Care at NUH

Spine Surgery


The Department of Orthopaedic Surgery established its spine sub-specialty in 1985, assembling a team of spine specialists dedicated to spine practice in Singapore. The University Spine Centre, staffed by eight  full-time spine specialists, provides comprehensive tertiary spine care and services. 

University Spine Centre

Opening of University Spine Centre on 17 June 2008 by Prof K Satku (then-Director of Medical Services, Ministry of Health Singapore) 

The University Spine Centre provides patients a one-stop service platform with quality clinical facilities and a patient-centric, integrated process flow for addressing various spinal problems. This approach aligns with the National University Health System's (NUHS) strategic goals of expanding clinical facilities and promoting the collection of clinical outcomes to enhance patient value.  

Regularly conducting courses, our centre is a recognised regional centre for training in thoracoscopic spinal surgery and spinal deformity surgery, cervical spine surgery, vertebroplasty and artificial disc replacement.  

Surgical procedures at our centre are organised into degenerative conditions of the cervical (neck) and lumbar (back) spine, paediatric (child) and adult spinal deformities or scoliosis, spinal trauma, spinal infections, and spinal tumours.  

In collaboration with the National Scoliosis Screening Programme, our centre regularly performs thoracoscopic (minimally invasive) scoliosis operations, in addition to conventional scoliosis surgeries. Embracing modern treatment trends, we have been performing artificial disc replacement of the lumbar spine and cervical spine since 2002 and 2005, respectively. In addition, routine procedures include minimally invasive spine surgeries (e.g., endoscopic discectomy and minimally invasive lumbar fusion) and dynamic stabilisation (non-fusion) surgeries 

To optimise treatment outcomes, a multi-disciplinary team, including anaesthetists, rehabilitation physicians, paediatricians, medical and radiation oncologists, orthopaedic surgical nurse practitioners, neurophysiologists (for spinal cord monitoring), physiotherapists, occupational therapists, speech therapists, and social workers, is actively involved in patient care. 

Beyond spinal surgery, the division manages many spinal conditions through non-surgical means, and collaborating with the physiotherapists, acupuncturists and pain management physicians. Minimally invasive injection procedures, such as vertebroplasty and nerve root injections, are also performed regularly for patients who are not suitable candidates for open spinal surgery after failing non-surgical treatments. 


Spine Conditions

Our Doctors

Division Head 

Emeritus Consultant 

Senior Consultants 


Associate Consultant 

The University Spine Centre consists of a dedicated team of orthopaedic surgeons, the majority of whom specialise in the treatment of patients with spinal problems. All our surgeons are fellowship-trained, capable of delivering spine care that is on par with international standards and quality. 

Because of their strong clinical expertise, our surgeons have been invited to countries in the region to share their knowledge with counterparts. Additionally, the team boasts strong academic contributions, with four members serving as academic professors at the National University of Singapore. 

Our Advances
  • EOS Imaging: a low radiation form of weight bearing x-ray used to study the overall alignment of the whole body and spine  
  • Minimally Invasive Spine (MIS) Surgery 
  • Operating Room Technology and Safety in Spinal Surgery 
Our Treatments

Non-surgical treatments, including physical therapy, lifestyle modification, medication, acupuncture, and spinal injections, are often recommended for most patients with spinal conditions. Surgery is considered when these measures prove ineffective, symptoms progress, or when non-surgical options are unsuitable for the patient's condition. 

The objectives of surgical treatment are to relieve symptoms, correct spinal deformities and to stabilise the spine. The use of minimally invasive techniques has led to a reduction in post-operative pain, duration of hospital stays and earlier return to daily activities. These include techniques such as, minimally invasive approaches, tubular procedures and endoscopic procedures. 

Our institution also performs motion-preserving procedures, such as disc replacements in the cervical and lumbar spine, allowing continued motion for patients. State-of-the-art technologies, including operative microscopes, intraoperative neuromonitoring, and imaging/navigation systems like the O-arm, enhance patient safety and contribute to improved surgical outcomes. 

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