When a patient visits Max De Carvalho, M.D., at the St. Rose/HaysMed Specialty Clinic, two topics are likely to be part of the conversation.
These topics are “realistic expectations” and “quality of life.”
Dr. De Carvalho, spine surgeon, is the newest addition to the Specialty Clinic. His home base is Hays Orthopedic Institute at Hays Medical Center; he sees patients at St. Rose on the second Wednesday of the month.
If someone suffers from back pain, they don’t necessarily have to live with it,” Dr. De Carvalho said. “But you need to be realistic about your expectations. My goal is to let my patients know that some procedures and/or surgeries will improve their condition.
“The most important thing is to be realistic and know that you are not going to be able to lift 100 pounds,” he continued. “But if you want less pain, better mobility and balance, and the ability to perform regular activities, we can often help with that.”
Sometimes, unrealistic expectations occur because patients want the same results as those after joint-replacement surgeries.
“You might believe you can have the same results that knee or hip replacements provide,” Dr. De Carvalho said. “But the spine is different. We don’t replace the spine. In addition to procedures, we offer education and physical and occupational therapies to improve quality of life.”
In many cases, physical therapy is the first step to addressing back pain, the spine surgeon noted. Therapy and a change in activities might be the answer.
“But even if you have had back surgery and still have problems, we can re-evaluate the situation,” he noted. “Maybe you didn’t do enough rehab after the surgery. It is possible that another procedure or surgery can help remedy the problem. We can take a look.
“The overall goal is to enhance quality of life,” he emphasized. “That is what it is all about – quality of life.”
While surgeries are performed at HaysMed, most pre-operative and post-operative visits are at St. Rose, which is part of The University of Kansas Health System. Cortisone injections also are available here.
Surgical procedures involve decompression, herniated discs, fusion for deformation and other conditions. Some surgeries are minimally invasive. Those with questions should ask primary care physicians for a referral to a specialist.
“We know people prefer not to travel and we are pleased that we can come to St. Rose patients,” Dr. De Carvalho said. “It is so much more convenient for our patients and we look forward to developing new relationships in Great Bend and nearby communities.”
Dr. De Carvalho received his medical degree from the Federal University of Sergipe, Brazil. He completed his orthopedic residency at the National Institute of Trauma and Orthopedics in Rio de Janeiro, and fellowships in spine surgery at the Klinikum Karlsbad Langensteinbach in Germany, as well as a minimally invasive spine surgery fellowship at Wooridul Spine Hospital in South Korea.
Dr. De Carvalho completed advanced fellowship training in Orthopedics Trauma at New Mexico University in Albuquerque; spine surgery at Twin Cities Spine Center in Minneapolis; and pediatric orthopedics at the Cincinnati Children’s Hospital.
In addition, he has conducted research in Brazil and the United States, and has published extensively in orthopedic books and journals. He is fluent in English, Spanish, German and Portuguese.
His partners at Hays Orthopedic Institute are Dr. Gulraiz Cheema, Dr. Timothy Wright and Dr. Wally Walstrom.