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University Orthopaedics, Hand

and Reconstructive Microsurgery Cluster

University Spine Centre 

When National University Hospital (NUH) began operations in 1985, the Department of Orthopaedic Surgery was the first in Singapore to have a spine subspecialty with a team of specialists dedicated to full-time spine practice. The NUH Spine Division is the leading provider of tertiary spine care and services with 5 full-time spine specialists.

With the official set up and opening of the University Spine Centre (USPC), we hope to integrate the range of ambulatory spine services under one roof. In addition to the regular consultation and pre-surgery listing service, it will have pre-surgery survey, post-surgery counselling, and nerve-root block and physiotherapy services. Patients do not have to go far for the various spinal treatment modalities, and the outcome of every patient is collated and studied to gain a deeper understanding of the various surgical methods used to treat different conditions.

Opening of University Spine Centre on 17 Jun 08 by Prof K Satku (Director of Medical Services, Ministry of Health Singapore)

About University Spine Centre
The University Spine Centre (USPC) provides patients a one-stop centre offering advanced clinical facilities and a patient-centric integrated process flow to treat different spinal problems. The University Spine Centre is designed to support this and systematically track clinical outcomes for efficient benchmarking, while providing a safe and personalised outpatient experience. This is in tandem with National University Health System (NUHS) strategic goals to provide expanded clinical facilities and facilitate the collation of clinical outcomes to add value to patients.

The bulk of surgical procedures done by the University Spine Centre is split into degenerative conditions of the cervical (neck) and lumbar (back) spine, pediatric (child) and adult spinal deformities or scoliosis, spinal trauma, spinal infections, and spinal tumors.

In coordination with the national scoliosis screening programme, the centre regularly performs many thoracoscopic (minimally invasive) scoliosis operations, in addition to conventional scoliosis surgeries. And in keeping with the latest trends in treatment, we have been performing artificial disc replacement of the lumbar spine since 2002, and the cervical spine since 2005. In addition, we also perform minimally invasive spine surgeries (e.g. endoscopic discectomy and minimally invasive lumbar fusion) and dynamic stabilization (non-fusion) surgeries on a routine basis.

Our centre is a recognised regional centre for the training of thoracoscopic spinal surgery and spinal deformity surgery, cervical spine surgery, vertebroplasty, as well as artificial disc replacement, having conducted regular courses every year.

In spinal surgery, it is essential to maximize treatment outcomes after surgery. Anesthetists, rehabilitation physicians, pediatricians, medical and radiation oncologists, orthopaedic surgical nurse practitioners, neurophysiologists for spinal cord monitoring, physiotherapists, occupational therapists, speech therapists, and social workers are regularly involved in the overall care of the patients. Besides spinal surgery, the division also manages many spinal conditions by non-surgical means, in collaboration with the physiotherapists, acupuncturists, and pain management physicians. The division also regularly performs minimally invasive injection procedures (e.g. vertebroplasty and nerve root injections) for patients who have failed non-surgical treatment but are not suitable candidates for open spinal surgery.

The centre treats all types of complex spinal problems, including:-

  • Degenerative spinal disorders (spinal stenosis, prolapsed discs, degenerate discs, and spinal instability)
  • Spinal trauma and spinal cord injury
  • Spinal infections
  • Primary and secondary tumors of the spine
  • Scoliosis and other spinal deformities in the child and adult

Our Specialists

The University Spine Centre consists of a dedicated team of Orthopaedic Surgeons, the majority of whom spend their time treating mostly patients with spinal problems. All are fellowship trained spine surgeons capable of delivering the highest standard of spine care comparable to any spine centre in the world.

Our team of spinal surgeons is renowned regionally and internationally for their clinical expertise, being invited to many countries in the region to share their knowledge to their counterparts. They are also strong academically, with 2 members of the team also serving in the National University of Singapore as academic professors.


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