Sonntag Spine Center

Sonntag Spine Center

Support Barrow in revolutionizing the treatment of spinal disorders so patients can live pain free.

Donate to Spine Research and Treatment

Three of every four Americans will suffer back pain at some point in their lives. In the United States, we spend at least $50 billion annually on back pain, and twice that much on lost productivity, not to mention the devastating costs of opioid addiction and suicide.

The Sonntag Spine Center at Barrow Neurological Institute has accepted the challenge of treating painful and debilitating spine conditions, in order to reduce back pain, restore patients’ lives and revolutionize medicine. Seven years after the retirement of our namesake, Volker K.H. Sonntag, MD, the Center builds on his legacy to provide hope and relief to patients in Arizona and around the world through scientific innovation, cutting-edge research world-class education.

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Did you know?

0 % of the U.S. population experiences back pain
0 M workdays lost annually due to back pain
$ 0 B in costs to the U.S. economy each year
Doctors surveying spine for deformities at theSonntag Spine Center

Advancements in Spine Surgery Benefit Patients Worldwide

Under Dr. Sonntag’s leadership, Barrow Neurological Institute established itself as a global leader in education, innovation and treatment of spinal disorders. Today, Barrow spine surgeons perform more than 3,000 surgeries each year, drawing patients from around the world.

Populated with top-notch software engineers, mechanical engineers, spinal electrophysiologists, residents and research fellows using the latest technology, the Sonntag Spine Center will empower the world’s leading specialists at Barrow to reject the norms of “standard of care” to find new solutions for back pain, transforming patients’ lives. These world-class experts will push boundaries beyond Barrow, sharing their discoveries to benefit spine patients around the globe.

“We take a lot of these forefront, new technologies, which…we think they’re better, and we use them in an academic way, tracking results and learning for the next step,” says Dr. Juan Uribe, chief of the division of spinal disorders. “We want to be the first ones to validate the emerging technology.”

spine surgeon

Support Spine Research That Redefines Surgery

Your support will help Barrow experts of the Sonntag Spine Center continue to research and advocate for minimally invasive spine surgery techniques for patients suffering from pain.

See what we achieved in research and patient care last year by downloading the FY23 Spine Stewardship Report below.


Innovation and Education

Spinal Biomechanics Laboratory

The lab investigates how different surgical procedures affect spinal stability to help surgeons decide on the best course of treatment. For example, scientists investigated how force and stress are distributed across rods that are secured to the spine to help stabilize it, so surgeons can use better reinforcement.

Virtual Reality (VR) Spine Lab

The VR Spine Lab allows trainees to practice spine surgeries within a virtual space that replicates a live operating room. With the addition of VR headsets, complex spine surgeries can now be practiced anywhere in the world.

Globus Medical ExcelsiusGPS

This first-of-its-kind robot was created by Barrow neurosurgeons. It utilizes navigation and 3D technology to help surgeons pre-map operations and encompasses a robotic arm to precisely place implants in a patient’s spine.

Research Registry

The Barrow Neurological Clinical Outcomes Center (BNCOC), an internal spinal research registry and patient database that tracks patient outcomes to develop safety measures, quality improvements, and best practices. It is one of the most robust institutional spine registries in the world.