Sonntag Spine Center

Spine Research is Evolving Surgery

Programs that Save Lives

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.

See what we achieved in research and patient care last year by downloading the FY22 Spine Stewardship Report below.

FY22 Spine Stewardship Report
FY22 Spine Stewardship Report
Download Report

Researchers are making advancements with spine research

When fully funded, the Sonntag Spine Center at Barrow Neurological Institute will:

  • Innovate New Technologies through Expanded Robotics and Biomechanics Labs
  • Lead the Search for Cures to Paralysis, through bioelectronic medicine and neuroplasticity
  • Identify the Right Treatments for the Right Patients, through surgery, therapy, pain management or something new
  • Push Boundaries through Global Education, by enrolling more research fellows and virtual education

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.”

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.

Dr. Stephen Brown with colleague at Arizona State University
Patient Story

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