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Spine Surgery

Most people won’t need spine surgery for their back or neck condition. While conservative (non-surgical) therapies are usually effective at relieving pain, surgery is the right choice for some people. At our Spine Program, you’ll find the region’s leading spine surgeons and the latest minimally invasive techniques. 

Our doctors take many factors into consideration before recommending spine surgery. We discuss your overall health, work environment, activity level, goals and preferences. We make sure you understand the risks and benefits of any procedure, so you can make an informed, confident decision about your care.

Minimally invasive spine surgery: Why choose us?

People throughout the region and the country turn to us for our experience in spine surgery. At our Spine Program, you'll find: 

  • Recognized expertise: We are nationally recognized as a Blue Distinction® Center for Spine Surgery by Blue Cross Blue Shield. We are also a spine surgery Center of Excellence for some of the nation’s top employers. These designations demonstrate the excellent quality of our care. 
  • Care for complex conditions: Our spine surgeons specialize in complicated surgical techniques for spinal irregularities such as scoliosis, kyphosis and flatback. We also routinely treat spinal tumors, spinal fractures and other complex back and neck conditions. 
  • Minimally invasive options: We excel in the latest minimally invasive surgical techniques for back and neck conditions. These procedures use small incisions, so you recover faster and with less pain. 
  • Coordinated post-operative support: We provide rehabilitative physical therapy directly through our dedicated Spine Program. You’ll work with physical therapists who specialize in helping spine surgery patients recover to their full potential.

Our spine surgeries

Spine surgery can relieve pain and symptoms caused by many different spine conditions if conservative treatments are no longer an option. Our goal is to help you feel better so you can return to the activities you love. Your doctor will discuss the best procedure for your needs and what you can expect before, during and after surgery. 

Our surgeons are known for their expertise in both minimally invasive and open surgical procedures. In fact, we’re among a select group of providers in the country with a Center of Excellence designation in spine surgery. This means top companies rely on us to care for their employees when they need a spine procedure. Learn more about the Centers of Excellence program at Virginia Mason Franciscan Health.

  • We perform this operation to relieve pressure from a herniated disc causing lower back nerve irritation that results in leg pain or “sciatica.” The disc usually acts as a cushion between the bones of the lumbar spine, but sometimes, a piece of the disc can push backward into the spinal canal and press on a nerve. This pressure can cause pain, numbness or weakness. Discectomy is the most common surgical treatment for disc issues in the lumbar (lower) spine.

  • During a spinal fusion, we realign and join together (fuse) bones in the spine called vertebrae to stop movement between them. This is done to minimize back and leg pain caused by spinal instability or deformity. Instability can occur from age-related degeneration, a tumor, trauma or other causes.  

  • Laminectomies are usually performed to alleviate pain from spinal stenosis, which is a narrowing of the spinal canal. Surgeons create space in the spinal canal by removing part of one or more vertebrae. This reduces pressure on the spinal cord, nerves or both.

Benefits of minimally invasive spine surgery

We can often perform lumbar discectomies, laminectomies and even spinal fusions in a minimally invasive fashion when appropriate. These advanced techniques make it easier to recover from spinal surgery.

Benefits of minimally invasive spine surgeries can include:

  • Smaller incisions for less blood loss and less scarring
  • Lower risk of complications and infection
  • Faster recovery times and less time spent in the hospital
  • Shorter procedures, which means less time under anesthesia
  • Access to the spine without cutting through muscles

Support for your spine surgery

We understand that facing spine surgery can be daunting. We’ll be with you every step of the way, doing everything we can to make your experience as stress-free as possible. Your provider will take the time to answer your questions and make sure you know what to expect during recovery. 

We may also assign you a nurse navigator, who will be your guide on this journey. They’ll provide you with information, resources, scheduling assistance and more. 

Our electronic patient portal also has tools to help you track progress and stay connected to your care team between appointments.

Contact us

Contact us to learn more about our spine surgery services or to schedule an appointment with a specialist.