Orthopedic spine injuries are serious conditions that require the care of leading specialists. At The Medical Center of Aurora (TMCA), we offer cutting-edge and compassionate treatment for bone, joint and muscle injuries to the spine.

Our team of orthopedic surgeons has years of experience performing surgical and non-surgical treatment procedures for patients with spine injuries and conditions. Our collaborative, team-based approach to patient care combines the knowledge and expertise of specially trained health professionals including physicians, rehabilitation experts, nurses and staff.

Proven Methods, Proven Results

The orthopedic specialists at TMCA offer personalized medical care and a compassionate environment, working closely with each patient to guide them through the diagnosis, treatment and recovery from a spine injury or condition. We use safe, proven and evidence-based diagnostic and treatment methods to get our patients back to their quality of life.

Our newly renovated, state-of-the-art ORs and leading-edge orthopedic surgery technology make us #1 in outpatient satisfaction scores among Denver HealthONE hospitals.

The orthopedic surgeons at TMCA are focused on providing each patient with the individualized treatment plan that will lead to the best surgical outcomes. Time and again, our patients tell us they’re fully healed from surgery and back to doing the things they love. That’s what makes it worth it for us.

Find Out More

If you’re looking for more information about orthopedic spine treatment at TMCA, or you’d like to schedule an appointment, please call 303-873-0630.

Spine Conditions We Treat

Conditions In Depth

Arthritis of the neck

Arthritis is joint inflammation that can cause pain, stiffness, instability and swelling in joints. Osteoarthritis, the most common form of arthritis, can affect the neck and spine. It’s prevalent in adults over age 50 and can cause more severe symptoms if it goes untreated.

Our team of orthopedic surgeons conducts a series of tests to confirm an arthritis diagnosis, including a physical exam, x-ray, ultrasound or MRI scan. For patients with arthritis, our team will work to develop a customized treatment plan for the patient’s lifestyle and symptoms. Common treatment options for arthritis include lifestyle changes and preventative measures, prescriptions medications, and surgical methods including arthroscopy, osteotomy, arthroplasty and more. Learn more here.

Back pain, sprain or strain

Back pain is an ache or discomfort in the back and spinal column that can cause debilitating pain and limited motion. Back pain is very common, affecting most adults at some point in their lives. At TMCA, our orthopedic surgeons take back pain seriously. We employ a variety of methods to diagnose common causes of back pain, including strains and sprains. Through physical examinations, MRIs, CT scans and other diagnostic tools, we get to the bottom of your back pain.

We offer a variety of lifestyle, physical therapy and surgical treatment methods for back pain, strain or sprain. We may recommend lifestyle changes including limiting bed rest and an active lifestyle to combat back pain. Some over-the-counter pain relievers and prescription medications may also help. Physical therapy can include hot and cold therapy, stretching and strengthening exercises or massage. In some rare cases, surgery may be necessary if other medical treatment options have been exhausted without success. Common procedures include discectomy, laminectomy, and spinal fusion. We’ll work with you to develop an individualized treatment plan that relieves your back pain. Learn more here.

Degenerative disc disease

Degenerative disc disease is an orthopedic spine condition of the discs that lie between the spinal bones (vertebrae). Discs protect the spine and help it stay flexible. Degenerative disc disease is caused by wear and tear on these discs.

TMCA offers several methods of treatment for degenerative disc disease. Physical therapy, including posture training, exercise and hot and cold therapy, may help you manage the symptoms of your disease. Steroid injections, applied to the nerves around the spinal cord, can provide pain relief. In some rare cases, surgery may be required to repair degenerative disc disease and relieve pain and discomfort. Learn more here.

Herniated Disc

Herniated discs are an orthopedic condition that affects the discs between the vertebral bones in the spinal column. A herniated disc bulges from its proper place, putting pressure on spinal nerves. This is most common in the lower spine. Symptoms include pain in the back, buttocks, down the back of the leg and into the calf. This pain can be sharp or dull and can be in one or both legs. Symptoms also including legs or feet feeling numb, weak or tingling, sudden aching pain in the back or neck, and inability to get comfortable even while lying down.

Treatment for a herniated disc can include back or neck massage, physical therapy to relax the muscles and relieve pain, back and core exercises, a neck or collar brace, and chiropractic care. For patients unable to resolve their herniated disc with physical therapy, over-the-counter and prescription pain medications may be necessary. In rare cases, herniated discs that fail to respond to other treatments may require surgical intervention. Common surgical procedures include laminectomy, microdiscectomy (intervertebral discectomy), and spinal fusion. Learn more here.

Sciatica

Sciatica is caused by irritation or pressure on the sciatic nerve. It can be caused by a herniated disc, arthritis of the lower back, spinal stenosis or spondylolisthesis, among other orthopedic spine conditions.

Treatment for sciatica seeks to reduce irritation or pressure on the sciatic nerve. Bed rest is not generally recommended, and recovery can often be helped by an active lifestyle and exercise routine. Several medications can be used to treat sciatica including over-the-counter or prescription pain relievers, muscle relaxers for muscle spasms and corticosteroid injections.

Surgery may also be used to relieve pressure on the sciatic nerve. This is performed in emergency situations or if other treatments fail. Common surgical procedures are microdiscectomy and lumbar laminectomy. Learn more here.

Scoliosis

Scoliosis is an abnormal curvature of the spine. A spine with scoliosis may appear to have an “S-shaped” or “C-shaped” curve. Severe cases of scoliosis can result in pain and weakness in the spine. Very severe scoliosis may cause heart and lung problems if those organs are overly cramped in an abnormally shaped chest cavity.

Most cases of scoliosis begin when a child is around 8-10 years old with gradual progression of the abnormal curvature as they continue to grow. However, it can present at any age, including newborns.

There are several types and classifications of scoliosis.

  • Structural— occurs because of a vertebral body defect. Classification of structural scoliosis is based on the cause of the defect.
  • Congenital—occurs during fetal development and is usually present at birth.
  • Syndromic—occurs as a result of an underlying health condition that affects the nerves, muscles, or bones in the back and spine
  • Idiopathic—occurs without a specific cause, but is likely due to a combination of multiple genetic factors 

Treatment options for scoliosis vary based on type, and our leading orthopedic physicians work closely with each patient to develop a treatment plan for their specific scoliosis symptoms. Learn more here.

Spinal fusion

A spinal fusion is a surgery to weld together two or more vertebrae. There are several different types of spinal fusions based on factors such as the part of the spine involved, placement of the incisions, and the parts of the vertebra that are initially fused.

All fusion surgeries include the use of a graft that is made of bone material. It stimulates healing and encourages the two bones to heal together into one solid bone. The graft may be a piece of bone from the hip, a piece of bone from a cadaver, or artificial bone material. Learn more here.

Spinal stenosis

Spinal stenosis is a narrowing of the spinal canal. The spinal canal is a small space located in the backbone that squeezed the nerves and spinal cords as it narrows. This can cause several symptoms of spinal stenosis, including pain, numbness and weakness in the back, legs and thighs, decreased sensation in the legs and feet, and partial or complete paralysis of legs.

For patients diagnosed with spinal stenosis, TMCA offers a variety of treatment options including medications, physical therapy and surgery. Nonsteroidal anti-inflammatory drugs (NSAIDs) and corticosteroid injections can help manage the symptoms of spinal stenosis. Physical therapy, including stabilizing exercises and strengthening exercises, can help relieve pain. Support devices, including corsets and lumbar braces, can stabilize the spine and provide support. For severe cases that don’t respond to other treatment methods, TMCA offers surgical methods to treat spinal stenosis, including decompression laminectomy and spinal fusion. Learn more here.

Spinal tumor/cyst

A spinal tumor is an abnormal growth in the spine. The tumor may occur in the bones of the spine, nerve tissue, or soft tissue around the spine. Tumors in the spine can press on nerves and blood supply causing a variety of symptoms. The tumors may be benign or malignant.

The team of orthopedic physicians at TMCA is dedicated to providing world-class care for patients with spinal tumors from diagnosis through treatment and recovery. Learn more here.

Spondylolysis

Spondylolysis is a stress fracture. It occurs in a part of the vertebrae (spinal bone). This condition occurs in the lower back and causes pain and discomfort, among other symptoms. It is most common in adolescent athletes.

At TMCA, we treat spondylolysis with a combination of lifestyle changes, physical therapy, medication and surgery when needed. For those with spondylolysis, it’s recommended to cease athletic activities for a period of several weeks to several months. During this time, you may wear a back brace to limit extension and relieve pain.

Physical therapy for spondylolysis can include stretching and strengthening exercises, plus training on techniques to avoid overuse and injury in the future. You may also take over-the-counter or prescription medications for pain relief.

For those with injury to the nerve, high-grade spondylolisthesis, or who have not responded to physical therapy and medications, surgery may be needed. Common procedures include decompression laminectomy and spinal fusion. Learn more here.

Whiplash

Whiplash is a soft tissue neck injury that can include spraining the neck ligaments, straining the neck muscles, injury to cervical discs and possible nerve injury.

Treatment methods for relieving the discomfort of whiplash can include over-the-counter and prescription medications to reduce pain, movement and exercise to reduce stiffness, physical therapy and join manipulation of the spine by a chiropractor or other trained provider. Learn more here.