Neck & Back

Neck (cervical) and back (lumbar) pain are problems for many people. In fact, 80 percent of Americans have experienced some form of back pain, and 50 percent cope with neck pain at some point in their lives. Often caused by degeneration of the discs that separate the vertebrae of the spine, this type of pain is among the most common reasons for doctor visits and is a major cause of disability, lost work days and high health care costs. There are a variety of causes including disease, such as arthritis or injury. Thankfully, the spine specialists on the medical staff at Texas Health Rockwall can address these problems through a number of treatment options, including minimally invasive techniques.

Minimally Invasive Surgery and Procedures

Neck and back surgeries performed with new instruments and techniques that require smaller incisions resulting in less tissue disruption, less postoperative pain, shorter hospital stays and faster recovery times, compared to traditional open surgery.

Minimally Invasive Micro Discectomy

A minimally invasive surgical technique used to remove a herniated disk in the cervical or lumbar spine. A ruptured disk can press on nerves and cause symptoms such as extremity pain, numbness, weakness, electrical sensations, and bowel and bladder incontinence. Minimally invasive microdiscectomy differs from open discectomy by using a smaller incision (approximately 1 cm); the procedure usually takes about one hour, and the patient is often able to return home on the same day.

Minimally Invasive Posterior Lumbar Fusion

An operation performed on the spine from the back through one-inch (25 mm) incisions. Utilizing minimally invasive techniques, a surgeon removes a portion of the affected disk space from the spine and replaces it with an implant and bone graft. For some patients, surgeons use bone morphogenetic proteins (BMPs) so healthy bone does not have to be harvested. This procedure is for patients suffering from back and/or leg pain, especially those who have had previous abdominal surgery.

Traditional Procedures

Depending on the condition and diagnosis, some procedures are performed in a more traditional manner. Your surgeon is the best one to determine what your particular surgical needs may require. The following are just a few of the more traditional procedures that may be performed.

Total Disk Replacement

Surgery that treats painful degenerative disk disease of the cervical and lumbar spine. This approach is designed to preserve the motion of the disk space while reducing or eliminating pain.

Anterior Lumbar Interbody Fusion (ALIF)

An operation performed on the spine through an incision in the abdomen. A portion of the affected disk space is removed and replaced with an implant and bone graft. In some patients, surgeons can use BMPs as bone graft material instead of bone taken from another part of the patient’s body. This shortens operative time and eliminates pain associated with harvesting healthy bone for the graft.

Anterior Cervical Discectomy and Fusion

An operation performed on the upper spine to relieve pain and other symptoms in the neck, arms and legs caused by pressure on the spinal cord or other nerves. In this operation, the surgeon reaches the cervical spine through a small incision in the front of the neck. The damaged disk is removed and a bone graft or PEEK spacer is used to stabilize the spine. A plate and screws are applied for additional stability and to decrease the chance that the bone graft might be dislodged.

Posterior Lumbar Fusion

Sometimes called posterolateral spinal fusion or Transforaminal Lumbar Interbody Fusion, this procedure treats a disk space that has degenerated to the point that movement causes back and/or leg pain. It is performed through an incision made in the back and entails inserting a bone graft into the affected space. Titanium or stainless steel screws and rods may be inserted into the back of the spine for added stability. If fusion is successful, motion between the vertebrae stops and pain is relieved.

360° Lumbar Spinal Fusion

A lower-back surgery that replaces a damaged disk with an implant that is held in place with screws to provide more strength and stability after bone grafts heal.


Texas Health Rockwall is proud to be one of the few hospitals in the area that provides anesthesia services by board-certified medical doctors 24 hours a day, seven days a week. At Texas Health Rockwall, patient safety and comfort come first for the care you want, quality you need and the service you deserve.


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Department Leadership

Dale Gibson

Director, Surgical Services (Neck & Back)