Alpesh A. Patel, MD; June 13, 2018


Minimally Invasive Spine Surgery Offers Better Pain Relief than Prescription Medications


Alpesh A. Patel, MD

Director of Orthopedic Spine Surgery at Northwestern Memorial Hospital


About 80 percent of adults experience back pain at some point in their lifetime. It is the most common cause of job-related disability and a leading contributor to missed workdays in the United States. While most back pain is acute, or short term, 26 million Americans ages 20 to 64 experience chronic back pain.

Lifestyle modifications including weight loss and exercise are often effective in helping to mitigate chronic back pain, yet for many, these approaches do not ease their persistent pain and many rely on opioid based pain medications. However, recent research has found that opioids are no better at controlling back pain than other non-opioid drugs, such as Tylenol or Motrin. With opioid overdose deaths rising in the United States, addictive medications like oxycodone (OxyContin) or morphine should not be the first choice against chronic backache.

On Wednesday, June 13th, Dr. Alpesh Patel is available to discuss issues surrounding back pain and the treatment options available, including minimally invasive spine surgery. He will talk about some of the latest research available, as well as Northwestern Medicine’s role in advancing treatment. Thankfully, there are many approaches to treating back pain other than chronic use of opioids and in this interview, Dr. Patel will discuss this thought further.


For more information please visit 



Alpesh A. Patel, MD is the director of orthopedic spine surgery at Northwestern Memorial Hospital. He is a spine surgeon with fellowship training in both Orthopaedic Spine Surgery and Neurosurgery. He specializes in cervical spine surgery and minimally invasive spine surgery. His experience and research include the areas of cervical spine surgery, cervical myelopathy, herniated discs, minimally invasive surgery, spine trauma and spinal cord injuries. He also cares for patients with spinal stenosis, spine cancers and tumors, and neck pain.  He is known for his clinical research on patient outcomes, genetics of spinal disease, and injuries of the spine and spinal cord. He is also known for my research in cost-effectiveness and value in spine care, making spine surgery at Northwestern Memorial, as well as throughout the United States and the world, safer and more effective.

Speak Your Mind