We wish to offer you advice regarding your back problem – what causes the pain, what you can do to help manage the problem, which treatments are effective and whether you need an operation.

We base this advice on over twenty years of clinical experience and our interpretation of the large volume of available evidence. Where extra information is available we will direct you to those sources. We can advise you as to the relevance of information you show us.

We are available for consultation – see Contact us. Once you have considered the information on this site you may feel confident to manage the problem yourself and/or that you do not require surgery.

It is our view that surgery should only be performed when other treatments have failed, when the pain or dysfunction is severe, where the surgery can be performed with a low risk of complications, and when there is a high chance of success. There are quite frequently difficult cases where surgery cannot help. Getting the opinion of a surgeon does not mean having to have an operation - being told you don't need an operation is often reassuring.

It is important that patients understand the nature of the surgery and likely outcomes as well as potential complications. Patients should be in the best physical and medical condition possible before surgery. Time in hospital should be minimized (this reduces the risk of complications)and rehabilitation should be instituted as soon as possible. Recovery is usually slower than expected. Complete healing can take a year or more. An early return to work, even if part-time and on lighter duties helps recovery. It takes about twice as long to regain fitness as to lose it.

Often patients can be helped with exercise - we will help you with this or direct you to someone who can. Other non-surgical measures can help.


Dr Howie

By combining specialised skills from years of experience Dr Howie and members of his team are able to offer you the best advice and treatment (surgical and non-surgical) for management of your back and leg pain.


Ascot Hospital Information

A S C O T - A Superior Class Of Treatment. A brand new purpose built private surgical hospital.


What we are not

This website shows what we CAN do , but here you'll find the range of things we don't do


The Nurses

Nurses are an essential part of our surgical team



Our anaesthetists are specialised in looking after patients during spinal surgery.


Office Staff

Our office staff arrange appointments, schedule surgery and liaise with ACC