Some conditions can be improved with simple treatments and lifestyle changes. But more complex spinal disorders require surgical intervention from specialists such as those at UT Southwestern Medical Center.
Our team approach gives patients access to physicians, surgeons, neurologists, rheumatologists, rehabilitation therapists, psychologists, and social workers to fully meet your spine surgery and pain management needs. UT Southwestern offers a variety of groundbreaking surgical treatments including minimally invasive spine surgery, artificial disc replacement, and stereotactic therapies.
Minimally invasive spine surgery represents an innovative approach to the surgical treatment of spinal conditions.
Surgeons use endoscopes, which are small, lighted tubes that act as tiny video cameras. The endoscope enters the body through a small incision and gives the surgeon a full view of the body’s interior. Specialized tools can be inserted in the body through more minor incisions, and delicate, precise surgeries can be performed without disturbing adjacent tissues.
For the patient, this means less pain, fewer complications, a faster recovery time, and shorter hospital stays. Some procedures can even be performed as day surgeries, with no overnight stay required.
Artificial disc replacement is a relatively new option for patients with chronic low back pain, which is often caused by damaged or diseased spinal discs. Individauls with sciatica and pinched nerves can also benefit from artificial disc replacement.
Surgeons traditionally treated these conditions by fusing the bones of the spine together, eliminating the need for cushioning between them. However, this treatment often decreased back flexibility and sometimes led to accelerated degeneration of discs in nearby locations on the spine.
The advanced option of artificial disc replacement takes a different approach, preserving the individual vertebrae and replacing the cushioning disc between them with a safe, effective, artificial structure typically composed of biopolymer components. The result is dramatically reduced levels of pain along with high levels of mobility and flexibility.
UT Southwestern delivers the latest stereotactic therapies to treat spinal tumors. We recently joined the ranks of the best cancer radiotherapy centers in the U.S., offering both the Gamma Knife and CyberKnife technologies.
Spinal radiosurgery is a noninvasive treatment in which high-dose radiation beams are delivered to a tumor or lesion in a concentrated, extremely precise manner. Many beams of radiation – often more than 100 – are directed at the tumor from different directions. Each of these many beams is relatively weak and causes very little damage when entering the patient’s body.
Among UT Southwestern’s technology capabilities are: