Q&A with Dr. Saifi of the Penn Spine Center

This originally appeared on Pennmedicine.org

Penn Medicine proudly welcomes Comron Saifi, MD—Director of Clinical Spine Research and Assistant Professor of Orthopaedic Surgery—to Penn Orthopaedics Pennsylvania Hospital and Penn Orthopaedics Rittenhouse. As an Orthopaedic Spine Program surgeon, Dr. Saifi brings his clinical expertise and advanced training to the treatment of his patients. We recently had the opportunity to ask him a few questions about his arrival to Penn Medicine and approach to patient care.

What conditions do you treat at the Penn Medicine?

As a spine surgeon at Penn, I treat all spinal conditions, including pediatric and adult scoliosis, spine tumors, spine trauma, spinal stenosis, and all other neck and low back issues. To best treat these conditions, I am trained in several specialized procedures within spine surgery, such as cervical disc replacements and minimally invasive spine surgery. Depending on the patient’s specific needs and the condition at hand, I employ the procedure that benefits my patient the most.

What is the most exciting thing about being a part of the Penn?

Since patients tend to do much better when they have access to all available treatment options, modern treatment of spinal conditions requires several types of highly specialized physicians and surgeons. Not only is coordinated multi-specialty care better for patient outcomes, but more convenient for patients as well. If needed, the patient’s appointment is coordinated with more than one spine specialist on the same day to streamline the patient’s experience and to treat their pain as quickly as possible. For patients traveling from outside of town, this option proves useful.

Penn also recognizes each patient requires an individualized care plan. Some patients benefit most from physical therapy, while other patients need spinal injections to relieve their pain. Surgery is only considered in a small portion of cases when a patient has not responding to all other treatment options. The best suited treatment for each individual is determined on a case-by-case basis.

What is your philosophy on patient care?

I treat every patient as if they are my family member. I always make sure that I understand my patient’s concerns, expectations and goals. I believe that good communication between my patients and me is absolutely vital.

What kinds of research are you involved with at Penn?

My clinical research includes cervical disc replacements, minimally invasive spine surgery and spinal deformity (scoliosis/kyphosis). My most recent clinical publication is on cervical disc replacements. In regard to basic science research, I recently published a study on tissue-engineered bone produced by adult stem cells.

What do you enjoy doing outside of practicing medicine?

When I’m not taking care of my patients at Penn, I enjoy biking along the Schuylkill River, skiing and playing squash.