you will be given detailed instructions. You may need certain health clearances from your primary care physician, including blood work, imaging, or an EKG.
We will supply you with cleansing sponges to clean the area of surgery. When we receive all the required information to ensure a safe and successful surgery, we will schedule a time. It’s important to follow the guidelines, or your surgery can be delayed.
Please do not take any blood thinners for seven days prior to surgery. This includes NSAIDs, such as ibuprofen, Advil, and Aleve, as well as aspirin. (Tylenol is acceptable for those who can tolerate it.)
What are the risks and recovery time?
Pain, risks, and recovery time vary from individual to individual. Factors such as age, fitness, medical history, smoking, obesity, and even attitude and motivation, can play a role. These will be discussed in depth on an individual basis.
Where will my surgery occur?
WVU Medicine Brain and Spine surgeries take place at Berkeley Medical Center. Minimally invasive, same-day procedures are performed at the Hagerstown location.
What happens after surgery?
You will be scheduled for a post-op appointment at one of the WVU Medicine Brain and Spine clinics. If necessary, we may refer you to physical therapy, pain management, or other recovery options.
Patients are encouraged to contact WVU Medicine Brain and Spine for an expert second opinion, especially those who have experienced failed back surgery, which is more common than you may think.
Dr. Caruso is considered a second opinion spine specialist. As a board-certified neurosurgeon, he has extensive training in the diagnosis and treatment of disorders of the entire nervous system. Board-certified neurosurgeons train longer and to a higher level than any other specialty in surgical conditions of the spine and brain. Most of Dr. Caruso’s practice is comprised of spine surgery, both complex and minimally invasive, and he is always available to offer honest second opinions.
We realize that spine problems can affect every area of your life. If you’re suffering, we will talk through your non-surgical options before considering surgery. We know the decision to have surgery is not an easy one, and we want you to have as much information as possible. Feel free to bring family members to your second opinion appointment with you and to have questions written down to go over with Dr. Caruso.
If surgery is necessary, we will explain, in understandable language, the problem and how to fix it. Dr. Caruso will use the most minimally invasive technique possible.
If you are suffering from chronic, acute, traumatic spine pain and have been recommended for surgery, call 240-513-4591 for a second opinion.
At WVU Medicine Brain and Spine, we are committed to helping our physician colleagues, both within our system as well as outside of the WVU Medicine organization.
Whether for treatment, a single consultation, second opinion, or ongoing follow up, we will keep consulting physicians informed of their patient’s treatment plan and will assist in coordinating long-term care management.
To refer a patient, call 888-WVU-1DOC (888-988-1362).