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Spine Surgery

Physicians at Fort Sanders Regional Medical Center use the most advanced techniques available for spinal surgery. Neurosurgeons use the latest technology and treatment methods for inpatient and outpatient surgeries, including minimally invasive surgery techniques that may result in a faster recovery, less postoperative pain, and fewer complications. Our goal is for you to get back to doing the activities you love as quickly as possible.

Our minimally invasive spine center performs more than 300 elective surgeries each year. Of those patients, 93% go directly home after one night in the hospital, rather than being transferred to a rehabilitation hospital or nursing facility for recuperation.

Fort Sanders Regional is recognized as a BlueCross BlueShield Blue Distinction Center for our comprehensive inpatient spine surgery services, low readmission rates, and fewer repeat operations1.


When to See a Doctor

Back or neck pain alone typically isn’t a neurosurgical problem, but it may be a symptom of a serious spine condition if you’re experiencing pain that leads to:

  • Numbness, weakness in one or both legs, feet or toes
  • Numbness, weakness in one or both shoulders, arms or hands
  • Foot drop
  • Pain radiating down one or both of your arms or legs
  • Loss of bladder or bowel control

Spinal Injuries and Diseases

We treat a wide range of spinal conditions. 

Click here to learn more about common spine conditions.

Our Physicians

Barrett W. Brown, M.D.Barrett W. Brown, M.D.

Medical School: University of Kentucky
Residency: University of Kentucky
Board Certification: Neurological Surgery

Joel E. NormanJoel E. Norman, M.D.

Medical School: East Tennessee State University
Residency: University of Kentucky
Board Certification: Neurological Surgery

Paul Peterson, M.D.Paul C. Peterson, M.D.

Medical School: Wayne State University
Residency: Strong Memorial Hospital
Board Certification: Neurological Surgery


Preparing for your Surgery

Learn what to expect before, during, and after your surgery. Click here to view our pre-surgery spine class.


Patient Stories

  • Relief, at Last

    For Sally Andrew, celebrating 45 years of marriage to husband David turned out to be quite an adventure, thanks to spine surgery at Fort Sanders Regional.

  • My Aching Back!

    Spine Conditions That Can Cause Pain

  • Back in the Swim of Things

    For Angela Maxwell, back pain is but a bad memory.

  • B97.5 Michele Silva Finds Sciatic Back Pain Relief After Surgery

    B97.5 radio personality Michele Silva is pain free after minimally invasive back surgery by neurosurgeon Joel Norman, MD at TN Brain and Spine.

  • ‘Chute’ Straight – Trust Helps Ex-Paratrooper Take Leap of Faith

    When the time came for John Parris to undergo back surgery, he was admittedly nervous.

  • Only One Regret

    Before Karen Moore had a lumbar fusion at Fort Sanders Regional Medical Center, Moore couldn’t stand up for more than four minutes at a time without excruciating pain.


1Blue Distinction Centers (BDC) met overall quality measures for patient safety and outcomes, developed with input from the medical community. A Local Blue Plan may require additional criteria for providers located in its own service area; for details, contact your Local Blue Plan. Blue Distinction Centers+ (BDC+) also met cost measures that address consumers’ need for affordable healthcare. Each provider’s cost of care is evaluated using data from its Local Blue Plan. Providers in CA, ID, NY, PA, and WA may lie in two Local Blue Plans’ areas, resulting in two evaluations for cost of care; and their own Local Blue Plans decide whether one or both cost of care evaluation(s) must meet BDC+ national criteria. National criteria for BDC and BDC+ are displayed on www.bcbs.com. Individual outcomes may vary. For details on a provider’s in-network status or your own policy’s coverage, contact your Local Blue Plan and ask your provider before making an appointment. Neither Blue Cross and Blue Shield Association nor any Blue Plans are responsible for non-covered charges or other losses or damages resulting from Blue Distinction or other provider finder information or care received from Blue Distinction or other providers.