It’s Time To Get Your Life BACK At SASpine
By Jody Joseph Marmel
Dr. Steven Cyr is well known in the San Antonio community for surgical excellence and community service. Previously, as the founder of the Orthopaedic & Spine Institute, his practice was comprised of multiple practitioners addressing a full spectrum of medical issues. In an effort to deliver more precise and focused care for what he knows best, conditions affecting the spine, his practice is now dedicated to all things spine.
His practice is evolving and has gone through a recent dramatic change in management and focus. The recently dubbed SASpine (which stands for Surgical Associates in Spine) is a full spectrum spine practice that focuses on conservative treatment of the spine, including proper diagnosis followed by physical therapy, pain management injections (if needed), medication management, and neurological evaluation and testing. When those measures fail, Dr. Cyr and his team are equipped to provide a detailed evaluation and determination of what surgery may be necessary to address, and hopefully resolve, the symptoms.
Dr. Cyr was trained at the world-famous Mayo Clinic, a top institution in many medical fields, including neurosurgery and orthopaedic surgery. His spine training was a combined fellowship in neurosurgery of the spine and orthopaedic surgery of the spine.
Coupled with 14 years of honing his skills in the military as the Air Force’s Chief Spine Surgeon, consultant to the surgeon general, and his civilian practice, this training has resulted in the successful treatment of many thousands of patients, with amazing outcomes.
I can once again enjoy my family workouts in the gym without any restrictions. I feel as if I received a BRAND NEW BACK! Thank you, Dr. Cyr! – Cristina Padilla
Dr. Cyr explains, “I was the only fellow in the country selected to train that year. It was a very competitive position to obtain and I feel very blessed to have trained there. That experience with complex spine surgery, including trauma, deformity, tumors, and degenerative conditions of the cervical, thoracic, lumbar, and sacral spine was second to none.” His exposure to both the neurosurgical approach to spine care, which focuses on microscopic techniques and soft tissue preservation, coupled with the engineering knowledge and musculoskeletal expertise of orthopaedic surgery, provided Dr. Cyr with the ultimate training experience.
A common question asked by patients is whom do I go to for my spine condition: a neurosurgeon or an orthopaedic surgeon? Fortunately, when it comes to spine surgery, you don’t have to choose. Dr. Cyr’s background and training come from both disciplines and at SASpine the quality of care, experience, and training make him one of the nation’s most qualified spine surgeons, with a record of excellence of accomplishment in his field.
In the beginning of Dr. Cyr’s career, his practice grew very quickly. As knowledge of his success spread, several physician colleagues approached him about joining his practice. Hoping to help several colleagues create a successful practice and to provide a comprehensive practice environment for patients, Dr. Cyr added orthopaedic surgeons followed by pediatric orthopaedics, pain management, other spine surgeons, a plastic surgeon, a dermatologist, and three family practice physicians. The idea was to create a practice similar to the university environment where most medical issues could be addressed under one roof.
Dr. Cyr explains why the focus of the practice has since changed. “While this idea was a good one, implementing something that complex is challenging. It requires that the right people are in place to ensure its success. I realized after struggling to make it work with people who weren’t devoted to the mission of the practice, this multi-specialty approach was diverting the focus of the practice from what I know and do best, which is spine surgery.” After hiring a compliance officer and implementation specialist to restructure the practice, Dr. Cyr and the team decided that the best step was to re-center and pare the practice down exclusively to the spine. Thus, the name The Orthopaedic & Spine Institute became obsolete and confusing to patients. “We have always been known by our website address SASpine. The new management company that took over operations in December loved the name and the idea of focusing on the spine with practitioners trained to provide care for those patients.”
My quality of life: I was able to do some of my daily activities, but they were very limited. After the surgery it was almost immediate relief. I was able to stand and walk the second day. His staff made all the arrangements and I had all the equipment that I needed for a quick recovery. – Frank Flores
The practice is now known as SASpine, which stands for Surgical Associates in Spine. SASpine is growing and branching out into other markets to meet the demands there as well. SASpine is headquartered in San Antonio, Texas and a new office in Houston opened in early December of 2017. “My goals are to expand to markets that are desperately in need of quality spine care. There are many good spine surgeons in the world, but there are many, many patients to treat.” Dr. Cyr continues, “I know there are communities in desperate need of my approach to taking care of patients. I plan to grow the practice by carefully adding other spine surgeons with similar training and a sincere desire to treat patients like family in an effort to relieve their pain and dysfunction.
SASpine has kept the logo, which is synonymous with Dr. Cyr’s practice. It is an artistic depiction of the spine in the center of a rotating globe because as he says, “our world revolves around the spine as do our bodies.” The spine is the core of the human framework and it is the center of the structural support for our bodies. SASpine will continue to see a similar population of patients — those with neck and back pain. Dr. Cyr states, “We will continue to focus on providing treatment specific to each and every patient we see. The beauty of my orthopaedic and athletic background, as well as my years of bodybuilding, is that my knowledge of the musculoskeletal system allows me to effectively and accurately identify the true source of pain. Many times, shoulder pain comes from the neck, but may also be from shoulder pathology. Hip pain commonly generates from the spine, but can also be a soft tissue or joint condition located within the hip. In order to implement the correct treatment, knowledge of all parts of the body is necessary, otherwise, an improper treatment plan may be carried out, leading to failed relief or worse, permanent damage.”
Our bodies are highly complex. Conditions that affect our bodies vary. Therefore, it is important to evaluate everyone individually. “This approach requires a team of people devoted to identifying the issue(s) first and then enacting a specific treatment plan with the eventual hope of returning our patients to the level of functioning they once enjoyed.”
For that reason, SASpine often relies heavily on mid-level providers who act as the front line to identify the issues plaguing the patients by performing the initial evaluations and ordering the proper diagnostic tests and conservative therapies to address a patient’s problem. Pain management physicians, physical therapists, and neurologist colleagues are also sought out to assist in this process and treat the problems from a non-surgical standpoint. Dr. Cyr continues, “Patients are not textbooks, so we provide a very specific treatment plan to each patient based on their diagnoses. This has provided SASpine with uncommon outcomes in spine treatment. Our reward is in the outcome. There is no feeling like the feeling you get when patients tell you, ‘You saved my life. You are my angel; you gave me and my family our lives back.’ That is why I do this. The long hours, the self- sacrifice, and the intensity are well worth it.”
I’ve been dealing with this for about 20 years. As time progressed I stopped doing the things I enjoyed. I like to play soccer, but I stopped playing soccer. All of this to avoid dealing with the root of the problem which was herniated discs. Since my treatment, I’ve gotten full mobility. – Jeffery Gagnon
Dr. Cyr believes that medicine is a calling. “It’s a heavy responsibility that I carry with gratitude and humility, knowing that I have been entrusted to care for the health of God’s children. I sincerely desire that every patient I treat will find the relief they seek and a pain-free life, which we all deserve. I see a lot of suffering and it is very important to me that I help eliminate as much of it as God allows me to. He gets the glory, but I am grateful that He is guiding and blessing me with this responsibility. The reward it brings to my life is in knowing that I am making a positive difference.”
The mission of SASpine is to treat patients like family through a comprehensive and thorough approach that gives them the best possible chance of regaining their function and pain-free living. SASpine strives to Give People Their Lives Back. That slogan came about from repeatedly hearing those exact words from happy patients. What an amazing gift to “give someone’s life back to them.” Dr. Cyr is a dedicated and sincere man. His patients uniformly praise his compassion, conscientiousness, and meticulousness. He truly puts all he has into helping patients because, as he says, “When I see the smiles of pain-free patients who I know suffered on a daily basis, my heart beams. It is truly an honor to have been able to be part of the healing for so many patients, from so many walks of life, who all had a debilitating problem that was consuming their lives and stealing their joy.” Many of Dr. Cyr’s patients are husbands and wives, or fathers and daughters. Some are physicians, military members, nurses, manual laborers, professional athletes, actors, and students. Dr. Cyr has performed surgery on friends he went to middle school and high school with, and on family members of close friends. They come from everywhere – although mostly from Texas, they come from all over the country seeking relief. Dr. Cyr says “It’s a distinct pleasure to be able to help them find that relief.” For Dr. Cyr and the team at SASpine, that it is time to get your life BACK, is what it is all about.
Dr. Cyr and his family are also known for giving back to their community. “My family and I are heavily involved in charity work.” The Cyrs and their children help non-profit organizations focused on community service. Their daughter recently crowned Miss Houston Teen in the Miss America Organization, has worked diligently to support San Antonio and Houston residents through her non-profit, PROject Christ by providing blessing bags of life’s necessities to the homeless and Hurricane Harvey victims. The Cyrs have chained many galas for charities they believe in and they constantly devote time and resources to supporting charitable organizations. As if daily service to his patients wasn’t enough, Dr. Cyr and his family ensure that service in all forms continues to be an integral part of their lives.
Looking ahead, Dr. Cyr would ultimately love to create his own fellowship to train surgeons in his approach to conditions that affect the spine and on how to effectively handle the pressures of the business and legal side of practicing medicine. “I have learned a lot in my 14 years as a spine surgeon. I’ve had many ups and owns in the business of spine surgery and there is a lot of learning that I have to convey. One day, I hope to guide aspiring young surgeons in delivering the gold standard of care while avoiding the pitfalls awaiting physicians on the business side of medicine. I want to be continued example to others of sincerity, humility, service-mindedness, and devotion to excellence.”
To learn more visit:
Website – www.saspine.com
Facebook – Facebook.com/saspine
8401 Datapoint Dr., Ste 700
San Antonio, Texas 78229
(210) 487.7463 (48-SPINE)
9701 Richmond Avenue, Ste. 250
Houston, Texas 77042