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Spinal surgery

Expert assessment and treatment for spinal concerns

If you’re struggling with back or neck pain, or have any concerns about the health of your spine, the experienced Spinal Consultants at The Sarum Road in Winchester, Hampshire can help you access the support you need without delay.

Your spine comprises 33 individual bones, and is surrounded by an intricate network of muscles, nerves, ligaments, and tendons. It is an incredibly complex structure, protecting your spinal cord and enabling you to bend and twist your upper body, and to hold yourself upright.

Spinal problems are normally mechanical in origin, caused by wear and tear. Very rarely, they may be caused by a more serious condition which will need referral to a specialist.

Any type of problem in the spine can cause noticeable, sometimes life-changing, symptoms. Common reasons people book a private Spinal appointment with us include: 

  • Back pain
  • Neck pain
  • Sciatica (pain radiating down your leg into your foot)
  • Referred pains (pain in the hip, buttock, or thigh)
  • Numbness/weakness in the leg 
  • Spinal deformity 

The spinal consultants at The Sarum Road in Winchester provide management and treatment for a range of spinal conditions, including: 

  • Degenerative changes 
  • Slipped disc / prolapsed disc
  • Sciatica
  • Joint pain - such as sacroiliac pain
  • Scoliosis - a sideways curve in the spine
  • Kyphosis - an abnormal curve in the upper back, in more severe cases may give a hunchbacked appearance 

Many people will experience a sore or stiff neck or back at some point. This will often be the result of an injury while playing sports, sleeping on a new pillow or at an unusual angle, or lifting something heavy without suitable spinal stability and strength.

Symptoms may occur immediately or develop more slowly. In many cases, symptoms will resolve naturally over time, and no treatment will be needed.

In other cases, symptoms may not go away. They may even get worse over time, and this can end up having a significant impact on physical and mental health.

Severe or long-lasting spinal problems should not be ignored, especially if they have gone on for more than six weeks. Expert assessment can give you peace of mind and help bring clarity about the best way forward. Why not book an appointment with one of our experienced Consultants today? 

The priority of any treatment is to get you out of pain as quickly and fully as possible.

It is important to know that a good number of spinal symptoms and conditions can be treated without the need for surgery. Non-surgical (conservative) treatments can be very effective. Before any form of spinal surgery is considered, less invasive treatments will normally be used first.  

Treatments for spinal problems include: 

  • Core muscle rehabilitation 
  • Pain relief medication (analgesia)
  • Spinal injections – these contain an anaesthetic and steroid and may be diagnostic (to help confirm the cause of pain) or therapeutic (to treat the problem) 
  • Surgery – open or keyhole (minimally invasive) surgery 

If non-surgical methods are not able to relieve your symptoms, some form of surgery may be necessary. Spinal surgery available at The Sarum Road Hospital includes:

  • Minimally invasive (keyhole) spinal surgery – Using only very small cuts in the skin, pain is reduced, recovery is faster, and scarring is less visible.  
  • A discectomy - carried out when a slipped disc is compressing a nerve and causing symptoms. A small part of the disc is carefully removed to relieve the pressure on the nerve.  
  • A slipped disc may also be treated with a percutaneous discectomy. A large needle is moved into the disc using X-ray guidance and a laser used to destroy the affected area. Because no incisions are made there is no scarring, significantly improving recovery times. 
  • A vertebral laminectomy / spinal decompression - carried out to open up a narrowing in the spinal canal (spinal stenosis). Bone and/or ligament are removed as needed from the affected area.
  • Vertebroplasty - used to treat pain caused by a fractured vertebra. A special type of bone cement is injected into the fractured vertebra to improve its strength.
  • Spinal fusion – used to securely attach vertebrae together in order to relieve back pain. Screws are placed into the vertebrae and fixed to one another with rods. Bone grafts are then placed around the joint to encourage the vertebrae to fuse. Many people will feel the initial benefits of a spinal fusion within a couple of weeks, but it may take 6 – 12 months for the bone grafts to fully fuse together and the full benefits to be felt.

If a serious pathology such as a tumour or infection is discovered, your Consultant will refer you to the appropriate specialist team for rapid access to the most suitable treatment pathway. 

When you meet with your Consultant at The Sarum Road Hospital, they will take a medical history and ask you to tell them about your symptoms. They will want to know things like: 

  • When did your symptoms start? 
  • Do you have any pain? If so, can you describe it? 
  • Have you had any previous spinal surgery? 
  • How are your symptoms affecting daily life? 
  • Have you received any treatment already, such as prescribed medication?

They will carry out a physical examination to determine the health, strength and mobility of your spine.

Nearly everybody who comes for a spinal assessment will need an MRI scan, as it is an excellent imaging modality for showing soft tissues problems such as inflammation, disc bulges and vertebral problems.

Some conditions may benefit from other investigations like ultrasound, CT, nerve conduction studies, and CT-SPECT imaging (nuclear imaging). Some of these will need to be arranged outside the hospital if they are required. 

Once a diagnosis has been confirmed, your Consultant will discuss suitable treatment options with you. If you have any questions or concerns, they will be very happy to talk through them with you during your private appointment.  

Most people who visit us for help with a spinal problem live in Winchester or the surrounding areas. However, excellent road access makes it very easy to visit us from further away should you wish.

When you visit The Sarum Road Hospital for help with your spinal condition, you will benefit from:

Rapid access to an expert – Spinal conditions are best assessed and treated at the earliest possible stage. We can arrange your private appointment with an experienced Consultant quickly and at a time that is most convenient to you.

Consultant-led care, always – You will always see the same Consultant, and they will oversee every aspect of your care, from first appointment through to treatment and post-treatment follow-up. This ensures excellent continuity of care.

Access to a wider team – Spinal conditions often require input from many different specialities. Your Consultant works closely with specialists in other fields, including Radiology, Physiotherapy, Pain Management, Oncology, Neurology and Neurosurgery. Fast, easy access to this wider healthcare team ensures you will always receive the help you need. 

Convenient appointments – With private appointments available throughout the week, it is easy to arrange your visit. We can also provide remote appointments by telephone or video call if required (and where clinically appropriate). 

Recommended by patients – In an independent survey, 99.5% of the people we treated said they were likely or extremely likely to recommend The Sarum Road Hospital to their friends and family. 

Location – The hospital is just minutes from the centre of Winchester, located in a stunning rural setting on the edge of the Royal Winchester Golf Club.   

For peace of mind and expert care for any spinal problems or concerns, please contact us to book your private appointment at The Sarum Road Hospital today.