Spinal surgery

The spinal service at The Walton Centre delivers thousands of spinal procedures per year and treats many more new patients per year. 

A multidisciplinary team including neurosurgeons, radiologists, neurologists, pain specialists, physiotherapists and specialist nurses work together in treating all types of spinal pathology, including:


Adult Degenerative spinal disease:

    • Sciatica secondary to lumbar disc herniation
    • Sciatica secondary to bony wear and tear changes
    • Low back pain
    • Neck pain and referred arm pain due to disc herniation
    • Cervical spinal myelopathy
    • Lumbar canal stenosis
    • Cauda equina syndrome
    • Osteoporotic spinal insufficiency fracture

Adult Degenerative deformity:

    • Sagittal plane imbalance such as spondylolisthesis
    • Coronal plane deformity such as degenerative scoliosis

Spinal tumours including:

    • Metastatic spinal cord compression (MSCC) for which The Walton Centre is the regional lead
    • Neurofibromas
    • Schwannomas
    • Tumours of the spinal cord, such as intrinsic gliomas, ependymomas and haemangioblastomas
    • Primary bone tumours of the spine

Spinal trauma

Chiari Malformations


Calcified giant thoracic discs

Vascular malformations of the spine



Although performing over 1600 spinal surgeries per year, surgery is not always the first line treatment for spinal pathology with pharmacological, physical therapy and injection therapy also playing a role in acute pain.  Failure to control the pain from simple means often leads to surgery to decompress the  “trapped nerve” whilst at the same time preserving the biomechanical stability of the spine. New techniques of minimally invasive spinal surgery ('keyhole') are being developed particularly in the field of MSCC. Osteoporotic fractures are regularly managed within a multi-disciplinary approach delivering vertebroplasty and kyphoplasty. Our spinal surgeons are however, proficient in complex spinal instrumentation from head  to pelvis when ever necessary.

We are in the process of developing a Rapid Access Sciatica service aiming to treat sciatica within a month of referral.



We are very active in research being one of the first Units in the region to develop the Spine Tango data registry capturing vital clinical information relating to patient reported outcome. We regularly publish and present at scientific meetings nationally and internationally. Key areas include:

  • Recent application for multi-centre trial comparing discectomy to injection therapy for acute sciatica ('NERVES' trial)
  • Spinal tumour outcome assessment
  • Cauda equina outcome assessment
  • Degenerative spondylolisthesis.

For more details please visit our research pages.


Support for patients with spinal conditions

The spinal service is supported by several specialist nurses who are the key workers for patient with spine fractures needing HALO vest adjustment.

Our complex spine surgeons

Mr T Pigott
Mr M Wilby
Mr Z Sarsam
Mr S Clark
Mr N Buxton
Mr D Carter
Mr M Teli
Mr N Rath
Mr N P Carleton-Bland

Our specialist nurses

Keren Smallwood
Laura Whitfield
Faye Mangan
Elizabeth Heaps
Joanne Leahy
Carla McKay

To contact the clinical nurse specialist team during the hours of 9am-5pm Monday to Friday:

  • Direct line with answer machine service: 0151 556 3424

Extended Scope Practioners

Margaret Beswick
Canisius Dzapasi
Samantha Dales