Spine specialists in Nashville, Tennessee
TriStar Health hospitals are home to some of Greater Nashville's top spine surgeons. Our orthopedic teams can diagnose and treat spine injuries, herniated discs, scoliosis, back numbness and more.
For a free physician referral or more information, call TriStar MedLine® at (800) 242-5662.
The highly trained spine surgeons at our hospitals use the latest technologies to treat injuries and chronic conditions affecting the neck and back. In many cases, we can relieve pain and heal injuries through nonsurgical care, such as physical therapy. However, if surgery is needed, we will use minimally invasive techniques, such as epidural injections and disc compression, whenever possible.
Advanced spine surgery program
Our spine care program features:
- Fellowship-trained spine surgeons
- Operating rooms made specifically for spine surgery
- Experts in pediatric orthopedics
- Dedicated spinal teams
- Spine nurse navigators
- Surgery-specific patient education
- Pre- and postoperative care plans
- Individualized physical therapy programs
Spine injuries and conditions we treat
We offer treatment for a range of conditions affecting the neck and back, including:
- Back pain
- Degenerative disc disease (lumbar, thoracic and cervical)
- Lumbar herniated disc
- Neck pain
- Spinal tumors
- Spinal stenosis
Back pain is a common condition. It may occur in the upper, middle or lower part of the back. Lower back pain may involve sciatica (caused by an irritated sciatic nerve). This pain radiates down into one or both legs or buttocks. You may also experience:
- Weakness or numbness
- Shooting pain down the back of one leg
Common causes of back pain include nerve and muscular problems, spine injuries, degenerative disc disease and arthritis.
Spine discs act as cushions for the vertebrae. A herniated disc bulges from its proper place, putting pressure on spinal nerves. This is most common in the lower spine.
A herniated disc can be caused by reduced water content, resulting in flattening and less cushioning. It can also be caused by trauma.
Diagnosing your back and neck pain
Before we can begin to treat your back pain, we must fully diagnose your condition and identify all the factors affecting your orthopedic health. Your spine doctor will use several methods to accomplish this, including:
- Gathering a detailed history of your condition, such as where and when it hurts and if any positions or activities improve or worsen your pain
- A physical exam
- Diagnostic imaging, including:
- X-rays, which show the structure and alignment of the vertebrae as well as the presence and size of any abnormalities
- Computed tomography (CT) scans, which can show the shape and size of the spinal canal and the surrounding structures
- Magnetic resonance imaging (MRI) scans, which help spine doctors visualize the spinal cord, discs and nerve roots
- Bone scans, which can help identify abnormalities, such as infections, fractures, tumors and arthritis
Nonsurgical spine care
Many back and neck issues are successfully resolved with treatments or therapies that do not involve surgery. For example, you may only need to refrain from certain activities while the body heals. Your particular diagnosis will determine which treatments your spine doctor will recommend.
Nonsurgical options include:
- Physical therapy (stretching, strengthening and exercising your back or neck to relieve discomfort and safeguard your spine health moving forward)
- Epidural steroid injections (an injection of steroid and anesthetic directly into the area of inflamed nerves in the back)
- Facet joint injections (an injection to confirm the location and source of spine pain or to reduce inflammation and possibly offer long-term relief)
- Pain management (e.g., prescription medicine and injections)
- Preventive measures (e.g., learning to protect the spine when lifting and strengthening the spine through exercise)
The physical medicine and rehabilitation physicians at TriStar Health hospitals are experts in physiatry. This is a specialized, nonsurgical branch of medicine. Physiatrists use advanced rehabilitation techniques to restore spine function.
Surgical spine treatment
During a spinal fusion, your spine doctor will remove damaged tissue and lock the two vertebrae in place. This prevents irritation of the spinal nerve between the vertebrae. Spinal fusion may be considered if all other treatment options have not relieved your pain.
Cervical disc replacement
During cervical disc replacement, your spine surgeon will replace a damaged disc with an artificial disc. This process preserves the neck's natural movement.
You may be a candidate for cervical disc replacement if your discomfort is primarily caused by:
- Neck pain
- Arm and shoulder pain
- Weakness in the arms and shoulders that has not improved with other treatments
Kyphoplasty is a minimally invasive procedure that involves inserting a balloon into a collapsed vertebra. The spine doctor then injects a special material that hardens and stabilizes the vertebra. This prevents further movement, which may reduce pain caused by bone rubbing against bone.
During a lumbar fusion, your spine surgeon will stabilize the lower back. The surgeon will create bony bridges between at least two vertebrae, stopping motion between them.
A lumbar laminectomy is the surgical removal of part of the lamina (flat bone plates) on one or more of the vertebrae in the lower back. This procedure is usually done to relieve pressure on nerves that are inflamed from pressure caused by:
- Bone spurs
- A herniated disc
- A narrowed spinal canal
Once the lamina is removed, the spine surgeon can access the spinal canal. They will then remove the source of irritation or pressure.