Loma Linda University

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Gordon Peterson, MD
Professor, Neurology
School of Medicine
Professor, Physical Medicine and Rehabilitaton
School of Medicine
Patient Care    Patient Care
  • Intra-Operative Nerve Root Monitoring - This technique is used during spinal surgery, especially with placement of pedicle screws in the lumbo-sacral region, to assist in the fixation of spinal instrumentation. Using radiographic guidance during minimally-invasive surgeries or even using direct visual guidance for the placement of the screws combined with radiographic testing during surgery, nerve root lesions still occur during surgery. This monitoring technique uses electrophysiologic monitoring, including a variation of nerve conduction studies, to determine if the pedicle screw is very close to the nerve root and if so, then the screw can be repositioned at that time rather than having to have the patient return to surgery (and have the associated morbidity and mortality). It also uses a variation of needle electromyography (EMG) to potentially detect nerve or nerve root irritation during surgery so that the surgeon can be alerted of a potential nerve lesion. ( 6/2004 - 9/2009 )
  • Intra-Operative Spinal Cord Monitoring with Somatosensory Evoked Potentials (SEPs) and Motor Evoked Potentials (MEPs) - Historically, during reconstructive spinal surgery (such as surgery to correct scoliosis, kyphosis, or unstable vertebral fractures), paraplegia occurs in about 2% of patients. These techniques--SEPs and MEPs--electrophysiologically monitor spinal cord sensory and motor pathways allowing the monitoring team to notify the surgeon of impending intra-operative myelopathy at a time when the surgery can be modified and, hopefully, the myelopathy resolves. ( 8/1984 - 9/2009 )
  • EMG/NCS - This electrophysiologic testing method determines how well and how fast nerves carry the message - as an indication of the health or disease of the nerve or muscle. This technique is a diagnostic tool used for disorders that cause weakness, numbness or sometimes pain - disorders such as carpal tunnel syndrome, radiculopathy (pinched nerve in the neck or low back), myasthenia, Guillain-Barre syndrome, amyotrophic lateral sclerosis, myopathy, and neuropathy. ( 7/1981 - Present )
  • Neurologic Care - Subspecialty care of inpatients and outpatients with neurologic disorders. ( 7/1981 - Present )