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Back pain treatments 

Mount Stuart Hospital provides a fast and accurate diagnosis for your back pain. If required spinal surgeons will perform spinal surgery to relieve your pain. We offer a range of treatments including injection therapies and spinal surgery. Your consultant will be able to tell you which treatment is best for you.

All parts of your spine can be damaged or strained due to wear and tear, disease or injury and lead to back pain. Many people suffer from back and neck pain and early treatment is recommended.


Injections which relieve pain and allow other therapies a better chance of working are an important weapon in the armoury of any consultant looking at back problems. They can also give your consultant important information about where the pain is coming from and how bad it is. 

These injections are done as day case procedures while you are under sedation, and you would be able to leave hospital within a few hours. 

While they don’t ‘cure’ your bad back, they can help your recovery. For a start, you may not be in so much pain and any inflammation may be reduced, and your quality of life should improve. And you are likely to get more benefit from other therapies, such as physiotherapy, if they are done during the window of opportunity after an injection. Sometimes the pain does come back over time and the injections may need to be repeated. 

Two types of injections commonly used are facet joint injections and epidurogram and nerve root blocks.

Facet joint injections

Facet joints are the weight bearing joints in your spine which are created when two vertebrae sit on top of each other. There are many reasons why they may become inflamed and painful, and sometimes injection therapy can be useful in relieving this. You may need to see one of our physiotherapists after this to help address the possible causes of the pain, such as poor posture, weakness or a prolonged period of bed rest affecting the spine.

Epidurogram and nerve root blocks

Persistent back pain can sometimes be due to irritation of the nerves in your spine. This can be caused by tissue adhesions and may be associated with former trauma or surgery to the spine. Injecting the area around the nerve root with a mixture of local anaesthetic and an anti-inflammatory called cortisone can be an effective way of reducing the pain in these cases. 

Back and spinal surgery

A diagnostic procedure called an epidurogram is used to allow the consultant to build up a picture of your back and see where the injection would spread. Then the mixture is injected into the appropriate areas. 

Surgery on your back can sound frightening but it can have good outcomes and does not involve a lengthy stay in hospital. Should surgery be necessary, each consultant will inform you of the risks and potential benefits under their individual care. 

Procedures available at Ramsay hospitals include spinal decompression and discectomy, and spinal fusion. These all involve a stay in hospital - the length will depend on the procedure and how quickly you recover from it. Our physiotherapy team may be involved in your rehabilitation, both while you are in hospital and afterwards.

Spinal Surgery at Mount Stuart Hosptial

Lumbar Discectomy

Surgery to remove a piece of disc that is pressing on the nerve in the spine. Find out more here.

Lumbar Laminectomy

Surgery to treat spinal stenosis (narrowing of the spinal canal). Find out more here.

Lumbar Spinal Decompression

Surgery to relieve pain in the spine and legs. Find out more here.


The part at the front of each vertebral bone is called the body of the vertebra and this can become damaged by injury or weakened by disease. If it breaks or collapses this is called a vertebral compression fracture (VCF). Vertebral compression fractures can cause your spine to change shape and shorten or curve forwards and results in pain. Osteoporosis is the most common cause of a VCF.

Kyphoplasty is used to treat vertebral compression fractures. It involves inserting a balloon into your vertebra and inflating it to expand your compressed vertebra to its normal height. Bone cement is then placed into the space created to stabilise the vertebra. Kyoplasty will be repeated for all affected vertebrae.

The aim of this procedure is to restore the height of your vertebra and straighten your spinal curve which will relieve your pain and also prevent further fractures occurring.

Nerve root decompression surgery

Your nerve roots can become compressed for many reasons including thickening of the ligaments and vertebral bones, the development of bony spurs and discs becoming herniated. These changes reduce the amount of space around your nerve root and may cause a tissue to press on them, resulting in neural impingement.

Nerve root decompression surgery or lumbar decompression surgery aims to create more space for your nerve root and relieve the pressure on it. There are a number of procedures that can be performed to achieve this which may be carried out on their own or together depending upon the exact reason for the impingement.

Discectomy is the removal of herniated disc material that is pressing on a nerve root. Laminectomy is the removal of a portion of your vertebral bone that is causing impingement and the widening of the spinal canal. Spinal fusion is when two or more bones are joined together using a graft and takes away the pressure of the bone on your nerve root.

Surgery is normally offered when non-surgical options have been tried but they haven’t been successful in alleviating your pain.


Vertebroplasty is an alternative procedure for treating vertebral compression fractures. Bone cement is inserted into the compressed vertebra using minimally invasive surgery and X-ray guidance.

A vertebroplasty procedure aims to stabilise your spinal fracture and stop the pain caused by the fracture.

If your consultant feels you need surgery, they will give you more information about the procedure and your likely recovery, and answer any questions you may have. Contact us to speak to our dedicated team.


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