At the UCSF Spine Center, doctors perform over 1,000 disc procedures a year and use some of the newest and least-invasive procedures for repairing damaged discs. Patients who at one time might have required major open surgeries now may be treated with endoscopic procedures that use an imaging scope — inserted through a tiny incision — to guide miniature instruments. Such minimally invasive surgeries generally result in shorter recovery periods and less post-surgical pain.
Spine Center orthopedists currently are involved in testing the use of a new artificial disc replacement (link) in the lower back and hope to test its use in the neck soon. Because UCSF Medical Center is a regional academic medical center, patients often have access to cutting edge therapies that are not yet available elsewhere.