Skip to main content

Apple a Day

Dr. Jared Broadway, Neurosurgeon

Dr. Jared Broadway, Neurosurgeon
November 3, 2020
Listen to archived programs


Dr. Jared Broadway and his team at Northern Neurosurgery and Spine have partnered with Lake Region Healthcare to bring spine & neck care, including spine surgeries, to patients right here close to home at Lake Region Healthcare. On today's episode, we get to know Dr. Broadway and and hear about what drew him from his southern roots to our "up north" landscape. We also learn from him about the painful neck, arm, back and leg conditions he is able to treat, and better understand what the journey of addressing back & neck pain can look like from initial consultation to post-surgical relief.


Katie Johnson: Good morning, and welcome to Apple A Day Lake Region Healthcare's health and wellness show, where we feature news and information you can use to live a healthier life. I am Katie Johnson, your host, and my guest today is Dr. Jared Broadway.

Dr. Jared Broadway: Good Morning.

Katie Johnson: Good morning, Dr. Broadway. He is a spine surgeon and founder of Northern Neurosurgery and Spine, and he is our newest partner here in bringing us an exciting and essential service back to our community, and that is spine surgery. So thank you for taking some time to join me this morning, Dr. Broadway.

Dr. Jared Broadway: Thank you for having me. I really appreciate this opportunity and I'm looking forward to bringing spinal services to Lake Region Healthcare.

Katie Johnson: Yeah. I'm excited to give our listeners a little bit more background on what this will mean. It's very exciting news that we are able to share this expansion of a specialty that is so critical and needed to have closer to home and Lake Region Healthcare is pleased to have found you as a partner to bring that here to our community. Let's let our listeners get to know you a little bit better, Dr. Broadway, tell us what your background is.

Dr. Jared Broadway: Certainly.

Katie Johnson: And share that with our listeners.

Dr. Jared Broadway: Absolutely. Well, I am Steven Jared Broadway. So if you look me up on the web, oftentimes you'll see Steven, but my parents gave me the disservice of calling me by my middle name. So please refer to me as Jared. I am a neurosurgeon. I'm originally from Arkansas, so I usually joke that I don't sound like everyone else around me in the Minnesota, North Dakota world. I grew up in Northeast Arkansas and decided early on to pursue medicine. Went to college in my hometown, Arkansas State University, and then subsequently went to the University of Arkansas for Medical Sciences in Little Rock where I got my MD degree.

From there, I went on to the University of Tennessee in Memphis where I completed a neurosurgical residency in 2011. And then like people from the South typically do, I moved to Duluth, Minnesota to start my practice. So I practiced at Essentia Health in Duluth from 2011 to 2019, when I decided to start my own practice or hang a shingle, as we say, and it's called Northern Neurosurgery and Spine. We're based in Fargo and very excited to extend our service line down to Lake Region Healthcare here in Fergus Falls.

Katie Johnson: It is a really exciting and interesting partnership, and we'll talk a little bit more about that as we go along. But maybe first of all, as we talk about what bringing spine surgery to Lake Region Healthcare looks like, let's expound on that a little bit and explain exactly what services will you be offering here at Lake Region?

Dr. Jared Broadway: Sure. Absolutely. So spine surgery is kind of an all encompassing term, but what patients can expect from a surgical procedure at Lake Region Healthcare is oftentimes we're operating for either neck or arm pain, low back, or leg pain are the most typical reasons why we would do an operation. So, we're bringing really a full service line in that regard to Lake Region. We're a full operative line whereby we'll do anterior cervical discectomies and fusions, where we go in and remove a bad disc and fuse that segment.

We're excited to offer cervical arthroplasty, which is also called cervical disc replacement, where we'll remove the desk and place a new disc in that space if in fact the patient is a good candidate. The thoracic spine, which is in between the neck and the low back is a relatively rare area to operate on from a degenerative perspective. So if we skip down to the lumbar region, the most common surgery I do is called a micro discectomy whereby I'll use a dilator system and perform a minimally invasive removal of a herniated disc that's pushing on a nerve. We'll also do lumbar fusions at Lake Region. We've performed sacroiliac, or SI fusions. So we've got a good broad scope of services that we're going to be providing for the patients in the community.

Katie Johnson: Yeah, it really sounds like it. So what are the things that you mentioned, neck arm, low back? What are the things that patients are experiencing that kind of trigger I need help. I need medical help.

Dr. Jared Broadway: Exactly. Yeah. I think you said it. Back pain is a very, very common problem nationwide. I've heard statistics that it's one of the most common reasons why people see their primary care doctor along with the common cold, which is very common in our society. Just about everybody at some point is going to experience "back pain", right? In that scenario, typically what we do and what we counsel patients are to try some conservative measures prior to seeing me because most of these episodes are self-limited. Okay? And so if you give the injury some time to heal, if you do some physical therapy, work through some of the exercises that our physical therapy specialist will assist you with and really get moving again, a lot of times this problem is going to be self-limited.

When I come into the picture is when people have gone through these, what we call conservative measures typically, and they have persistent either arm or leg pain is the most common reason why someone is seeing me. Neck pain and back pain as a primary diagnosis are harder to treat surgically, but it's certainly something that if people have been dealing with the problem like that for a long time, then I can certainly evaluate them and see if there is a surgical solution.

So our common patient, once again, is someone who has a bulging or herniated disc in their neck that causes neck and/or arm pain or in their back causing back and/or leg pain, and those are the people that we tend to help the best from a surgical approach.

Katie Johnson: You mentioned in that course of comments that both the primary care provider, the physical therapist, I'm curious about what a typical path is-

Dr. Jared Broadway: Right.

Katie Johnson: ... for a patient from kind of that initial diagnosis all the way through to if surgery is the option, to physical therapy and so on.

Dr. Jared Broadway: Sure. I can take you through that, absolutely. So, typically if somebody has hurt their back, let's say, so I'll give myself as an example. I had a herniated disc in my back when I was 20 years old, and I did not want to have back surgery at that age. Back surgery just never sounds like a good idea, so I went through the path as follows: first, I saw my primary care provider. My primary care provider provided me with some exercises and a referral to physical therapy. I visited with physical therapy for several weeks. And my main problem at this time was left leg pain. So we worked through our therapeutic exercises and when I was not improving, I followed up with my primary care provider who then ordered an MRI. So that's pretty typical. We oftentimes don't jump straight to imaging because we know that a lot of these problems will be self-limited with therapy and conservative measures.

So once the MRI was completed, it did show that I had a herniated disc and it correlated nicely with my symptoms. Once again, 20, active college student, really did not want to have a surgery at that point, and so I was then referred to interventional pain where I had what are called lumbar epidural steroid injections. That's not something that I personally do at this time. We rely on our interventional radiologist or there's interventional physical medicine doctors, or anesthesiologists that do pain fellowships, and they can very specifically target the nerve that's flared up and inject some steroid or kind of a concoction directly on that nerve to help calm it down. And sometimes that's all people need. That'll calm the nerve down, it'll give them time to allow that disc to heal. If they don't get better with these conservative measures, and not everybody needs to have an injection necessarily, but if you're still a lot of pain and you've given this a little bit of time, then the next step I think, is a referral from your primary care doctor to come and see me.

Typically, I like for imaging to have been done, like an MRI, prior to seeing me, because it gives us more substance to talk about in clinic. But I will see you, we'll do a consultation, the imaging that you've had done, we will review together and then we can make a surgical plan from there. Patients can directly refer. They do need to check with their insurance company to ensure that they don't need a referral. Some insurance companies do require a referral to see a specialist. So if in fact they don't, then they can simply dial the Lake Region appointment line, which is (218) 739-2221, and choose the appropriate option to schedule an appointment with me.

Katie Johnson: Really helpful. As you said, kind of the primary care provider path is pretty typical.

Dr. Jared Broadway: Correct.

Katie Johnson: But knowing that you can go directly to making an appointment with you, if that's appropriate for the patient, is really helpful as well. I'm curious to know a little bit more about this partnership between Lake Region Healthcare and Northern Neurosurgery and Spine. It's not maybe typical for what our community has seen in that you're not a member of our medical staff here. You are a more of a visiting physician.

Dr. Jared Broadway: Right.

Katie Johnson: But you have a regular schedule.

Dr. Jared Broadway: Right, that's correct.

Katie Johnson: And a pretty extensive schedule, both for clinic and operating room. Can you tell us more about that?

Dr. Jared Broadway: Sure. Yeah, absolutely. When I started my practice in Fargo, specialists like myself oftentimes look for outreach opportunities and the primary goal in that regard is to bring the service to a community so that patients don't have to travel. And if you've got to an organization like Lake Region Healthcare, that really has everything that you need in place, I guess, for lack of a better term, to support something like spine surgery, then oftentimes that makes a really good partner. So I reached out to the Lake Region administration and just asked if there was an interest. And we started with just kind of a informal conversation, and what really impressed me was our commonality of vision.

There's clearly a very patient focused atmosphere here at Lake Region Healthcare. And that's whom we are wanting to partner with to provide care that's really on a different level than I think you can do in some venues.

So, once that discussion was furthered, we actually elected to see clinic once a month and operate once a month, which is the second Monday and Tuesday. That's actually operating on Monday, clinic on Tuesday of each month. What we are realizing is that the demand is probably going to drive more of a presence here at Lake Region. We have already extended our clinic to twice a month, kind of informally at this point, but we're going to let the demand drive our service development here. So once again, very impressed with Lake Region's approach to patient care. The facility is just phenomenal, and I think that it's going to be a really wonderful partnership going forward.

Katie Johnson: I couldn't agree more from what I have learned and heard so far, and it's fantastic to see the response from the patients-

Dr. Jared Broadway: Absolutely.

Katie Johnson: ... confirming that this is a need as well. In this time, we're in this interesting time of COVID, and when we think about what COVID has taught us, I think one of the key takeaways is the importance of both trust and confidence in your healthcare provider.

Dr. Jared Broadway: Right.

Katie Johnson: But a delicate procedure like spine surgery requires this really high level of trust and confidence, right? You don't just trust your spine to anyone.

Dr. Jared Broadway: Sure.

Katie Johnson: So tell us a little bit more about what is your philosophy of care and how do you earn that trust and confidence?

Dr. Jared Broadway: I think my personality goes a long way when I talk to patients, as does my own experience that I just shared with you. It's scary to be in a situation where you potentially face surgery. And I do tell my patients that spine surgery is a fickle art. It really is. I mean, everybody knows somebody who has had spine surgery and perhaps they didn't do as well as they would've hoped.

Katie Johnson: Right.

Dr. Jared Broadway: So when I counsel patients with regard to spine surgery, first, if I don't think I can help them and make them better, I'm not going to offer a surgical procedure. This is not a, "let's see how you do" kind of scenario.

Katie Johnson: Right.

Dr. Jared Broadway: I've got to have a pretty good idea as to what the pathology is with imaging that confirms that prior to me offering an operation. I'm very thorough with regard to my discussion with patients, and I've certainly had patients that don't really want to talk about the intra-operative procedure, because they're a little bit squeamish in that regard, but it's important. I mean, in order for you to be an informed patient and have an operation, you need to understand the procedure, you need to understand what the risk is as well as the benefit. We take a lot of time with our patients to ensure that they have a thorough understanding as to what the procedure looks like.

And then I talk to people about my course, it has not been just a smooth road after having hurt my back and had spine surgery. And so that's something that I counsel people is that once you've hurt your back or had an operation or neck whatever, unfortunately anatomy we're talking about, you're probably always going to know it in some regard.

So setting those expectations is paramount for success when it comes to a spine operation. And I think that I can instill that confidence in our patients in order to provide them with a successful surgery. And then, a lot of times people ask, "Well, how many have you done?" And that's always a question that should stimulate me to go back and count, I guess, but when I was practicing in Duluth, I did well over 3000 operations and a lot of operations in my training. And now in Fargo, we're actually nearing a hundred operations between Fargo and now subsequently Lake Region, despite the fact that we've been faced with the pandemic, and a lot of these procedures have been, for lack of better term, put on hold. So, what I assure my patients is that if I don't have the skillset to perform a surgery successfully, then I will either refer you on to a provider that I think is more suited or simply not offer surgery, because part of being a good surgeon is knowing your limitations and understanding your skill set.

Katie Johnson: Right. Right. And I think what you've expressed here is that partnership with the patient is so important. And that patient centered, person centered, approach-

Dr. Jared Broadway: That's right.

Katie Johnson: ... that we've talked about, that we share, and having that partnership is really important. Something else we didn't touch on a lot earlier when we were talking about the operating room schedule that you have here is also the partnership with our staff here.

Dr. Jared Broadway: Sure.

Katie Johnson: So, I think it's worth noting too, that you'll have a Lake Region Healthcare team of professionals alongside you in the operating room.

Dr. Jared Broadway: That's right. Yeah. And that's something that in our early discussions at Lake Region, I felt very comfortable. The operating room staff here is very skilled, very enthusiastic about this project. Already there are complex procedures outside of spine surgery being done every day here at Lake Region, whether it be orthopedics or ENT, general surgery, there's ophthalmology. I'm not naming those service lines in particular, but just you look at the surgical board and you see that there is in fact a really high acuity, high skill level, surgery being performed here. And so it was a natural fit for us with this staff. And then, floor staff, the nurses on the floor, the physical therapists, these are all really skilled people that are going to be able to take really good care of these people and provide them with a unique spine surgery experience.

Katie Johnson: Right. And right here close to home is the best part, right?

Dr. Jared Broadway: That's right. Yes it is.

Katie Johnson: What is it that you like most about being a doctor and/or a spine surgeon?

Dr. Jared Broadway: Well, not to sound cliche, right? Because this is what we all have to say. It's helping people. And it is. There's nothing more satisfying than taking somebody who is really in a lot of pain and bringing them or curing that for lack of better term. Right? So, that is certainly very satisfying from a surgical perspective. I enjoy getting to know my patients and my team has been very thorough at really understanding who our patients are as individuals, so that we are able to connect with them on a bit of a different level, both pre and postoperatively.

And then, the technical aspect of surgery. I mean, just about everything I do is under an operative microscope. It's small, it's technically demanding, and that gives me a sense of satisfaction, the fact that you can complete something like a spine surgery successfully and do it repetitively with good success.

Katie Johnson: I would certainly say that's something to be proud of.

Dr. Jared Broadway: Thank you very much.

Katie Johnson: Quite remarkable. Speaking of getting to know people, what about when you're not working?

Dr. Jared Broadway: Sure.

Katie Johnson: What are the things that you like to do outside of being an excellent sponsor?

Dr. Jared Broadway: Well, of course, I love spending time with my family. I have an eight year old daughter who, quite frankly, she's spending more time with her friends instead of dad. So she's finally getting that age where it's like, "Let's go out and play, Susanna." And she says, "Well, wait a minute, my friends are over there. Let me go check out what they're doing first." But we have a lot of fun together.

And then my real passion outside of medicine, and of course family, is flying. So I started flying in 2011. The main reason is because I was moving to Duluth, Minnesota, and mine and my wife's family are still in Arkansas. So being a pilot really connects us back home, which is nice.

Katie Johnson: Sure.

Dr. Jared Broadway: But also I think it kind of goes along with the question that I answered regarding what I like about surgery, right? There's a finesse to flying. You've got to plan, you got to execute every flight with perfection. And so those things, I think that surgery and flying kind of go hand in hand in that regard. So that's truly a passion of mine, and I oftentimes tell people it's one of the best things I did outside of medicine from a fulfillment perspective.

Katie Johnson: Yeah. Neat. Well, we have covered a lot of ground today. It's been great to get to know you better and to talk about this exciting development of offering both clinic appointments and a surgical schedule regularly here at Lake Region Healthcare for back and neck, spine procedures. Anything else that you'd like our listeners to know about you or about your practice here at Lake Region Healthcare?

Dr. Jared Broadway: I don't think so. Once again, we are seeing patients in the beautiful clinic building. I mean, what a phenomenal place to be able to practice. Great technology, it's awesome. I'll just mention my staff because a lot of these patients will interact with them. My nurse is Marcie Munich, she helped to establish the practice. Ben Fagerlie is our practice manager. And a lot of times, because we are a smaller group, you're going to hear from either me or Ben or Marcy. And you, you may also hear from our practice coordinator, Katie Nikovich, as well. So we're a small group, but we like that. We really appreciate the intimacy of being able to provide patients care on an individualized basis and Lake Region Healthcare really fits in perfectly with that goal.

Katie Johnson: Well, Dr. Jared Broadway and your entire team, welcome to Lake Region Healthcare. And thank you for partnering with us from a Northern Neurosurgery and Spine and Lake Region Healthcare combined. We are looking forward to serving the back and neck and spine care, spine surgery needs of our community together. And we really appreciate this partnership, and I appreciate your time with me this morning.

Dr. Jared Broadway: Absolutely. We're we are ecstatic to be here, so it's going to be a great partnership and patients are going to be really well taken care of.

Katie Johnson: Absolutely. I have no doubt about that. Again, if you're interested in learning more, speak with your primary care provider, or just give a call to the appointment line here at Lake Region Healthcare, (218) 739-2221 to inquire about direct appointments with Dr. Jared Broadway, spine surgeon, with Northern neurosurgery and spine. And again, our new partner for spine surgery here at Lake Region Healthcare. Dr. Broadway and Katie Johnson on Apple A Day this morning, reminding you there is so much to do here, stay healthy for it.

Dr. Jared Broadway: Thank you, Katie.

Katie Johnson: Thank you. Have a great day.