Spine Care Treatment: What to Expect

  • The Centers of Excellence for Spine Care Program provides a comprehensive evaluation and lumbar fusion surgery for those patients who meet clinical requirements. Should your plan of care recommend other treatments, these will not be covered under the COE Program but may be covered under your other UMP benefits.

    For best results, the COE Program follows clinical guidelines for determining:

    • If lumbar fusion surgery is needed. This is based upon factors including x-ray results, previous nonsurgical therapy, and functional impairment.
    • Whether you're healthy enough for surgery. Your care team will evaluate your blood pressure, weight, nicotine use, and other factors that may need to be addressed before surgery.
    • Surgery and pain control. The COEs follow proven guidelines to help provide the best possible results including appropriate use of anesthesia and antibiotics.
    • The recovery process. You'll get help for a rapid recovery, including transitioning care to your regular health care provider.

    Get started

    doctor with patient

    Meet with your regular healthcare provider, who can discuss your spine care treatment options. Treatments may include:

    • Physical therapy
    • Behavioral therapy
    • Nonsteroidal anti-inflammatory medications (NSAIDs)
    • Spinal manipulation

    Surgery is a big step, and is advised only after you've tried other treatments for at least 3 months, or as recommended by your regular healthcare provider.

    If you’re having lumbar fusion surgery

    If spine surgery is appropriate, be aware that it is a major medical procedure. It requires careful preparation and a commitment to recovery to prevent complications and get you feeling better as soon as possible.

    If lumbar fusion surgery is not right for you

    If your evaluation determines that lumbar fusion is not appropriate, the COE will work with you to develop a care plan. The Program will provide this plan to you and your regular health care provider.

    If a surgery other than lumbar fusion is recommended, then only the evaluation (not the surgery) is covered under the COE Program. Surgery other than lumbar fusion, whether performed at the COE or elsewhere, may be covered under your UMP benefits.


    Call our concierge desk at 855-784-4563 (TRS: 711), weekdays, 7 a.m. to 5 p.m. Pacific Time.