Health Watch — Back Pain: Surgery

Health Watch is a Public Service of the Office of News and Publications  and is intended to provide general information only and should not replace the advice of a medical professional. You should contact your physician if you have questions about any of these topics.

This week on Health Watch, we’ve been talking about treating back pain. While doctors prefer non-surgical treatments, there are some back conditions that require surgery.

Spinal surgery can be performed using minimally invasive techniques, with specialized tools and a tiny video camera inserted through small incisions. That allows for less pain and a shorter recovery period. Problems that previously required fusing vertebrae now may be treated with artificial discs. Dr. Kevin Gill, an orthopaedic surgeon at UT Southwestern Medical Center, says fusion limits the motion of the spine, while disc replacement allows more natural motion. Spinal tumors may be treated with radiosurgery, in which highly focused beams of radiation target tumors without harming normal tissue.

Visit to learn more about UT Southwestern’s clinical services in orthopaedic surgery


March 2008

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