Spine Treatments & Procedures

Houston Methodist is home to the highest-rated spine center in Texas. Our world-class surgeons and spine specialists offer comprehensive treatments and advanced technology to ensure you get the safest, most effective care. 

At Houston Methodist, our spine experts have decades of experience in spine care. From the moment you enter our doors, our goal is to provide you with the care we would want for ourselves. Here, your care plan will be informed by leading-edge research and technology. With access to the full range of treatment options, we provide you with the highest level of spine care. 

Spine Treatment Options

What are nonsurgical options for back pain?

For most people, mild to moderate neck or back pain can be relieved with rest, at-home treatments and over-the-counter pain medication. Other patients may need more advanced non-operative care, such as:


  • Aquatic therapy, which includes a variety of exercises performed in water, using its natural resistance to improve strength and flexibility gradually
  • Integrative therapies, such as acupuncture and massage therapy 
  • Pain management techniques such as medications, injections and other therapies that can ease pain and improve quality of life
  • Physical therapy to treat spine conditions using strengthening exercises, stretching and ice/heat packs


Therapies performed with an injection (needle):


  • Discography, an X-ray guided diagnostic procedure that involves injecting disks with a sterile dye.
  • Epidural steroid injections (ESI) that treat irritated nerve roots directly with steroids.
  • Facet and medial branch blocks, which are injections of local anesthesia directly into a joint in the spine (facet block) or near a nerve outside the joint (medial branch block).
  • Facet rhizotomy, a procedure in which an electrothermal needle is inserted into a joint to deaden irritated nerves with heat.

What types of spine surgery are available?

Most patients with back pain do not require surgery. In some cases when other therapies don’t sufficiently relieve pain, surgery may be an option. Our board-certified surgeons perform minimally invasive spine surgery to correct spinal problems through small incisions using special equipment, avoiding many of the potential complications of open surgery. 

Decompressive spinal surgery can relieve pressure on affected nerves, disks and the spinal cord. Some of these procedures include: 


  • Laminectomy to remove the lamina (part of the vertebral bone) and relieve pressure on the spinal cord. This can occur on the upper, middle or lower part of the spine. 
  • Lumbar microscopic discectomy to remove herniated disk material in the lumbar (lower) spine that is pressing on a spinal nerve.
  • Cervical laminoplasty to relieve pressure on the nerves in the cervical (upper) spine by cutting the lamina on both sides of the affected vertebrae.
  • Cervical microscopic foraminotomy to enlarge the space through which a nerve root exits the spinal cord, known as the neural foramen, in the cervical (upper) spine.


Advanced surgical techniques can successfully reduce pain and prevent permanent injury. Houston Methodist’s board-certified spine surgeons have the expertise to perform delicate, innovative procedures, such as:


  • Minimally invasive spine surgery (MISS), which allows surgeons to correct spinal problems through small incisions using special equipment, avoiding potential complications of open surgery.
  • Total disk replacement (arthroplasty), a surgical procedure to replace a degenerated intervertebral disk in the cervical or lumbar spine.
  • Cervical spinal fusion surgery joins (fuses), in which selected bones in the neck are connected to provide stability and stimulate the growth of new bone.
  • Anterior cervical discectomy and fusion (ACDF), which is a surgical procedure to remove herniated disk material and decompress the nerves in the cervical spine. ACDF is performed through the front of the neck.
  • Posterior cervical fusion (PCF) to fuse the bones in the back of the cervical spine to relieve pressure and provide stability.
  • Resection (removal) of spinal tumors to relieve compression on the spinal cord.
  • Spinal radiosurgery (SRS) to precisely deliver high doses of radiation to spinal tumors, limiting exposure to healthy surrounding structures.
  • Spinal cord stimulation (SCS), a procedure to implant in the back a small pulse generator, which emits electrical pulses that interfere with the nerve impulses that cause pain.
  • Intrathecal pain pumps, which are devices implanted in the abdomen that deliver medication directly to the spinal cord.


Our operating rooms feature the latest technology, such as active electrode monitoring (AEM) instrumentation for all laparoscopic surgeries — a state-of-the-art monitoring system. 

We understand that you may be worried about pain, recovery and when you can get back to daily activities after surgery. Recovery time can vary, and your surgeon will let you know what to expect.

I need advanced care or a second opinion.

We understand that the decision to seek professional care for a painful spine condition is a big step. Whether you are looking for a diagnosis or a second opinion, we’re here to help. Houston Methodist’s spine experts have the training to diagnose your condition and help you find relief. Our compassionate team can discuss treatment options and design a personalized care plan that works for you. 

Find a Spine Specialist