At the UCSF Spine Center, spine surgeons work together to diagnose and treat difficult disc problems that don’t respond to medication, rest and physical therapy. For these patients and those who have had disc problems that impacting the spinal cord to the point of serious dysfunction, surgery may be necessary.
UCSF Spine Center doctors perform over 1,000 disc procedures a year and use somw of the newest and least-invasive procedures for repairing damaged discs. Patients who at one time might have required major open surgeries now may be treated with endoscopic procedures that use an imaging scope – inserted through a tiny incision – to guide miniature instruments. Such minimally invasive surgeries generally result in shorter recovery periods and less post-surgical pain.
Spine center orthopaedists currently are involved in testing the use of a new artificial disc replacement in the lower back and hope to test its use in the neck soon. Because UCSF Medical Center is a regional academic medical center, patients often have access to cutting edge therapies that are not yet available elsewhere.
Spine Center patients are also cared for by a team of nurses, physiatrists and other health care professionals who are invaluable in guiding treatment and recovery. Modern diagnostic imaging equipment for determining the cause of back problems is also located at the center.