The Ohio State University Wexner Medical Center has multiple specialists, diagnostic tools and treatment options in one center to care for your spine.
Spine Conditions

Spine Conditions

Treatment Options

Treatment Options

Our physicians recognize and understand the pain characteristics of back conditions. This helps us develop an effective, personalized treatment plan for you. Your treatment most likely will include several options, and you will be the primary decision-maker.

At Ohio State, we exhaust all nonsurgical options first before recommending a more invasive procedure. 


Our diagnostic process includes a physical examination and neurologic exam, which may include the use of lights or reflex hammers to assess motor, sensory and reflex skills.

Your doctor may order further testing, if necessary, including additional X-rays, MRI, CT scan, EMG, myelogram and/or bone density. These imaging reports give your physician detailed images of any deterioration or abnormality in your bones or soft tissues.

Available testing includes:

  • EMG: Tiny electrodes to send signals to your muscles, and it records their response. This test helps your doctor evaluate the health of your muscles and nerve cells. 
  • Myelogram: Contrast dye further highlights areas of concern. 
  • Bone density test: This painless scan that measures calcium and minerals in your bone to detect for osteoporosis.

Why Choose OSU

Why choose Ohio State spine care for your treatment

  • You will have the insights and expertise of an entire clinical team available to diagnose the source of your pain and help you achieve the highest level of function possible with the least-invasive treatment.
  • If you need surgery, our fellowship-trained surgeons perform more complex spine surgeries than any other medical center in central Ohio.
  • Our physical therapists specialize in spine disorders and injuries to restore you to maximum function.
  • We can predict whether a job or activity could injure your spine using our biomechanical testing (studying the action of external and internal forces on the body). We’re also developing unique programs to analyze how activities and movements can put stress on the spine.
  • You have the opportunity to participate in groundbreaking research and clinical trials through our associations with national and international spine organizations.
  • Through Ohio State spine care registry, we track our patients’ outcomes, including physical function and quality of life, and compare these to national and international results to help us select the most effective treatment methods.

Patient Stories

Patient stories

Getting her life back after spine surgery

Before Beth had surgery to correct her degenerative disc disease, her days revolved around controlling her back pain. Since having artificial disc replacement surgery with Francis Farhadi, MD, PhD, a neurosurgeon specializing in spine disorders, Beth's days are focused on what she enjoys, like being active and spending time with her family.

Back to normal

For years, Dick suffered from severe pain in his back and legs. He decided to visit Safdar Khan, MD, an orthopedic surgeon at Ohio State. Dr. Khan diagnosed him with severe spinal stenosis and recommended surgery to reduce his pain. Today, Dick is pain-free and back to normal.

Sarah's experience with spinal fusion

Until she met Safdar Khan, MD, an orthopedic surgeon at Ohio State, Sarah struggled with severe back pain. She could no longer garden, travel or even walk her dog. Sarah had spinal stenosis. She underwent spinal fusion surgery with Dr. Khan. Now Sarah is pain-free, active and back to doing the things she loves.

Andrew's back to pain-free

Andrew's degenerative spine disorder caused pinched nerves and severe back pain. Non-surgical treatments did not relieve his pain, so he had a minimally-invasive surgical procedure with Francis Farhadi, MD, PhD, a spine neurosurgeon at Ohio State, to relieve pressure. Now Andrew’s back to pain-free .

Pam's journey with scoliosis

Born with scoliosis, Pam's spinal deformity became so debilitating, she could hardly move. She found herself walking bent over with difficulty breathing. Finally, Pam visited Stephanus Viljoen, MD, a spine neurosurgeon at Ohio State, who performed a surgical procedure to straighten her spine. Today, Pam is finally walking tall and pain-free.

Cindy's story of spinal stenosis

For years Cindy suffered from severe back pain. She was diagnosed with spinal stenosis, which causes pressure on the nerves of the spine.Once she visited Stephanus Viljoen, MD, a neurosurgeon specializing in spine disorders at Ohio State, Cindy has new lease on life.

Susan shares her experience

Susan had severe osteoarthritis and scoliosis; her spinal deformity was making it difficult to breathe and stand up straight. Following years of back pain and multiple surgeries, Susan visited Francis Farhadi, MD, PhD, a spine neurosurgeon at Ohio State. He performed a surgical procedure to re-align her spine. Now Susan is living her life to the fullest.
Our Spine Providers

Share this Page

How would you like to schedule?

Don’t have MyChart? Create an account