Back and neck conditions

Dr. Schwartz is a fellowship orthopedic surgeon trained in treating the most common and complex spine conditions and injuries. The following are some of the most common back and neck conditions that Dr. Schwartz treats.

Spinal Deformity

Dr. Schwartz is a skilled orthopedic surgeon who corrects complex spine conditions, including scoliosis and kyphosis. Scoliosis is a sideways curvature of the spine. Most cases are mild; however, as some children develop or adults age, spinal deformities can continue to get more severe.

ultimate scoliosis guide

The natural curvature of the spine helps us stand up straight and stay balanced. The c-shaped curves of the neck (cervical spine) and lower back (lumbar spine) are called lordosis. In between these curves is the reverse c-shaped curve of the chest (thoracic spine) called kyphosis. If any of the curves become too large or small, or develop sideways, your posture will appear abnormal. Severe curvature of the spine can become disabling, reducing the amount of space within the chest and making it difficult for the lungs to function properly. If this happens, it may be time to consider back surgery.

Additional Information:

Back Pain

Back pain is one of the most common reasons people seek the care of a spine specialist or miss work. There are many causes and symptoms, but most times pain in your back can be treated without surgery. If your back pain interferes with your daily life, that is usually when to see a surgeon for back pain.

Additional Information:

Herniated Disc

A herniated disc in the back is when the soft material of a disc in the spine is pushed out onto a nerve. A herniated cervical disc occurs in the neck and a herniated lumbar disc is when this occurs in the lower back. 

The discs are the cushions between the bone of the spine that allow for motion between the bones. They are strong early in life; however, at about age 30, they start to become brittle and the strong outer layer may develop cracks that allow the soft inner material to leak out. The pain from a disc herniation comes from the pressure and inflammation of being contacted by the herniated disc material.

Additional Information:


Spinal fractures vary in terms of severity and location on the spine. Some fractures are results of spinal trauma and may require minimally invasive spine surgery, while other fractured spine conditions can be a result of osteoporosis.

Additional Information

Degenerative Disc Disease

Degenerative disc disease (DDD) is not a disease at all.  It is an accumulation of wear and tear of the flexible pad between your vertebrae called discs.  For most people, the term degenerative implies that the symptoms will get worse with age. However, the term does not apply to the symptoms but describes the process of disc degeneration over time. Disc degeneration is a common cause of chronic back trouble and neck pain.



Kyphosis, also referred to as hunchback, flat back, round back or gibbous deformity, is an excessive curve of the spine that is noticeable when looking at the patient from the side. It is the result of an exaggerated rounding of the upper back. Normally, there is a gentle curve but in kyphosis the curve is excessive.


Spondylolysis and Spondylolisthesis

Spondylolysis is a common cause of lower back pain and occurs when there is a crack or stress fracture in one of the vertebrae in the spinal column. Degenerative spondylolisthesis is a condition where the small joints between two bones of the low back have developed arthritis. In other words, they have worn out over time. 

This causes one bone to slide forward compared to the bone below. It most commonly occurs when the fourth lumbar vertebrae slides forward onto the fifth lumbar vertebrae and is more common in women than in men. It is a result of wear and tear over time and typically shows up when people are in their 50’s or older.

Additional Information:

Neck Conditions

The neck is exposed to injury and disorders that cause significant pain because it supports the weight of the head while also having a significant amount of motion. There are a number of conditions that can cause neck pain.

Additional Information:

Lumbar Spinal Stenosis

Lumbar stenosis is when the canal that carries the nerves through the lower back narrows. Common causes include bulging discs, herniated discs, arthritis, thickening of the ligament within the spine and a loss of spinal alignment with age. Lumbar spinal stenosis typically occurs as a result of aging and symptoms may develop slowly over time.



If you experience sudden pain in your lower back that also radiates to the back of your thigh and into your leg, you may have sciatica. This is a condition that occurs when you have a protruding (herniated) disc in your spinal column that is pressing on the nerve roots in the lumbar spine.

Learn More

The Ultimate Guide to Back Pain Relief cover

The Ultimate Guide to Back Pain Relief

Find out what's causing your back pain and how you can treat it with OrthoIndy's ultimate guide to healing back pain.

Read the guide