Spine Animations

Spine Animations

Tip of the Week

Poor posture can damage the spine and its associated muscles and ligaments. A hunched stance places abnormal stress on muscles and ligaments, causes backache and fatigue, and can even cause the spine to become fixed in an abnormal position.

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Richard Blake Dennis, M.D.

Richard Blake Dennis, M.D.Dr. Dennis and his family moved to Mt. Pleasant in 2003 to return to his South Carolina roots (he grew up in Bishopville). He’s back where he started his practice, first at PeeDee Orthopaedic Associates in Florence and then at Orthopaedic Associates in Spartanburg.

In 2009, with more than 20 years’ experience, Dr. Dennis had the honor of being asked to join the team at the Southeastern Spine Institute (SSI) as a spine surgeon. SSI “stole him away” from Palmetto Orthopaedics, where he’d worked for almost seven years. Before that, he spent about 10 years in Richmond, Virginia, working for Virginia Orthopaedic Associates and the West End Orthopaedic Clinic, Inc.

Not only is he an excellent spine surgeon, but he has a long history of lower back pain as well. He’s had four lower back surgeries himself. When he herniated his L5-S1 disc, he could have gone anywhere in the world to have surgery, but he respected the surgeons at SSI so much our practice was the only place he considered. Dr. Johnson and Dr. Poletti performed the operation.

Education and Background

After graduating from The Citadel with his undergraduate degree, Dr. Dennis attended the Medical University of South Carolina (MUSC). Both institutions are, of course, in Charleston, SC.

He completed his internship and residency in Orthopaedic Surgery at the Medical College of Virginia. Then he completed an Au Franc Spine Fellowship at the New England Baptist Hospital in Boston and a preceptorship in Spine Surgery at the Cromwell Hospital in London, England.

After he was licensed in both Virginia (in 1984) and South Carolina (in 1985), he took additional training in Kyphoplasty and in Charite Artificial Disc Replacement. He continues his training as needed to stay abreast of the latest developments and technology in spinal medicine.

Board Certification and Associations

Dr. Dennis has been board certified by the American Board of Orthopaedic Surgery since 1987 (re-certified in 1998). >. In addition, he has been active in the following organizations:

  • American Academy of Orthopaedic Surgeons
  • American Medical Association
  • Charleston County Medical Society
  • North American Spine Society
  • Richmond Academy of Medicine
  • South Carolina Medical Association
  • Southern Orthopaedic Association
  • Virginia Medical Society

Dr. Dennis was appointed as a clinical instructor of Orthopaedic Surgery by Tufts University, and he holds hospital appointments at these Charleston-area hospitals: Bon Secours St. Francis Hospital (for consulting only), East Cooper Regional Medical Center, and Roper Hospital

Continuing His Studies and Research

Because of his history with back problems, Dr. Dennis has a unique perspective and insight in helping patients with their spinal disorders. Not surprisingly, he lists “Surgery of the Spine” as his major clinical interest. He has participated in five research studies, including Braided Tendon Anterior Cruciate Ligament Reconstruction and Repair of Spondylolytic Defect.

He has been invited to lecture/present on three separate occasions by different groups in Charleston. His topics have included spinal stenosis, occupational spine injuries and pediatric and adolescent back pain. He keeps up-to-date on the newest medical procedures, the latest technologies, and the most recent techniques.

Repair of Spondylolytic Defect
Presented New England Orthopaedic Society