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Back & Neck

Beating Back & Neck Pain

The spinal column is the master control system of the body. Together, the neck, upper back, and lower back form a complex system of muscles, tendons, small joints, bones and nerves. With so many different parts doing so much work, things can sometimes go wrong—and when they do, the first signal is pain.

More than 80% of adults experience significant back or neck pain during their lifetime. The good news is that many treatment options are available. Depending on your condition, many of these treatments can be conservative. But, sometimes surgery, including many minimally invasive treatments, offer the most effective path back to an active and pain-free lifestyle.

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  • Artificial Disk Replacement
  • Advanced Fusion Techniques
  • Extreme Lateral Interbody Fusion (XLIF)
  • Peripheral Nerve Surgery
  • Surgical Pain Management
  • Kyphoplasty


Total Disc Replacement Surgery

Total disc replacement is a recent alternative to traditional spinal fusion surgery. Our surgeons remove the diseased disc and replace it with an artificial replacement disc. In traditional spinal fusion surgery, the vertebrae above and below the disc are surgically fused together. The advantage of disc replacement is that the procedure can allow patients to retain more movement. The result is significantly less pain without compromising the spine’s natural motion. Artificial disc replacement surgery may be performed on the lower back or the neck.

Minimally Invasive Surgery

Using dynamic stabilization and Extreme Lateral Interbody Fusion (XLIF) procedures, our surgeons can perform less invasive spine surgeries that allow for minimal tissue disruption, shorter recovery time, and a rapid return to normal activity. Many patients walk the same day after surgery and typically recover within six weeks, compared to six months or more with traditional spine surgery.

Manipulation Under Anesthesia (MUA)

This non-invasive procedure is primarily used for patients with chronic neck, back or joint pain who have not had success with physical therapy, but don’t yet require a surgical intervention. Performed in St. Vincent Charity’s outpatient surgery center, this same-day procedure allows specially trained surgeons to break-up adhesions that cause pain, resulting in a restored range of motion.


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  • Your back or neck may be tender, stiff or both—or you may experience sharp pain.
  • Pain may shoot down an arm, cause headaches, or extend to the shoulders or legs.
  • Movement may make the pain worse.
  • You may also experience tingling, numbness, or weakness in the arms or legs.


Download: Important Back and Spine Symptoms
To download a summary of important back and spine symptoms, complete the following form.

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Sometimes, pain starts with a strain or sprain of muscles and ligaments surrounding your spinal column. Other times, it may be caused by degeneration of the vertebrae (donut-shaped bones surrounding the spinal cord) or the shock-absorbing discs between them, which then compresses your spinal cord. In other cases, it may be due to injury or disease. In short, back and neck pain is nothing to take lightly.



Download: Back & Neck Diagnosis Checklist.
To download a checklist that will help you diagnose back and neck pain, complete the following form.

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What to Ask your Doctor

Modern spinal care is very complex and several treatment options may be available to you depending on your diagnosis. Many of these may be conservative such as rest, physical therapy, chiropractic care, or avoiding certain activities. In other cases, surgery may offer the best option. The right answer depends on you and your condition. Before deciding on surgery, you should always seek out the opinion of highly trained specialists like the master surgeons at St. Vincent Charity.

Download: What to Ask Your Doctor About Spine Treatments
To download a list of important questions for your doctor, complete the following form.

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