History of Texas Back Institute


Looking Back

In 1971, Dr. Stephen Hochschuler and Dr. Ralph Rashbaum met while stationed in Wichita Falls, Texas, as general medical officers in the United States Air Force. During this time, both men saw a number of their patients suffering from various types of back pain, but all being diagnosed and treated as if they had the same condition. The doctors knew there were specific causes for each type, and so they began targeting symptoms for what had been diagnosed previously. This experience led them to pursue orthopedic residencies once they had completed their military service.

After graduation, Dr. Hochschuler created the spine program at the VA hospital at the University of Texas Southwestern Medical School, and Dr. Rashbaum completed two fellowships – one with Dr. Henry Bohlman and the other as the first spine surgery fellow with Dr. Richard Rothman. The two doctors stayed in touch, and when the time was right, Dr. Hochschuler reached out to his military friend and asked that he come back to Texas to establish a spine institute.

In 1977, when they reconnected in Dallas, they began building their vision by creating a new model for helping patients conquer back and neck pain: an integrated multispecialty spinal clinic that included prevention, conservative care, surgical care, rehabilitation and research and development. Shortly afterward, Drs. Hochschuler and Rashbaum founded Texas Back Institute. Their goal was on its way to becoming a reality: take the narrow niche of spine specialty and integrate it vertically by incorporating ergonomic analysis, fellowship training, research and new product development.

As with any new business venture, many lessons were learned along the way, which helped Texas Back Institute grow and evolve over time. From performing their own diagnostic and therapeutic procedures to learning about new instrumentation appearing on the spine scene, the doctors continued implementing new protocols for conservative care and physical therapy, as well as new surgical procedures.

In 1982, Dr. Richard Guyer joined Drs. Hochschuler and Rashbaum as the third founding partner. During the process of building and refining Texas Back Institute, the doctors wanted to create an academic component to their private practice, so they established a nonprofit research foundation in 1985, led by Dr. Barton Sachs. One year later, Dr. Donna Ohnmeiss joined the Foundation to fulfill its mission of incorporating research, education and development.

Texas Back Institute Research Foundation

The primary focus of the Texas Back Institute Research Foundation has been diagnostic evaluations and treatment outcomes. Clinical studies have involved discographies, MRIs, minimally invasive procedures and total disc replacement. Peer-reviewed medical literature has been published extensively as a result of the Foundation’s studies. The program has also been involved with the publication of spine-related medical textbooks and monographs, including Rehabilitation of the Spine, The Spine in Sports, Lumbar Disc Disease, Cervical Disc Disease and Spinal Arthroplasty: A New Era in Spine Care.


Texas Back Institute Spine Surgery Fellowship Program

In 1986, under the leadership of Dr. Richard Guyer, the Texas Back Institute Spine Surgery Fellowship Program was born. Dr. Guyer, alongside Dr. Jack Zigler, continues to lead the Fellowship Programs. Together they have trained more than 70 Fellows throughout the country, and visitors come from all over the world to observe the latest in new technologies being developed. A key component of the Fellowship Programs has been creating and implementing patient education programs and authoring numerous books for the public, including Back in Shape and Treat Your Back Without Surgery. The doctors are also actively involved with development of editorial content for SpineUniverse.com and Spine-Health.com.


Looking Forward

With its unparalleled commitment to the world of spine, Texas Back Institute became the first institution in the United States to prescribe outpatient myelography, led the first FDA study of the artificial disc and later performed the first artificial disc replacement in the United States. Texas Back Institute was also the second center in the country to develop a back school and perform multiplanar reconstruction of CT scans. The founders played an instrumental role in the development of the North American Spine Society and the Spine Arthroplasty Society. Recognizing the importance of these organizations, the partners have also participated in the American Spinal Injury Association, Scoliosis Research Society and the International Association for the Study of Pain, to name a few.

Throughout its history, the goal to perform as a center of excellence integrating the best of science and education with the best business practices has served Texas Back Institute well and continues to be the foundation of Texas Back Institute’s success. Now, 35 years later, Texas Back Institute is one of the largest freestanding multidisciplinary academic spine centers in the world. Utilizing the latest technological advancements and medical breakthroughs, leading and participating in numerous FDA trials, developing surgeons through its Fellowship Programs and employing an expert medical team and compassionate support staff, Texas Back Institute remains (and will remain) dedicated to helping patients get back to life.

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