Spine Surgery Center

woman spine

Surgeons at The Midwest Institute for Robotic Surgery at Silver Cross Hospital were the first in Illinois and the tri-state area to use robotic spine surgery with navigation to perform delicate spinal surgery with the utmost precision. 

NEW Robotic Spine Surgery with Navigation

A new surgical tool combined with experienced spinal surgeons can significantly improve life for patients who have been debilitated by back pain. In July 2018, the Midwest Institute for Robotic Surgery at Silver Cross Hospital became the first hospital in Illinois, Indiana, and Kentucky to use navigational robotic spine surgery for patients who need a spinal fusion.

Positioned next to the surgeon, the Globus ExcelsiusGPS™ robot’s arm orients the surgeon and pinpoints the exact position to place needed spinal screws. The robot and surgeon then work together – the surgeon operating the instruments, and the robot guiding the direction, depth, and angle of the surgeon’s Globus ExcelsiusGPShands. Real-time 3D imaging for enhanced navigation and robotic guidance for bone screw placements ensures maximum precision.

Who can benefit from this new surgical robotic system?

People who need a lumbar, thoracic or cervical spinal fusion can benefit from this minimally invasive, robotic-assisted procedure. It can also help people with spinal instability due to scoliosis, spondylolisthesis, fractures, and other conditions.

The new robotic system seamlessly integrates X-rays taken throughout the surgery with CT scans obtained beforehand. The surgeon uses these images to determine the size and placement of implants and creates a plan based on the patient’s unique anatomy. This is used to guide the robotic arm to a specific region of the spine, similar to a planned route or pathway on a GPS. The surgeon uses this pathway to accurately place the implants using instruments.

Robotic surgeryThroughout the procedure, the surgical instruments and implants are continuously displayed on the screen for the surgeon and staff to monitor, allowing the surgeon to view live feedback for the most precise implant placement.

There are several benefits to choosing minimally invasive robotic spine surgery with GPS navigation, including:

  • Shorter hospital stays
  • Less tissue damage
  • Smaller incisions
  • Less noticeable scarring
  • Less exposure to radiation
  • Optimal recovery


To be affiliated with the Midwest Institute of Robotic Surgery at Silver Cross Hospital, physicians must meet rigorous criteria and demonstrate excellent outcomes and high patient satisfaction. For more information or to schedule an appointment for a consultation, click on the surgeon’s photo.


Blue Cross and Blue Shield of Illinois has designated Silver Cross Hospital as a Blue Distinction Center for Spine Surgery.

Blue Distinction Center Spine logo

About Back Pain

Back pain is one of the most common medical problems, affecting eight out of 10 people at some point during their lives. Back pain can range from a dull, constant ache to a sudden, sharp pain. Acute back pain comes on suddenly and usually lasts from a few days to several weeks. Back pain is called chronic if it lasts for more than three months.

Most back pain goes away on its own, though it may take a while. Taking over-the-counter pain relievers and resting can help. If your back pain is severe or doesn’t improve after three days, you should call your healthcare provider. You should also get medical attention if you have back pain following an injury.

Treatment for back pain depends on what kind of pain you have, and what is causing it. It may include hot or cold packs, exercise, medicines, injections, complementary treatments, and sometimes surgery.

Risk Factors

Anyone can have back pain, but some things that increase your risk are:

  • Getting older. Back pain is more common the older you get and often starts between 30 and 40 years old.
  • Poor physical fitness. Back pain is more common in people who are not fit.
  • Being overweight. A diet high in calories and fat can make you gain weight. Too much weight can stress the back and cause pain.
  • Heredity. Genes play a role in some causes of back pain, such as certain types of arthritis.
  • Other diseases. Some types of arthritis and cancer can cause back pain.
  • Your job. If you have to lift, push, or pull while twisting your spine, you may get back pain. If you work at a desk all day and do not sit up straight, you may also get back pain.
  • Smoking. Your body may not be able to get enough nutrients to the disks in your back if you smoke. Smoker’s cough may also cause back pain. People who smoke are slow to heal, so back pain may last longer.
  • Race. Black women are two to three times more likely than white women to have part of the lower spine slip out of place.

What Causes Back Pain?

There are many causes of back pain. These include:

Mechanical problems such as:

  • Disk breakdown.
  • Spasms.
  • Tense muscles.
  • Ruptured disks.
  • Injuries from sprains, fractures, accidents, and falls.

Some medical conditions and diseases, such as:

  • Scoliosis, curving of the spine that does not usually cause pain until middle age.
  • Spondylolisthesis, where a bone in the spine slips out of place.
  • Arthritis.
  • Spinal stenosis, narrowing of the spinal column.
  • Tumors, infections and chronic stress.


Treatment for back pain generally depends on how long your pain lasts:

  • Acute (short-term) back pain usually gets better on its own. Exercises or surgery are usually not recommended for this type of pain. There are some things you may try while you wait for your pain to get better:
  • Acetaminophen, aspirin, or ibuprofen to help ease the pain.
  • Moving around to ease stiffness, relieve pain, and have you back to your regular activities sooner.

Chronic (long-term) back pain is typically treated with nonsurgical options before surgery is recommended, including:

  • Hot or cold packs
  • Exercise can help ease chronic pain and may reduce the risk of it returning. Check with your doctor before starting a new exercise routine.
  • Medications, including pain relievers that are taken by mouth or applied to the skin, such as acetaminophen and aspirin, and nonsteroidal anti-inflammatory drugs (NSAIDs) to relieve pain and inflammation, including ibuprofen and naproxen sodium.
  • Muscle relaxants and some antidepressants may be prescribed for some types of chronic back pain.
  • Your doctor may suggest steroid or numbing shots to lessen your pain.
  • Massage, acupuncture and other complementary therapies

To be affiliated with the Midwest Institute of Robotic Surgery at Silver Cross Hospital, surgeons must meet rigorous criteria and demonstrate excellent outcomes and high patient satisfaction.

Physicians on Silver Cross Hospital’s Medical Staff have expertise in their areas of practice to meet the needs of patients seeking their care. These physicians are independent practitioners on the Medical Staff and are not the agents or employees of Silver Cross Hospital. They treat patients based upon their independent medical judgment and they bill patients separately for their services.