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Spine Surgery

Certain spinal conditions, such as back pain, are very common. Treating these conditions can be very challenging, requiring the expertise and coordination of specialists in physical medicine, pain management, and spine surgery. When patients do not improve with non-operative therapies, spine surgery can sometimes be an option.

What conditions are treated with spine surgery?

Spine surgery can be used to treat a range of spine diseases and conditions, typically after other non-operative therapies have been unsuccessful. These conditions include:

  • Cervical myelopathy and radiculopathy
  • Lumbar radiculopathy
  • Disc herniation
  • Spinal stenosis (narrowing of the spinal column)
  • Degenerative disc disease
  • Spondylolisthesis
  • Spinal fractures and disorders
  • Spinal infections
  • Spinal and nerve tumors
  • Spinal vascular disease
  • Spinal deformity and scoliosis
  • Chiari malformation
  • Spinal cord injury
  • Failed back syndrome

What are the most common spine surgery procedures?

Surgical treatments for spinal conditions include:

Who performs spine surgery?

Spine surgery is performed by an orthopaedic or neurological surgeon.

What are the alternatives to spine surgery?

Non-surgical treatment for spinal conditions includes rest, physical therapy, and medical pain management (oral medications or spinal injections). Typically, these therapies are used before spine surgery is considered. Magnetic resonance imaging (MRI) and other imaging can help determine the source of back pain, but the comprehensive assessment of functional impairments forms the basis for the creation of a treatment plan.

Brigham and Women's Comprehensive Spine Center

The Brigham and Women’s Comprehensive Spine Center offers multidisciplinary treatment for patients experiencing spinal conditions due to back pain, disease, or injury. Patients are referred to the appropriate clinical service for initial evaluation using advanced diagnostic procedures and imaging. Neurosurgeons and orthopaedic surgeons in the Center work with specialists in pain management and physical medicine to development personalized treatment plans. The collaborative focus of the Center allows patients to seamlessly transition between clinical services as dictated by their diagnosis and progress.

Patient- and Family-centered Care

BWH has long been committed to not only the care of our patients but also the many other needs that they and their families have. This philosophy of patient- and family-centered care involves systems and services that emphasize healing in a comfortable, relaxed environment.

Quality of Patient Care

Brigham and Women’s Hospital is committed to providing all of our patients with the safest, highest-quality, most-satisfying care possible and follow established protocols that have been shown to improve patient outcomes. Our inpatient satisfaction survey, sent to patients’ to assess their total care experience, helps us to monitor what we are doing well and areas for improvement. We pride ourselves in the quality of patient care we provide and how we are measured compared with other hospitals.

Contact Us

If you believe you should have an evaluation and would like to schedule an appointment with one of our spine surgery experts, call 1-800-294-9999 to speak to one of our knowledgeable coordinators who can help to connect you to the doctor that best meets your needs, or fill out an online appointment request.

Learn more about Brigham and Women's Hospital

For over a century, a leader in patient care, medical education and research, with expertise in virtually every specialty of medicine and surgery.

About BWH