Duke spine specialists offer nonsurgical and surgical options to help you find relief from severe back pain, stiffness, and inflammation associated with degenerative disc disease. Expert treatment is important because herniated discs, ruptured discs, and other forms of degenerative disc disease can lead to spine arthritis, including spondylosis, spondylolisthesis, and ankylosing spondylitis.
While our goal is to help you avoid spine surgery, it may be your best option when medications, physical therapy, and alternative treatments like acupuncture fail to relieve your symptoms. If you require spine surgery, we use the latest techniques, including a minimally invasive approach whenever appropriate. This means we operate through several tiny incisions so you recover faster and experience less pain and fewer complications.
Duke Health offers locations throughout the Triangle. Find one near you.
Your doctor will order one or more of the following tests to diagnose the cause of your spinal pain.
X-ray images show areas of instability in your spine. Because X-rays only show bones, and not discs or nerves, another imaging test is usually needed.
Magnets and radio waves create detailed pictures of your spinal discs and the nerve roots of your spinal cord.
A series of cross-sectional pictures produce detailed, 3-D pictures of your spine and spinal cord.
A dye is injected into the sac around the nerve roots in your spinal cord to help them show up better on a CT scan.
Why Choose Duke
Personalized Therapy Plans
Whenever possible, our goal is to keep you from needing surgery. That’s why our approach involves a combination of treatments to target the cause of your pain and symptoms. We develop a plan that includes medication and/or injections with physical therapy. If appropriate, we also offer nontraditional options like acupuncture.
Spine Surgery Expertise
Our spine surgeons perform more than 1,200 spinal surgeries every year, including minimally invasive procedures and complex reconstructive surgeries.
Intraoperative Imaging Technology
Advanced imaging in our OR suites creates detailed, 3-D pictures of your spine, spinal cord, and nerve roots that guide spine surgeons as they operate.
A Team of Specialists
In addition to neurosurgeons and orthopaedic surgeons, your team may include doctors and nurses, acupuncturists, physiatrists, pain management experts, and physical therapists -- all of whom may work with you to alleviate the pain and inflammation caused by your spinal condition.