As a fully qualified Neurosurgeon I have been looking after patients with spinal pathology for 20 years. At The National Hospital for Neurosurgery and Neurology in Queens Square, London, I was privileged to train under Professor Alan Crockard and Mr Adrian Casey (ex-president British Association of Spinal Surgeons). They fostered in me an interest in the management of both simple and complex spinal pathology.

Back and neck pain are common symptoms, but very rarely do they require surgery. In fact, for most of my patients it is appropriate to view surgery as the final option. Listed on the left are common and important spinal conditions that may benefit from surgical treatment. Below is a management pathway for spinal conditions, designed on my first day as a consultant.