Tag Archives: Lexington Brain & Spine Institute

Brain Surgery at Lexington Medical Center

Amelia travelled thousands of miles from the Pacific Northwest right here to West Columbia, South Carolina for Dr. Johnathan Engh of Lexington Brain & Spine Institute to perform brain surgery that would save her quality of life. She shares her story in this video below.


Amelia is 27-years-old and lives in the state of Washington. In 2008, she passed out – and when she woke up, she had a droopy face and a hard time talking. The next day, she learned she had a brain tumor.

Amelia at home in Washington

She was diagnosed with a rare, deep-seated brain tumor called a colloid cyst – a bag of cells that secrete fluid and take up space disrupting the internal plumbing system of the brain. There’s no medicine or radiation to treat it. Neurosurgeons advised Amelia to just monitor it. Unfortunately, the cyst grew over the years.

Amelia started having some vision problems, balance issues, and increased headaches and migraines.

She had to find a neurosurgeon capable of doing a procedure to remove the cyst. Of the people who have brain tumors, less than two percent have a colloid cyst.

She did extensive homework and found Dr. Jonathan Engh – reviewing everything from his scientific journals to recommenadations from patients. Dr. Engh works at Lexington Brain & Spine Institute, a Lexington Medical Center physician practice.

Amelia and Dr. Engh at Lexington Medical Center

Dr. Engh has performed approximately 100 colloid cyst removals – which is a lot considering how rare they are.

On January 31 of this year, Amelia flew from the Northwest to the Southeast part of our country to go under the knife of Dr. Engh. The operation was successful.

Back in Washington, Amelia says she now has energy and clarity of mind – picking life back up and enjoying it more than before.

Once Dr. Engh was able to make his way through the brain to the colloid cyst, he then sucked out the contents of the cyst which decompressed it into a bag. Because Dr. Engh was able to also take out that bag he considers Amelia cured.

For more information on Lexington Brain & Spine Institute, visit LexingtonBrainAndSpine.com.

Coolief Knocks Out Knee Pain Without Surgery

Interventional Pain Management at Lexington Brain & Spine Institute Puts Patients Back on the Move

Knee pain can be debilitating.

Image Courtesy: Coolief

“Knee pain can limit your ability to perform daily activities and have meaningful interaction with your family and friends. You may not be going to work or church, and you can’t exercise,” said Erin Lawson, MD, pain management specialist at Lexington Brain & Spine Institute, a Lexington Medical Center physician practice.

One way the practice treats knee pain is with Coolief, a cooled radiofrequency, non-surgical, non-narcotic procedure that safely provides minimally invasive, effective pain relief in an outpatient setting with quick recovery time.

As a leader in treating chronic pain with interventional pain management, Lexington Brain & Spine Institute has offered this procedure for more than two years. Coolief was featured in a national news story on NBC Nightly News this week as a state-of-the-art method that’s improving quality of life for many patients.


Radiofrequency refers to pulses of electricity, or radio waves. During the cooled radiofrequency procedure, doctors use guided instruments to target the nerves that cause knee pain, leading to pain relief. There is no general anesthesia, and patients can return home shortly after the treatment. The treatment can also help relieve hip pain.

Erin Lawson, MD

FDA approved and covered by many types of insurance, cooled radiofrequency for knee pain is designed for someone who has had knee replacement surgery, but still experiences pain, or someone who is not a candidate for surgery.

“It’s an option for patients who have exhausted all other options,” Dr. Lawson said.

Lexington Brain & Spine Institute offers a multidisciplinary approach with doctors in a variety of specialties to treat and manage chronic painful conditions. The practice has two convenient locations: on the Lexington Medical Center hospital campus in West Columbia and on Rabon Road in Northeast Columbia.

To learn more, visit LexingtonBrainAndSpine.com.

Understanding Physiatry

Physiatry is a branch of medicine that helps people with injuries or conditions affecting the muscles, bones, ligaments or nervous systems.

At Lexington Brain and Spine Institute, William R. Westerkam, MD, FAAPMR, is a physiatrist who treats brain and spine injuries, strokes, sports injuries, traumatic brain injuries, musculoskeletal issues affecting the knees and shoulders, carpal tunnel syndrome and tendonitis. He talked about his specialty in this WLTX TV segment.

Physiatry began after World War II when doctors were treating many military members with injuries such as amputations, traumatic brain injuries and spinal cord injuries. The goal was to reintegrate them back into society as independently as possible. Physiatrists also helped polio patients in the 1950s.

Physiatrists have a variety of ways of helping patients including designing treatment plans that include medications, injections and physical therapy. They can also treat sports injuries that do not require surgery such as overuse injuries, rotator cuff problems, injured knees and back problems.

At Lexington Brain and Spine Institute, Dr. Westerkam works with a multidisciplinary team of physicians – including pain management specialists and neurosurgeons – to find the best plan of treatment.

Visit LexingtonBrainandSpine.com.