Spine & Neck Care | Torrance Memorial | South Bay

Spine & Neck Care

Back and neck pain don’t have to stop you from enjoying your daily activities. Torrance Memorial Back and Spine Center offers a wide range of nonsurgical and surgical options to help you feel better. With well-rounded support from many types of specialists, you’ll forge a path to pain relief and better quality of life.

Conditions Treated

Count on Torrance Memorial’s pain management specialists, rehabilitation therapists, and surgeons for a diagnosis and treatment of:

  • Cervical radiculopathy – Pinched nerve in the neck that causes arm pain, numbness, or weakness
  • Cervical spondylosis – Arthritis in your neck bones
  • Chiari malformation – Brain tissue that’s forced into the spinal canal due to a small or misshaped skull
  • Herniated disc – Vertebra (spine bone) that slips out of place
  • Sciatica – Pain that runs down the sciatic nerve from your lower back to your leg
  • Scoliosis – Sideways curve in the spine
  • Spinal stenosis – Narrowing of space in your backbone, which can put painful pressure on nerves
  • Tumors – Abnormal spinal lumps, which usually aren’t cancer
  • Vertebral compression fracture – Bones that weaken and break down in the spine

Nonsurgical Care

Depending on your condition, your doctor may recommend starting treatment with nonsurgical options that fit easily into your everyday life. Ask about:

  • Physical therapy, which provides hands-on pain relief and teaches you exercises, stretches, and postural changes to help you feel more comfortable
  • Biologics, natural substances that support healing
  • Pain management services, including nerve blocks and epidural injections

Surgery for Back & Neck Pain

If you and your doctor determine that surgery is your best choice, your surgeon will take the least invasive approach possible. That means using advanced technology to perform your procedure through small incisions. Minimally invasive procedures impact a smaller area of your body than traditional surgery, so you experience a quicker and easier recovery.

Discectomy & Microdiscectomy

Discectomy removes a herniated disc (vertebra, or spine bone, that has slipped out of place) if it’s pressing painfully on a nerve. Microdiscectomy is a minimally invasive approach to the procedure. It uses a special microscope to let the surgeon see the disc and nerves through a smaller incision. That means the surgery affects less healthy tissue and leads to less pain afterward.

Fusion Surgery

As you age, the cartilage (soft cushion) between vertebrae wears away, making your spine bones rub painfully against each other. Fusion surgery joins two arthritic vertebrae together, preventing painful movement. Your surgeon may use a piece of healthy bone from your pelvis, donated bone, or an artificial bone substitute for your procedure. Rods, screws, or a tiny cage may also help hold two vertebrae together.

Your surgery is called lumbar fusion if it treats your lower back. If it treats bones in your neck, it’s called cervical fusion.

Ask if your surgeon will use Torrance Memorial’s robotic technology to perform your procedure in a less invasive way. The surgeon controls “robot” arms that move more steadily and bend and rotate further than human hands. Using a special camera, the surgeon can see your spine from several angles through a small incision. The equipment allows precise treatment with a lower risk of complications (unexpected problems).


This minimally invasive treatment can provide relief after a spinal compression fracture (crack in a bone). Your surgeon makes a small incision and uses X-ray imaging to guide a tiny balloon into the fractured area. The balloon inflates, gently pushing the collapsed vertebra back in place. In the space the balloon created, your surgeon injects bone cement that hardens and supports the vertebra, so it stays in position.

Laminectomy & Microlaminectomy (Spinal Decompression)

The lamina is the back part of your vertebra that covers the spinal cord. Laminectomy removes it from one or more bones to relieve painful pressure on nerves, especially if you have spinal stenosis. Your surgeon also clears away any bone fragments that press on the nerve roots.

Microlaminectomy is a less invasive approach to the procedure. Your surgeon uses a special microscope to see the spine through a smaller incision. You benefit from less pain, less blood loss, and a shorter scar.


This minimally invasive procedure clamps or cuts sympathetic nerves along your spine. It stops the nerves from sending signals that make you sweat too much, feel chronic pain, or overreact to cold temperatures. Because this surgery uses a small incision, you’ll recover sooner and spend as little time in the hospital as possible.

Orthopedic Surgeons & Neurosurgeons

You may receive treatment from a Torrance Memorial orthopedic surgeon or a neurosurgeon with Cedars-Sinai, depending on your procedure. No matter who performs your surgery, it will take place at Torrance Memorial Medical Center, so you can stay close to home for high-quality care.

Preparing for Spine Surgery

Why Should You Watch This Video

  • You'll learn more about your condition and how the scheduled procedure will improve your health and well-being
  • You'll feel less anxious because you know exactly what to expect
  • You'll experience less pre-op and post-op pain because you will understand how to prepare yourself ahead of time, physically and emotionally
  • You'll be able to prepare your home so you'll be able to recover safely and comfortably
  • You'll have greater understanding of how to do the post-operative exercises and why they are so important
  • You'll feel happier, healthier and more satisfied with the results of your surgical procedure

Pre-Admission Registration & Testing

As part of your preparation for surgery, your surgeon will ask you to undergo certain pre-operative tests and procedures, such as:

  • Pre-operative physical exam and medical clearance from your primary care physician
  • Blood donation (in case you need a transfusion)
  • Diagnostic tests
  • Advance directives

Early Admit

Please visit or call our pre-registration/pre-testing office, located on the first floor of Lundquist Tower, to register for your surgery. No appointment is necessary. A nurse will ask you about your medical history, family history and home medication.

  • Located: Lundquist Tower, 1st floor
  • Hours: 8am - 5pm
  • Phone Number: 310-517-4754

What to Bring to the Hospital

If you are having total joint replacement, you can expect to be in the hospital for three or four days. For other procedures, your surgeon will provide an estimate of how long you can expect to stay. Pack everything you will need to be comfortable but please remember to leave valuables at home!

Please bring the following items with you for your hospital stay:

  • Valid Photo ID
  • Health Insurance Plan Card
  • Prescription Insurance Plan Card with RX BIN Plan Number
  • AICD / Pacemaker Card
  • Rubber soled, non-skid shoes or closed back slippers
  • Dentures, hearing aid and/or glasses, if needed
  • Loose fitting, comfortable clothing for physical therapy, such as sweatpants or lounge wear
  • List of all medications (including over the counter, vitamins and supplements) that you take, along with the dosage, regular schedule and the timing of the last pill(s) you take prior to your surgery. Your surgeon will have advised you in advance whether you should stop taking any medications in advance and/or the night before and day of your surgery.
  • Please do not bring any medications with you to the hospital - all medications should be left at home.
  • A copy of your Advance Directive or Living Will
  • CPAP Machine (for patients with sleep apnea)
  • Brace or Corset – If instructed to bring by surgeon
  • Form of payment for any co-pays or to fill discharge prescriptions at Outpatient pharmacy

Learn more about your hospital stay

Find Your Orthopedic Specialist

Call our free physician referral line and find an orthopedic specialist who meets your needs.


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