Spine surgery may be needed after a patient pursues treatment for nonsurgical therapies and other procedures that may have failed to relieve pain or discomfort, whether from the wear and tear of daily life or due to deformity, or an accident or injury affecting the spine. When surgery is recommended, you can be confident that the specialists at Main Line Health are trained in advanced techniques and perform a high volume of surgeries. We are also versed in minimally invasive spine surgery, performing complex procedures through small incisions and using muscle-sparing techniques that cause less trauma to the body, improve recovery time and reduce pain. Certain patients may also be candidates for minimally invasive kyphoplasty or vertebroplasty.

Our academically trained spine surgeons practice at Main Line Health locations in the western suburbs of Philadelphia—so you have access to exceptional spine care specialists without having to go downtown.

Spine conditions we treat and different types of spine surgery

We diagnose, treat and manage conditions and diseases affecting every aspect of the spine, including:


Some of the more common spinal procedures include:

  • Discectomy – complete or partial removal of disc to decompress nerves. If this is performed in the neck, it is called a cervical discectomy; in the low back it is called a lumbar discectomy.

  • Fusion – to keep the vertebrae from collapsing in cases where they may otherwise be unstable, the surrounding vertebrae are fused with a combination of a plate and screws.

  • Lumbar laminectomy – a procedure involving removal of bone from the vertebrae to relieve pressure. This also allows more space for the nerves running from the spinal canal.

  • Minimally invasive spine surgery – spine surgery that is approached using small incisions and guided instruments or microscopic video cameras  

Discectomies and fusions are often performed at the same time. Your surgeon will fill in the space, previously occupied by the removed disk, with bone from either a bone bank or from your own hip. When performed on the neck, these procedures are collectively known as a cervical discectomy and fusion; when performed in the low back, they are known as a lumbar discectomy and/or fusion.

Depending on what type of procedure you have, you may remain in the hospital for one to two days or go home the same day as the surgery. Physical therapy and/or occupational therapy after spine surgery begins within 24 hours after surgery. A social worker or case manager may arrange for additional therapy services if there is a medical need after a physical therapy evaluation and if it is advised by your doctor.

Be sure to attend one of our upcoming back pain seminars to learn more about the latest treatment options.

Why choose Main Line Health for spine surgery

We understand you have choices when deciding where to go for spine surgery. We also know that most patients want experience and skill, and they want it as close to home as possible.

At all four of our acute care hospitals—Lankenau Medical CenterBryn Mawr HospitalPaoli Hospital and Riddle Hospital—conveniently located just outside of Philadelphia, we take a team approach to your care. Our spine surgeons work closely with doctors from other specialties as well as with radiologists, orthopaedic program managers nurses and physical therapists who are specially trained in postoperative spinal surgery care and care of patients with spinal conditions. We take the time to educate you throughout the process and help alleviate any fears and concerns you might have, from presurgery to recovery and getting back to doing the things you love to do.

Our surgeons are also engaged in clinical research initiatives to explore and develop the latest technologies and treatments in spinal care. One such technology currently being clinically evaluated is the Altum® Pedicle Osteotomy System, a new minimally invasive treatment option for patients with lumbar spinal stenosis and degenerative spondylolisthesis. Bryn Mawr Hospital was honored to be the first to treat a patient using this innovative system.

Start today by attending a back pain seminar to find out what we can do for you.

Ranked best hospitals for spine surgery

U.S. News & World Report has rated Lankenau Medical Center, Bryn Mawr Hospital and Paoli Hospital as High Performing for back surgery (spinal fusion) for 2022-2023.

To schedule an appointment with a spine specialist at Main Line Health, call 1.866.CALL.MLH (225.5654).


Know what to expect before, during and after spine surgery

We want you to be as comfortable as possible for your procedure. This requires you to plan and prepare during the days ahead. This book will help you do that.

View the guidebook

Online Presentation

Watch an online presentation of preparing for spine surgery to help you understand your surgery from pre-op through discharge and after care.

View the online presentations

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