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Spine Surgery

Spine Surgery

Spine surgery encompasses a range of procedures aimed at addressing various spinal conditions, from herniated discs to spinal deformities, with the goal of alleviating pain, restoring mobility, and improving overall quality of life.

Medically reviewed by Dr Chua Soo Yong ,
Consultant Orthopaedic & Spine Surgeon
MBBS (S’pore), MRCS (Edinburgh), MMed (Ortho),FRCS (Ortho), FAMS (Ortho)

Why Do You Need Spine Surgery?

Spine surgery in Singapore may be recommended to treat the following conditions:


This refers to pain, irritation or inflammation in the sciatic nerve, which runs from the lower back and branches down to each leg. This commonly occurs as a result of a slipped disc pressing on the sciatic nerve.

Slipped Disc

In between the vertebrae are discs that serve as protective cushions or shock-absorbing pads. When the jelly-like core of these discs bulge or push against the disc’s outer ring, a slipped or herniated disc occurs.

Spinal Stenosis

This occurs when space in the spine starts to narrow, thus placing increased pressure on the spinal cord or the nerves that travel from the spinal cord to the muscles.

Acute Lower Back Pain

This is often caused by injuryto the muscles or ligaments that support the back. The pain is usually a result of muscle spasms or tears.

Minimally Invasive vs Traditional Spine Surgery

Today, there are two main methods for spine surgery: traditional open surgery and minimally invasive surgery.

Traditional Open Spine Surgery

This is the conventional method. It usually requires a midline incision and dissection of the paraspinal muscles. At the same time, it offers better access of the surgery site.

Minimally Invasive Spine Surgery

his is an alternative to traditional open spine surgery. This utilizes smaller incisions, less cutting of soft tissues and muscle dissection. This surgery may also result in less pain after and faster recovery. However, minimally invasive surgery may not be suitable for everyone, and your spine surgeon will be able to advise you accordingly.

Other surgical techniques include:

Radiofrequency surgery

The surgeon uses radiofrequency probes to reduce pain from affected discs, or shrinkage of bulging discs which helps to decompress nerves that are irritated or compressed.

Robotic surgery

This is a form of minimally invasive spine surgery where the surgeon performs the operation with the help of robotic arms that are precisely guided via a console.

Dr Chua Soo Yong is subspecialty-trained in the field of complex spine surgery.

For a detailed and personalised evaluation, contact us at 6262 0555 today.

Spine Surgery Procedures

The type of spine surgery used will depend on the patient’s condition. Common procedures include:

Spinal fusion

Similar to a welding process, spinal fusion merges two bones in the spine so that they will naturally heal together and form a single bone.


This procedure involves removing portions of the herniated disc to alleviate pressure on the spinal nerve.


This involves removing the lamina, the part of the vertebra that covers the spinal canal. It is done to widen the spinal canal to prevent the cord and spinal nerves from being compressed.

Disc replacement

This surgery relieves the pain by replacing a degenerated/damaged disc in the the spine with a prosthetic one.

Post-Surgery and Recovery

After undergoing spinal surgery, you will need to stay in the hospital until the doctor clears you for discharge. During your hospital stay, a tube will be connected to your back to drain the fluid from your wounds. You will also be given an intravenous (IV) line through which you can directly receive pain relievers, antibiotics and other medicines. A urinary catheter may also be initially placed to allow you to go to the bathroom without having to move much.

Once cleared to go home, the doctor will provide at-home care instructions and help you schedule physiotherapy sessions. For the first weeks you may need to wear a brace, and you will need to avoid doing heavy physical tasks and household chores, as well as lifting heavy objects. You are advised to sit on a sturdy chair that straightens your back and allows you to maintain a good posture. Getting enough sleep is key to recovery, too.

Dr Chua Soo Yong
Consultant Orthopaedic & Spine Surgeon
MBBS (S’pore), MRCS (Edinburgh), MMed (Ortho), FRCS (Ortho), FAMS (Ortho)

Dr Chua is an Orthopaedic and Spine Surgeon with over 10 years of specialist experience treating back and neck issues. Dr Chua is skilled in all aspects of spinal surgery using a wide range of evidence-based techniques; and was the recipient of the Depuy-Asia Pacific Orthopaedic Association Spine Travelling Fellowship in 2010. Besides his practice, Dr Chua also remains actively involved in the research of spinal cord injury and regeneration and has published in established medical journals.

Make an appointment with our specialist, Dr Chua Soo Yong, at 6262 0555 today.
Contact Us
We are well-equipped to diagnose and treat all back, spine, and neck injuries.

3 Mount Elizabeth Suite #06-09,
Mount Elizabeth Medical Centre
Singapore 228510

Tel : 6262 0555
Fax : 6684 0985
Mon to Fri : 9.00am - 5.30pm
Sat : 9.00am - 1.30pm
Closed on Sunday and Public Holidays
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Atlas Spine & Orthopaedic Surgery Centre provides subspecialty back and spine treatments tailored to each patient’s needs. For a detailed consultation, make an appointment with us at 6262 0555 today.