Back or Neck Surgery

If conservative treatments (nonsurgical) fail to reduce a patient’s chronic pain, orthopedic surgeons can decompress a nerve root, enlarge your spinal canal (laminectomy), stabilize segment(s) of the vertebra (fusion) or reduce a deformity (scoliosis).

Spinal Stenosis

Decompression surgery can help relieve the pressure on spinal nerves or blood vessels due to a narrowing of the spinal canal. This can include removing the back part of the vertebrae (Laminectomy), carving a hole to relieve pressure (Laminotomy), or creating a hinge in the neck lamina (Laminoplasty) to open up space.

Degenerated or Herniated Discs

For some patients, surgery can repair, replace, or remove a damaged disc, and sometimes require a vertebrae fusion to provide spinal stability and protection.


Scoliosis surgery can help stop the spine’s curve from worsening, reduce the deformity to help with posture, and balance the natural front/back curvature. There are three types of surgery including: fusing two or more adjacent vertebrae together, implanting rods to correct or maintain the spine curvature, and fusionless growth modulation that applies pressure to adjust the spine curvature, slow growth, and improve bone density. 

Broken Vertebrae

Broken vertebras can heal without treatments and sometimes require a fusion surgery to stabilize the spinal column.

Spinal Weakness or Instability

Abnormal or excessive motion between two vertebrae can result from severe arthritis and require a spinal fusion to restore stability.


A spinal fusion can repair and prevent slipped vertebrae that cause severe back pain or radiating leg pain, numbness, or weakness.

Side Effects

Surgery has a variety of side effects that include infection, poor wound healing, bleeding, blood clots, and blood vessel or nerve injuries. Other post operative challenges include: pain at the bone graft site, transferring pain from one area to another, scar tissue forming and causing additional nerve pressure and pain. Some surgeries are more likely to succeed. Frequently, the location and injury causing the pain are operated on incorrectly.

As with any medical procedure, back and neck surgery is not appropriate for everyone and you should consult with your doctor(s) to determine the right treatment for your condition.


These doctors specialize in surgery and chronic pain management, and can help diagnose, treat, and manage your condition.

Orthopedic Surgeon

A surgeon that diagnoses and treats pain resulting from spinal disorders, arthritis, sports injuries, trauma, and fractures.


A doctor that administers medicine to put patients asleep during surgery, renders them numb for local procedures, or reduces chronic pain through injections and minimally invasive surgical procedures.


A doctor specializing in physical medicine and rehabilitation that treats both acute and chronic pain with a variety of nonsurgical treatments.


A surgeon that diagnoses and treats pain resulting from disorders of the spine, spinal cord, nerves, brain, intracranial, and intraspinal vasculature.

Source: Spine Health