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Spine Care

Keith Affeld of Valparaiso, Indiana, after minimally invasive spine surgery After minimally invasive spine surgery, Keith Affeld was on his feet the next day. With relief from his crippling back pain, he can now focus on enjoying retirement. » Read Keith's story.

The University of Chicago Medicine orthopaedic spine team offers a wide range of non-surgical, minimally invasive and traditional proven surgical techniques for the treatment of back and neck problems. We maximize the use of non-surgical interventions for reducing pain and restoring function. When surgery is chosen, in some instances it can be performed using minimally invasive techniques that involve smaller incisions than those in traditional open surgery. In all cases, patients can expect the most effective solution: a treatment that has the highest probability of providing the most improvement and durability for the longest period of time.

Our Treatment Philosophy

We believe in a patient-centered process of informed and shared decision-making. Patients receive a complete evaluation as well as a thorough explanation of their symptoms and of non-operative and operative treatment options. We are committed to listening to and guiding the patient, with respect and compassion. Through this process, we empower our patients to make the best decision for their treatment.

Listen: Demystifying Spine Surgery, with James Mok, MD

What We Treat

  • Failed back surgery syndrome (unsuccessful previous spinal surgeries)
  • Herniated disk (rupture of a disk in the neck or lower back)
  • Spinal stenosis (narrowing of the canal surrounding the spinal cord and/or nerves)
  • Radiculopathy (shooting pain down the arm or leg)
  • Degenerative disk disease (deterioration of the disks in the neck or lower back)
  • Cervical myelopathy (damage to the spinal cord in the neck region)
  • Spondylosis (abnormal wear on the bones and cartilage of the neck or back)
  • Spondylolysis (defect in a segment of bone in the lower back)
  • Spondylolisthesis  (slippage or displacement of one vertebra relative to another)
  • Scoliosis (curvature of the spine)
  • Kyphosis (abnormal rounding of the spine)
  • Degenerative disorders of the spine
  • Spinal deformities
  • Spinal tumors
  • Trauma (fractures)

Surgical Treatments and Techniques

  • Microsurgery
  • Minimally invasive spine surgery
  • Traditional spine surgery
  • Lumbar disk replacement
  • Cervical disk replacement
  • Spinal fusion
  • Computer-assisted navigation (advanced imaging techniques in the OR that increase accuracy and safety)

Spine Care Team

Our orthopaedic spine surgeons are highly trained in the diagnosis and treatment of neck and back conditions. Other specialists on our spine care team include physical therapists, interventional pain management experts, neurologists, physiatrists and advanced practice nurses.

Note: While orthopaedic surgeons, neurosurgeons and interventional neuro-radiologists treat some of the same spine conditions, in certain cases, they specialize in specific procedures and treatments. At the University of Chicago Medicine, our experts in these fields are colleagues who confer regularly and will help you choose the appropriate type of caregiver.

Spine surgery: we put your back front and center

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Clinic Locations
We offer appointments on our main campus and at off-site clinics in the suburbs and northern Indiana.
Find the most convenient location for you.

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