If you are thinking that this face looks familiar it is because he grew up here. Carbondale is his hometown.
If you don’t know him, you should. Dr. Swaz Sinha was raised in Carbondale from age two and attended Carbondale schools, from pre-school through high school graduation in 1998. He was an athlete and scholar, competing in soccer and track, and as a member of the speech and debate teams. As he looks back he realizes that living in a university town afforded him many opportunities. He began years of guitar lessons at the SIU School of Music — at age 13, and experienced the excitement, culture and activities of a college campus and town from a young age. He also appreciates the vital regional medical community that gave him the chance to seek knowledge about his passion, and was named Volunteer of the year at Carbondale Memorial Hospital during his senior year of high school.
Dr. Sinha graduated from the University of Illinois and returned to Southern Illinois School of Medicine for medical school. An Orthopaedic Surgery Residency at Atlanta Medical Center led him to a prestigious Fellowship in Adult Reconstructive and Minimally Invasive Spine Surgery at the Johns Hopkins University. He began seeing patients and performing spine procedures during his residency in 2006 and began a successful private practice in the greater Seattle Metro area in 2012. He attends several national and international spine conferences each year, staying current on the latest literature, techniques and procedures. He has been invited to speak at these conferences as the first surgeon in western Washington to perform Oblique Lumbar Interbody Fusion (OLIF). He is the most experienced surgeon in our region for this procedure, and is sought after to train other surgeons. He is also involved in consulting and development of spinal instruments and implants.
But, something kept tugging at his heartstrings. He knew he wanted to be close to home, close to family.
As always, Swaz Sinha did his research and realized that even though he would be moving to a smaller market, joining a large practice of orthopaedic specialists at The Orthopaedic Institute of Southern Illinois would allow him to focus his practice solely on neck and back surgeries. And, knowing that the Southern Illinois region was underserved in advanced spinal procedures, he made the decision to return to his hometown in 2017, with his wife and his young children to be close to family — and to serve the residents of Southern Illinois.
But, what about moving his young family? Well, his wife grew up in a college town as well, in Jacksonville, Alabama — so the transition to Southern Illinois was attractive to her. Polly Sinha is a physical therapist. She practices at The Orthopaedic Institute of Southern Illinois and Rehab Unlimited.
Swaz Sinha was raised by scholars and teachers. His mother is a graduate of SIU Carbondale, earning several degrees from undergraduate through Ph.D. She retired early as Associate Director of SIUC’s Graduate School in 2017 — because she was ready to be a grandma. She now has three new bosses, Swaz and Polly’s children — a 4-year old girl and 2-year-old boy/girl twins — who will grow up in Southern Illinois, as their father did, and get to spend a lot of time with their grandparents.
Dr. Sinha understands the frustration with trying to find an answer to the pain experienced with spine and neck issues. His passion for treating spine conditions stems from his love of helping others return to living a full life. His father is a retired mining engineer — who also taught at SIU before being diagnosed with a rare neurological degenerative condition at age 40 — when Swaz was in sixth grade. His father’s diagnosis sparked an interest in Swaz to study Neuroscience, Neuropharmacology and Spine Surgery at a young age.
Evidence of a good move
One year after returning to his hometown, Swaz Sinha is proud that he was able to join The Orthopaedic Institute to help grow the Spine Center of Excellence, by providing a full-service line of spine procedures and offer the next level of spine care, that would otherwise be unavailable to patients in this region without them traveling hundreds of miles. His training and practice gives patients in this region easy access to full-circle spine care through a walk-in neck and back pain clinic, on-site x-ray, MRI and CT services, and an on-site surgery center that provides out-patient spine procedure options — where patients can have surgery and be recovering at home the same day, while avoiding the higher cost and longer recovery of traditional in-patient procedures. These outpatient surgeries make recovery quicker and even larger surgery recovery times can be cut in half by the minimally invasive techniques that only Dr. Sinha is offering.
The vast majority of the spine procedures Dr. Sinha performs are minimally invasive. He has performed more out-patient spine procedures than almost any other individual surgeon in the midwest. Procedures he is performing here, that are not being performed anywhere else in the region include 1-inch IncisionDisc Surgery, Less Invasive Back Fusions, Lateral Access Procedures, Cervical Disc Replacements, KLIF Outpatient Neck Surgery, Same Day Spine Surgeries and Spinal Injections.
An important advantage to joining the practice is the collaboration with The Orthopaedic Institute’s Jeff Jones, DO Neurosurgeon and pain management specialists, who works side-by-side with Dr. Sinha, to develop the best plan of care for all spine patients who seek treatment. Sinha also welcomes the opportunity to work closely with a patient’s general practice physician, physician assistants and chiropractic providers, to coordinate patient care and provide the best possible outcome for patients.