Looking after your spine at The Wellington 

The Spinal Unit at The Wellington Hospital has been caring for patients with spinal conditions for over 10 years. Our spinal surgeons work within a comprehensive multidisciplinary team at The Wellington Hospital which includes specialist consultant radiologists, pain medicine consultants, rehabilitation doctors, spinal consultant anaesthetists, specialist spinal nurses and physiotherapists.

Use the drop down below to find out more about the spine itself, the conditions and treatments available through the spinal unit. 

The Spine

The spinal column extends from the skull to the pelvis. There are 33 individual bones, vertebrae which form the spinal column. The spine has several functions, most importantly; it protects the spinal cord, allows mobility, supports your head and allows for balance and weight distribution, it is a base for attachment of ligaments, tendons and muscles.

The vertebrae are positioned one on top of each other and are separated by discs which act as shock absorbers. The spinal cord and nerves allow messages to travel from the brain to other areas of your body, i.e. the muscles of your legs. The discs, vertebrae, nerves, ligaments, muscles and joints in a healthy back should all work together to allow for mobility whilst maintaining stability.

 Spinal Conditions

There are many different spinal conditions that affect the complex structure of the spine. This list provides more information on the more common conditions. 



The Wellington Hospital's Diagnostics and Imaging department is one of the most up-to-date in the country and the largest of its kind in the UK private sector. 

Before confirming a diagnosis of, for example spinal stenosis, it is important for your doctor to rule out other conditions that may produce similar symptoms, using a combination of techniques, which may include:

  • X-ray - shows the structure of the vertebrae and the outlines of joints. 
  • MRI (Magnetic Resonance Imaging) - provides a three-dimensional view of our back and can show the spinal cord, nerve roots, and surrounding spaces, as well as signs of degeneration, tumors or infection. 
  • CAT Scan (Computerized Axial Tomography) - depicts the three-dimensional shape and size of your spinal canal and bony structures surrounding it. 
  • Ultrasound – an Ultrasound scanner does not use X-Rays (ionising radiation).The ultrasound probe emits high frequency sound waves that are passed through your body. As they are reflected back by the structures inside, the echoes are used to form an image. Doppler ultrasound is an additional technique that can be used to examine blood vessels to provide both structural and functional information.Ultrasound is a relatively patient friendly way of imaging and no harmful effects have been found. 
  • DSA (Digital Subtracted Angiography) - a type of X-Ray machine used for taking images of blood vessels and also of soft tissue such as the spinal discs. To be able to show these more clearly, a contrast agent (dye) needs to be given.The machine first takes an image which includes the bones and then when the contrast agent is injected, the machine digitally removes the bones from the images, so that the blood vessels or organ can be seen very clearly.

Visit the Imaging department

Spinal Operations and Procedures

Our spinal unit is constantly adding and improving our techniques for spinal care. Below we have listed some of the more common operations and procedures. Please click on one to find out more.