Within this unit our specialist team treat a wide variety of spinal conditions. We have dedicated specialist consultant spinal orthopaedic consultants and a team of specialist spinal nurse practitioners who are here to help you.
If you are referred to a spinal consultant from the musculoskeletal service, one of our specialist nurses will assess you before you are seen by one of our spinal consultants or a senior member of the surgical team. Back or neck surgery is the last resort because it is a major procedure.
Our team will work with you to look at other ways to help you. We will always suggest physiotherapy or pain relieving injections before surgery is considered. If surgery becomes an option we will discuss this with you. We use leading edge spinal surgical techniques which we know are effective.
When appropriate, we use techniques designed to stabilise the spine rather than fuse the joints which, in the long term, can lead to pain in other parts of the spine. However, we are realistic about what surgery will achieve – you can expect to regain 80 per cent of the movement you had previously, though for some it is a lot more. We have some excellent case studies of patients who have returned to the sports they love or are enjoying family life again after years of pain, discomfort and reliance on strong painkillers.
The team has a wealth of knowledge and experience and receives referrals each month from all parts of the country, and carry out approximately 15 major surgeries each week. The team is very active in ongoing research programs in various aspects of spinal surgery which is both nationally and internationally recognised.
We also have excellent links with our patient led spinal support group which was initiated by one of our past patients. This group provides advice, help and support to patients who wish to use it. All of its members are people who have had surgery themselves so they understand what you are going through and can support you all the way. Many people who have had neck and back surgery remain regular members so they in turn can help people before, during and after surgery.
University Hospital of North Tees