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Neurological Spine Care

Groundbreaking Surgery Corrects Scoliosis

Spine surgeon Joseph Osorio uses pioneering technique to help athlete with degenerative scoliosis walk and swim again. Read the article

UC San Diego Health is a national leader in minimally invasive spine surgery as well as other surgical and non-surgical treatments for spinal disorders. We are the regional referral center for complex spine reconstructions.

We specialize in all spine conditions with a special emphasis on minimally invasive treatment approaches.

These include:

  • Endoscopic spine surgery
  • Minimally invasive fusion techniques
  • Spinal decompression therapy

Minimally invasive spine surgery can be done as an outpatient procedure using advanced microsurgical techniques.

Most individuals with spinal conditions don’t need surgery to get better. When a thorough exam and diagnosis has been made, we work with you to use non-surgical solutions including therapeutic exercise, injection therapy and medications.

Recognized for High-Quality Care

The quality of our comprehensive spine care is recognized with The Joint Commission's Gold Seal of Approval for Advanced Certification in Spine Surgery (ACSS). This honor is based on our commitment to providing safe and excellent care. We are the first health organization in California to receive this advanced certification.

Read more about this distinction

Spine Classes

Learn more about what to expect before and after your spine surgery. Classes are taught via Zoom videoconferencing by our multidisciplinary inpatient spine team that includes nurses, physical therapists, occupational therapists and care managers. You'll have the opportunity to ask questions so that you feel comfortable with your spine surgery.

See more spine class details in our Classes and Events Calendar.

Read about Physical Medicine and Rehabilitation and Neurological Rehabilitation Services for spinal conditions. 

At UC San Diego Health, our spine experts are changing the way back and neck pain is treated.  

Conditions We Treat

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Scoliosis and kyphosis

Scoliosis is an abnormal (side-to-side) curvature of the spine. Kyphosis is a curving of the spine that causes a bowing or rounding of the back, which leads to a hunchback or slouching posture.

Minimally Invasive treatments for scoliosis and kyphosis:

  • Complex minimally invasive surgery with lateral approach
  • Extreme lateral interbody fusion (XLIF)
  • Lateral lumbar interbody fusion
  • ALL resection and kyphotic correction
  • Percutaneous posterior pedicle screw fixation
  • Minimally invasive surgical corpectomy 
  • Smith-Petersen osteotomy
  • Pedicle subtraction osteotomy 

Herniated lumbar disc

A herniated disc is a tear in the disc ring between two vertebrae that allows soft tissue to bulge out. Also known as a "slipped" or ruptured disc.

Minimally invasive treatments for lumbar herniated disc:

  • Endoscopic discectomy
  • Microendoscopic discectomy
  • Laser discectomy

Minimally invasive treatments for cervical herniated disc:

  • Posterior cervical microforaminotomy (PCMF)
  • Anterior cervical discectomy
  • Artificial cervical disc replacement or total disc replacement (TDR)

Degenerative disc disease

Degenerative disc disease is chronic pain due to degeneration of the intervertebral discs. 

Minimally invasive degenerative disc disease treatments of the lumbar and thoracic spine:

  • Anterior lumbar interbody fusion (ALIF)
  • Mini ALIF
  • Transforaminal lumbar interbody fusion (TLIF)
  • Extreme lateral interbody fusion (XLIF) 
  • Video-assisted thoracoscopic surgery (VATS)
  • Thoracotomy

Spinal stenosis

Spinal stenosis is the narrowing of the spinal canal causing irritation of the spinal cord or spinal nerve roots. Spinal stenosis can occur in the lumbar, thoracic and cervical spine.

Minimally invasive spinal stenosis treatments:

  • Laminectomy
  • Laminotomy 


Spondylolisthesis is a condition in which a bone (vertebra) in the spine slips out of the proper position onto the bone below it. 

Minimally invasive spondylolisthesis treatments: 

  • Transforminal lumbar interbody fusion (TLIF)
  • Extreme lateral interbody fusion (XLIF)

Osteoporosis and spine fractures

Osteoporosis frequently results in compression fractures caused by degeneration of the spine. Spine fractures are also caused by traumatic injury. Fractures can occur in the lumbar, thoracic and cervical spine.

Minimally invasive lumbar, thoracic and cervical spine fracture treatment:

  • Kyphoplasty

Spine tumors

  • Vertebral hemangiomas - a benign tumor made of abnormal build-up of blood vessels near the spine
  • Schwannomas – benign nerve sheath tumors made up of Schwann cells 
  • Neurofibromas – benign nerve sheath tumors made up of many different cell types
  • Gliomas – tumors of the glial cells in the nervous system (including astrocytoma, oligodendroglioma, ependymoma and ganglioglioma)
  • Chordomas – rare, cancerous slow-growing tumors that can occur anywhere along the spine
  • Spinal chondrosarcomas – primary cancerous bone tumors of the spine

Spine tumor treatments

  • Minimally invasive resection

Contact Us

  • 619-543-5540


La Jolla


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