The Spine Center at Valley Neuroscience Institute brings together neurological and orthopedic surgeons who specialize in the treatment of upper back, lower back and neck injuries. VNI specialists evaluate and treat a number of spine conditions:

  • Low back pain and neck pain
  • Herniated or bulging vertebral discs
  • Spinal instability
  • Degenerative changes
  • Nerve root compression
  • Spinal stenosis
  • Removal of tumors
  • Traumatic (and compression)
  • Vertebral fractures
  • Infections
  • Spinal AV fistulas
  • Arteriovenous malformations (AVM)
  • Adult and pediatric spinal deformities

This multidisciplinary approach allows us to individualize every patient’s treatment with a variety of surgical and non-surgical options that allows them to improve their quality of life in a comfortable and caring environment. Read several articles about evaluating and treating back and neck pain.

As a dedicated center, VNI's Spine Center provides personalized, state-of-the-art care for spine patients. Because VNI surgeons, nurses and medical technicians are experienced with spine patients' care pre- and post-surgery, they are better able to anticipate and address issues as they arise, helping get patients get back to a normal life.

Our extensive team of physicians work hand-in-hand with radiologists to identify and treat spine disorders, using state-of-the-art diagnostic imaging services that aid early detection and diagnosis of spine conditions. VMC therapists also work with VNI spine patients to help reduce pain and discomfort without surgery, or to rehabilitate patients after surgery—getting them back faster toward living their lives. More than 85% of patients who have spine surgery at VNI are able to go home and function in a home environment at the end of the week following surgery.

Back pain comes in many forms, affecting the lower, middle or upper back. Neck pain can occur from the base of the skull down to the shoulders, upper back or arms, restricting the range of movement of your head and neck. Pain in both cases can range from mild, dull, annoying pain, to persistent, severe, or disabling.

Back and neck pain may be caused by a sudden or repetitive injury, poor posture, a fracture, joint degeneration, pressure on the nerves, a tumor, a narrowing or deformity of the spinal canal, and injury or overuse of muscles or ligaments. Some conditions are successfully treated with rehabilitation, or periodic use of medications. Other conditions may improve with surgery.

Artificial Disc Replacement

Valley Neuroscience Institute's Spine Center is one of the only hospitals in the Pacific Northwest currently performing the recently FDA-approved artificial disc replacement surgery on patients meeting the surgical criteria for this procedure.

In addition, The Spine Center is one of the few medical centers in the Seattle area to offer cervical disc replacement as an alternative to spinal fusion. This cutting edge procedure treats symptoms such as arm pain or weakness caused by degenerative disc disease in the neck, while preserving motion in the neck.

Neurosurgeons at the Neuroscience Institute also perform the following additional surgical procedures:

  • Decompressive laminectomies for stenosis
  • Laminectomies and discectomies for herniated discs
  • Posterior and anterior cervical fusions for disc problems
  • Instability or spinal cord compression
  • Posterior interbody and posterolateral thoracic and lumbar fusions for stenosis
  • Disc problems and instability
  • Removal and insertion of spinal instrumentation
  • Surgical reconstruction of spinal deformities
  • Revisions of previous spinal surgery

Learn about Spinal Disc Replacement

Screen shot from Spinal Disc Replacement Seminar Video
View entire video of Doc Talk (39 minutes)
>> Fast Forward to Select Topic:
00:00    Intro & doctor qualifications
02:16    Spinal disc replacement vs spinal fusion
05:57    An alternative to spinal fusion, but relatively new and still in testing
08:26    Is it safe and FDA approved?
11:25    Who is a candidate for disc replacement?
13:24    Surgical technique, is disc replacement better than fusion?
17:20    How it works—the mechanics of disc replacement
21:14    Criticism—Current limitations of spinal disc implants
23:45    Expected life of a spinal disc implant
26:32    Reasons for revision surgery
27:25    Does it protect adjacent spine segments from disease?
28:51    Can more than one disc be replaced?
31:36    Reasons disc replacement is not permitted
38:15    Conclusion and contact information

Related Seminar Excerpts:
Q&A:  Lumbar segments and sciatic pain
Q&A:  Typical recovery period
Q&A:  Are patients with DISH candidates for disc replacement?
Q&A:  Pain relief—Steroid shots vs spine surgery


Are you scheduled for spine surgery at Valley Medical Center?

Prepare for surgery: watch a recording of our Pre-Operative Spine Surgery Seminar that explains what to expect and what you need to know.


Pre-Operative spine surgery primer:
What you need to know

Screen Capture From Spine Seminar Video
View entire video (32 minutes)
>> Fast Forward to Select Topic:

00:00 — Introduction with Dr. Thompson
06:25 — General Information with Josh Grant PA-C
13:37 — Seminar Goals
14:14 — Your stay at the Spine Center
15:50 — Preparing for your Surgery
18:53 — Day of Surgery
21:46 — Check-in at Surgery Admitting
22:01 — In the OR
22:44 — The Recovery Room (PACU)
24:35 — Pain Management
26:02 — Managing Possible Risks
27:06 — Rehabilitation
28:00 — Incision Care
28:38 — Going Home
29:57 — Equipment for Home
30:18 — Do’s and Don’ts after Surgery