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Spine Surgery Overview


Patients requiring spine surgery can find comprehensive and state-of-the-art care at Brigham and Women's Hospital (BWH) Comprehensive Spine Center. Our internationally recognized team of spine care experts provides world-class, patient-focused care for a broad range of spinal conditions.

Multiple locations for spine surgery consultations

To provide greater access to our clinicians, patients may consult a neurosurgeon or orthopaedic surgeon about spine surgery at three locations: Brigham and Women's Hospital in Boston, Brigham and Women's Faulkner Hospital in Jamaica Plain, and Brigham and Women's/MGH Center in Foxborough.

Spine surgery at BWH

The BWH spine care team performs spine surgery to treat a wide variety of conditions, including:

  • Spinal Infections
  • Degenerative Disc Disease
  • Disc Herniation
  • Spinal Stenosis
  • Spinal Deformity and Scoliosis
  • Spinal Cord Injury
  • Spondylolisthesis
  • Spinal Fractures and Disorders
  • Spinal and Nerve Tumors
  • Spinal Vascular Disease
  • Chiari Malformation
  • Failed Back Syndrome

Spine surgery procedures

The specific options for spine surgery at BWH include:

  • Spinal Decompression. Procedures may include a laminectomy to remove a portion of the vertebral bone (a common surgery for spinal stenosis treatment), a discectomy to remove all or portions of a disc, and a foraminotomy, a surgery to widen the opening in the back where nerve roots leave the spinal canal.
  • Spinal Fusion, a spine surgery in which the discs between two or more vertebra are removed and the adjacent vertebra are fused together to limit back pain and provide stability to the spine. Spinal fusion is often used to treat degenerative disc disease and spondylolisthesis.
  • Minimally Invasive Spine Surgery to treat a variety of conditions. Minimally invasive surgery provides significant benefits to the patient – it requires a smaller incision, preserves normal muscular structure, reduces infections and blood loss, minimizes post-operative pain and speeds recovery time.
  • Arthroplasty/Motion Preserving Surgery, a spine surgery to replace cervical and/or lumbar discs with artificial material to prevent the need for spinal fusion surgery and enable more normal spinal movement after surgery.
  • Complex Spinal Reconstruction, for patients with severe curvature of the spine due to scoliosis or other spinal deformities.
  • Multidisciplinary Spinal Tumor Surgery and Care, to remove tumors of the spinal cord and nerve sheath. This surgery requires a delicate handling to prevent injury to normal spinal cord tissue, and is usually performed under a special microscope that neurosurgeons can use to constantly monitor the function of the spinal cord during surgery.

Learn more now about spine surgery at BWH, as well as treatment for a broad range of other medical conditions and procedures including ankylosing spondylitis, osteoarthritis treatment, and laparoscopic hysterectomy.

Learn more about Spine Surgery and other Spine Treatments at Brigham and Women’s Hospital.


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About BWH