About Spine Surgery

The spine is a complex structure that provides mobility and strength to the body. A healthy neck and back contribute to fluid movements, but, when there is a deformity, injury or disease of the spine, common activities, such as turning, bending or stretching, may become painful.

Spine surgery may be necessary to correct spine problems that involve nerves, discs, or bones. Neurological or orthopedic conditions can cause pain, limited motion, or weakness. At Johnston-Willis Hospital, our team performs a wide array of specialized spine surgeries and procedures, including pediatric care.

There are three main types of back surgery:

  • Laminectomy
  • Diskectomy
  • Spinal fusion

Symptoms and Diagnosing

Potential spine issues include:

  • Back pain
  • Sciatica
  • Neck Pain
  • Scoliosis
  • Disc disorders
  • Spinal arthritis
  • SI Joint Pain
  • Spinal stenosis

Surgeons use a variety of diagnostic tests to help identify the specific nature of your spinal condition. Diagnostic tests include:

  • Blood tests
  • Bone scan
  • Computed Tomography (CT scan)
  • Magnetic Resonance Imaging (MRI)
  • Nerve studies
  • Ultrasonography
  • X-ray

Treatment and Surgical Options

Spine surgeons stabilize joints, decompress pinched nerves, fuse bones and correct deformities–all through a few small incisions. This means:

  • Less pain and scarring, as surgeons don't need to retract, cut or move muscles to reach the spine
  • Faster recovery, as patients experience dramatically shorter hospital stays–typically ranging from less than a day to two days, instead of four or more days

In minimally invasive surgery, a tiny camera on a thin tube is inserted through a small incision to reach the injured or diseased area. The camera projects images onto a screen in the operating room so surgeons can view the area where they're working.

Benefits of Robotic Surgery

Benefits include:

  • Faster recovery time
  • Less pain
  • Less scarring
  • Shorter hospital stay


Ask your doctor or medical team for additional support resources in your area.