photo

Neurosurgical Spine Service

The Neurosurgical Spine Service at Massachusetts General Hospital specializes in neurosurgical treatment of the entire spectrum of spine disorders, providing services from diagnosis through surgery and rehabilitation.

A Complete Range of Services

The Neurosurgical Spine Service at Massachusetts General Hospital focuses on nervous system-related problems of the entire spine from the neck to the lower back, including recurring pain, nerve compression syndromes, herniated intervertebral discs and spinal cord compression syndromes.

Patients may come to the Neurosurgical Spine Service for a consultation or a second opinion or for all of their treatments.

At our Spine Evaluation Center patients are seen by our senior neurosurgeons where they receive detailed diagnosis and treatment evaluation. When surgery is necessary, they are referred to the operating neurosurgeons.

A Team Approach to Care

Our multidisciplinary team includes neurosurgeons, neurologists, pain specialists, physical medicine and rehabilitation physicians and therapists.

All are specially trained to treat spinal disorders including:

  • Arachnoid cysts
  • Chiari malformation
  • Diplomyelia or diastematomyelia
  • Disk herniations and herniation syndromes
  • Lipomyelomeningocele
  • Nerve root compressions
  • Spina bifida or myelomeningocele
  • Spinal cord arteriovenous malformation (AVM)
  • Spinal infections
  • Spinal stenosis
  • Syringomyelia
  • Tethered spinal cords
  • Traumatic spine injuries
  • Tumors

Spine Evaluation Center

Staffed by experienced, senior neurosurgeons, the Spine Evaluation Center works with patients to diagnose their condition and determine the most appropriate treatment.

In many cases, we recommend conservative, non-surgical treatments. If surgery is necessary, patients are referred to a Mass General neurosurgeon from the Neurosurgical Spine Service.

The center also provides outpatient consultations and evaluations for routine or complicated spinal disc syndromes, as well as undiagnosed neurological conditions related to the spine. Patients can request:

  • Second opinions for diagnosis, treatment, surgery and management
  • Low back diagnosis, for patients who have already had multiple surgical procedures and are considering additional treatment or therapy
  • Independent medical evaluation, which includes reviews of medical records for insurance carriers and law offices
  • Neurological work-ups and care, including scheduling and diagnostic studies such as an evaluation of myelogram-CTs, MRIs, X-rays and all other neuro-investigative studies

The Brian D. Silber Spine Tumor Clinic

Working together in the Brian D. Silber Spine Tumor Clinic, our neurosurgeons, orthopedic spine surgeons, radiation oncologists and neuro-oncologists diagnose and treat the full range of spine tumors, including vertebral hemangiomas, schwannomas (neuromas), neurofibromas, gliomas (astrocytoma, olgiodendroglioma, ependymoma, and ganglioglioma) chordomas, and spinal chondrosarcomas.

Spine neurosurgeons at Mass General are part of the Spine Tumor Clinic, which supports research into the causes of spine and spinal cord tumors, and sponsors education and support programs for spine tumor patients and their families.

Proton Beam Therapy

Proton beam therapy is a highly advanced form of radiosurgery that targets spinal tumors and lesions outside the cranium. This technique minimizes damage to the nervous system and spares nearby cells and tissue from the radiation.

There are fewer than three dozen Proton Beam Therapy programs in the world. The Mass General Proton Beam Unit was founded in 1962 and has more experience with stereotactic radiosurgery than any other center in the United States.

Research and Innovation

Mass General surgeons performed the first total limb replant, the first discectomy for a herniated intervertebral disc and the first successful stabilization of atlantoaxial instability of the cervical spine.

Our doctors were also the first to demonstrate that herniated lumbar discs are not tumors, leading to new and dramatically better treatments.

Today, the physicians of the Neurological Spine Service are co-leading multicenter research trials that aim to identify which procedures have the best long-term outcomes for specific issues. New studies are introduced regularly, giving patients opportunities to participate in emerging treatment programs and experimental therapies.

Chiari Malformation

A Chiari malformation is a congenital defect in the area of the back of the head where the brain and spinal cord connect.

Spina Bifida

Spina bifida, also called myelodysplasia, is a condition in which there is abnormal development of the back bones, spinal cord, surrounding nerves, and the fluid-filled sac that surrounds the spinal cord.

Spinal Cord Injury

Acute spinal cord injury (SCI) is due to a traumatic injury that can either result in a bruise (also called a contusion), a partial tear, or a complete tear (called a transection) in the spinal cord.

The following related clinical trials and research studies are currently seeking participants at Massachusetts General Hospital. Search for clinical trials and studies in another area of interest.

Spinal Metastases & Stereotactic Radiosurgery

Radiosurgery has shifted the paradigm of treating patients by minimizing the morbidity of conventional surgery and, focusing on tumor control.

MGH Russell Museum Lunchtime Lecture Series

Paul S. Russell, MD Museum of Medical History and Innovation invites you to attend its latest lecture in its lunchtime series

Neurosurgical Spine Service

Wang Ambulatory Care Center 745
15 Parkman Street
Boston, MA 02114

Phone: 617-726-3511
Fax: 617-643-4115

Public Transportation Access: yes

Doctor Name
LocationPhone
Dr. Borges, MD
White Building
617-726-6156
Dr. Coumans, MD
Wang Ambulatory Care Center 617-726-3511
Dr. Shin, MD
Wang Ambulatory Care Center 617-726-5252
Dr. Kurz
Wang Ambulatory Care Center 617-573-2770
Dr. Williams
Wang Ambulatory Care Center 617-643-4102
Dr. Swearingen
Wang Ambulatory Care Center 617-726-3910

Next Steps: