Spinal surgery

Service detail

The spinal service at The Walton Centre is one of the most active in the country and was named as a Spinal Centre of Excellence by Eurospine in 2019. The service delivers thousands of elective and emergency spinal procedures each year with audited, high-quality outcomes. Operating takes place at The Walton Centre which is co-located with the Major Trauma Centre in Aintree University Hospital. Outpatient clinics are held within the unit along with satellite regional sub-specialist clinics in Whiston, Wigan, Chester, Southport, the Isle Of Man, North Wales and the Wirral. The Walton Centre spinal service also provides the region with 24/7 emergency on-call support.

A multidisciplinary team including neurosurgeons, orthopaedic spinal surgeons, radiologists, microbiologist, neurologists, pain specialists, physiotherapists and specialist nurses work together in treating all types of spinal pathology, including simple and complex disorders.

Adult degenerative spinal disease:

  • Sciatica secondary to lumbar disc herniation
  • Sciatica secondary to bone wear and tear changes
  • Lower 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 treating centre
  • Neurofibromas
  • Schwannomas
  • Tumours of the spinal cord, such as intrinsic gliomas, ependymomas and haemangioblastomas
  • Primary bone tumours of the spine


Other conditions treated include:

  • Spinal trauma
  • Chiari malformations
  • Syringomyelia
  • Calcified giant thoracic discs
  • Vascular malformations of the spine

We have a weekly multidisciplinary meeting, covering spinal disorders with neuroradiology support and a second meeting covering complex spinal deformity.


Spinal Nursing Team


The Spinal Nursing Team provide regular assessments for inpatients, managing bladder, bowel and specialised care for spinal cord injury patients. The spinal nursing team work closely with the whole clinical team within The Walton Centre and external organisations, arranging scans, medications and interventions as needed. There is a spinal nurse on the morning ward rounds Monday to Friday and if you would like to speak to one of the team while you are an inpatient, please ask the ward staff.


The Spinal Nursing Team provide pre-operative advice and support via telephone clinics and also provide follow-up clinics to review patients after surgery and/or discharge.

The Spinal Nursing Team also provide specialist clinics for those requiring OPAT (outpatient antibiotic treatment), patients requiring support with bladder and bowel management problems, fracture clinics for those who need review for a spinal fracture and orthotics support for patients in braces or collars.

The team also has emergency access review clinic appointments, so if you have symptoms that are assessed as requiring urgent review then the spinal nursing team can see you in clinic at short notice.

You are able to contact us via 0151 556 3424 for clinical advice and support, for queries related to your condition only. If you have symptoms you are concerned about then please leave a message with your name, date of birth and contact number and we will get back to you. Please be aware the spinal nursing team work Mon- Fri 8am-6pm and answer the calls once daily, for emergency advice outside of the hours please contact your GP or your local A+E Department. For queries concerning clinic appointments, referrals, clinic letters etc. please contact the secretary for your consultant via the hospital switchboard 0151 525 3611



Getting here

The Walton Centre - Main Hospital Building

The Walton Centre Main Building

This building hosts many of our in-patient services, including wards and theatres, and some outpatients services.


Lower Lane, Liverpool, L9 7LJ

Directions and map

The Walton Centre NHS Foundation Trust is not responsible for third-party sites or content.

Patient leaflets

Cauda Equina Syndrome

Cauda Equina Syndrome is a complex condition that can cause difficulty with nerve messages being sent from the brain down the spinal cord to the lower spinal nerves and back to the brain from the lower body. The following information is designed to help you understand what cauda equina syndrome is and how it could affect you. Please remember every patient is different and there are different degrees of recovery for each individual.

Cervical (Neck) Spine Surgery

The surgical procedure that you are to be admitted for depends on your specific requirements, but this information is for those who are to have surgery performed in the cervical spine (neck area). 

Cervical Collar

A cervical collar is a neck brace that limits the movement of your neck while providing you with support and can also provide some pain relief.

Cervical Thoracic Orthosis

A CTO is a cervical collar (neck brace) that has an extension support to also protect the thoracic spine. It limits movement whilst providing you with support and can also provide some pain relief.

Endoscopic spinal surgery

Endoscopic surgery is a surgical solution for spinal disorders caused by wear and tear degeneration

Halo jacket system

The system you are wearing is called a halo jacket system and is specifically designed to hold your neck still whilst the bones in your neck heal, in a similar way to how a broken leg or arm would be put into plaster to stop it moving whilst it heals.

LSO (Lumbosacral orthosis)

A Spinal brace is a device that is worn to limit the movement of the spine.

Lumbar microdiscectomy

A lumbar microdiscectomy is performed for someone who has a prolapsed disc in the lower back area, sometimes known as a slipped disc.

Lumbar spine surgery

Information to help you understand what will happen to you during your time with us for lumber spinal surgery. It also contains your physiotherapy exercises for you to do following your surgery and some general advice following lumbar spinal surgery.

Spinal cord stimulation (SCS) - Information for patients being considered

Information for patients being considered for spinal cord stimulation (SCS)

Spinal fractures (Traumatic)

This information leaflet has been designed to inform you about your spinal fracture. It will explain: how your fracture will be managed, how you can support your recovery and also answer some common questions. It is a general guide therefore individual advice may vary for each person.

Spinal instrumentation surgery

This booklet contains information about spinal surgery with instrumentation. There is an explanation of some terms that may be relevant to you and your surgery toward the end of the booklet.

Thoracic Spine Surgery

This booklet contains information about thoracic spine surgery. There is an explanation of some terms that you may hear. If you have any questions before or after your surgery, then please contact us via the contact details below.

TLSO (Thoracolumbar sacral orthosis)

A Spinal brace is a device that is worn to limit the movement of the spine. It can be used to help the healing process after spinal fractures and can also be used to help support the spine following surgery.

Vertebral compression fracture (VCF): Vertebroplasty and Kyphoplasty

Following your recent investigations and consultation with the spinal team, your scans have revealed that you have one or more fractured vertebrae. This may of been caused by a number of things osteoporosis, traumatic injury to your back or less commonly cancer, as these can all weaken a bone’s structure.


View all related Patient leaflets

Spinal surgery Consultants

Mr Neil Buxton

Mr Neil Buxton is a Consultant Neurosurgeon at The Walton Centre.

Mr Farouk Olubajo

Mr Farouk Olubajo is a Consultant Neurosurgeon at The Walton Centre.

Mr David Carter

Mr David Carter is a Consultant Neurosurgeon at The Walton Centre, specialising in spinal surgery.

Mr Nick Carleton-Bland

Since being appointed as a Consultant Neurosurgeon at The Walton Centre in 2017, Mr Carleton-Bland has run a full time clinical practice alongside an educationalist practice in undergraduate and post-graduate settings. He is a human factors trainer, he has won a national teaching award from Association for Perioperative Practice and won the postgraduate ‘Excellence in Education’ award 2020 from the North West School of Surgery.  

Mr Martin Wilby

Mr Martin Wilby is a Consultant Neurosurgeon at The Walton Centre.

Mr Prokopis Annis

Mr Prokopis Annis is a fellowship trained Orthopaedic spinal surgeon. He joined The Walton Centre in 2022 after seven years at The Royal Liverpool University Hospital.

Mr Zaid Sarsam

Mr Zaid Sarsam is a Consultant Neurosurgeon at The Walton Centre.

Miss Maggie K Lee

Miss Maggie Lee is a Consultant Neurosurgeon at The Walton Centre. She was previously a consultant in complex spinal surgery in Manchester and is currently an Honorary Lecturer at the University of Liverpool.

Page last updated: 23 June 2021