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When non-surgical approaches alone do not work, specialists at the Penn Spine Center may recommend surgery for your back or neck condition.

Our multidisciplinary team of surgeons includes: 

  • Spine surgeons
  • Vascular surgeons
  • Plastic surgeons
  • General surgeons

We offer every type of surgical procedure for back and neck conditions. Surgical spine treatments may include deformity correction, minimally invasive spine surgery, motion preservation, spinal fusion and tumor removal. We have the expertise to perform surgery on very rare, complex conditions including spinal tumors, cysts, sacrum, abnormalities, complex scoliosis, disc replacements, spinal cord stimulators and more. This highly advanced, specialized level of care is not found at any other health system in the Philadelphia region and is among one of the few in the nation.

Individuals may be a candidate for spine surgery if:

  • They are experiencing severe pain with structural pathology
  • Had failed medical treatments and/or surgeries elsewhere
  • Have tried other non-surgical therapies (injections, physical therapy, etc) without feeling improvement

Spine Surgeries Offered at the Penn Spine Center

  • Spinal decompression surgery: Spinal decompression surgery refers to surgical treatments intended to relieve symptoms caused by pressure and/or compression on the spinal cord and nerves in the back and neck. Types of spinal decompression surgeries include:
    • Discectomy
    • Laminectomy
  • Spinal fusion: Spinal fusion may be done at the same time as a spinal decompression surgery to stabilize sections of the spine. It is major surgery that may take several hours with the end goal of creating a solid union between two or more vertebrae. Types of spinal fusion surgeries include:
    • Cervical
    • Thoracic
    • Lumbosacral
  • Disc replacement: Disc replacement surgery entails surgically placing an artificial disc into the spine to restore normal function and allow motion. Disc replacement surgeries are also known as motion-sparing procedures that include:
    • Cervical disc replacement
    • Lumbar disc replacement
  • Foraminotomy: A foraminotomy is a procedure that involves enlarging the area around bones in the spinal column to relieve pressure on nerves that are compressed.
  • Minimally invasive surgery: Minimally invasive surgery refers to surgical techniques that try to minimize the disruption and damage of soft tissues surrounding the spine, including muscles, ligaments and other tissue. Penn spine surgeons are able to perform minimally invasive surgical techniques for all types of conditions including
    • spinal tumors
    • adult spinal deformity
    • degenerative disorders
    • herniated disc disorders

Enhanced Recovery After Surgery (ERAS)

Individuals undergoing spine surgery face risks of having complications. Penn Medicine’s Enhanced Recovery After Surgery (ERAS) program seeks to improve patient outcomes by setting in place certain protocols for those who undergo neurosurgical procedures. ERAS streamlines the patient process by offering you seamless and individualized care prior to surgery, during hospitalization for surgery, and throughout postoperative care.

The ERAS care pathway enables physicians to closely evaluate potential risks during all phases of treatment and recovery, maximizes the benefits of surgery and allows for quicker recovery times, better outcomes and a positive overall experience.

From Our Blog: Enhanced Recovery After Surgery (ERAS)

Zarina Ali neurosurgeryLearn how Dr. Zarina Ali and Penn Neurosurgery have launched a groundbreaking study that seeks to improve patient outcomes through the development of a new protocol for elective spine and peripheral nerve surgery centered around Enhanced Recovery After Surgery (ERAS).


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Minimally Invasive Surgery

The Penn Spine Center offers the latest treatment techniques including minimally invasive surgery.

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