Spine Specialist in Singapore

Dr Kau is a Fellowship trained Orthopaedic Surgeon with more than 15 years of experience. He is experienced in trauma and fracture management, sports injuries, and joint replacement surgery. For patients suffering from spine conditions, Dr Kau offers a conservative approach without surgery. He first uses physiotherapy and medications to help improve your spine condition before resorting to surgical procedures. Make an appointment with Dr Kau for a consultation and a personalised spine treatment plan.

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Dr Kau Chung Yuan (许医生)


MRCS (Ireland)

MMed (Ortho)

FRCSEd (Ortho)


What Is A Spine Specialist?

A spine specialist is a healthcare professional with extensive training in the diagnosis, management, and treatment of disorders affecting the spine.

This specialisation encompasses a broad range of conditions, including trauma-induced injuries, degenerative diseases, and conditions that cause chronic pain and mobility issues.

The role of a spine specialist is pivotal in a multidisciplinary approach to spine health, offering patients a comprehensive assessment and personalised treatment plan.

The Spine

The spine is a vital structure comprising vertebrae that provides support, protection, and flexibility to the body. It enables upright posture and a wide range of movements.

For specialised spine care, Dr Kau offers a range of services to help diagnose, treat, and restore optimal function to your spine.

Conditions Treated by Spine Specialists

Spine specialists are experts in addressing a range of conditions affecting the spine, focusing on alleviating pain, restoring function, and improving the quality of life for their patients.

The specific conditions treated include:

  • Cervical Spondylosis and Myelopathy
    Cervical spondylosis refers to the age-related wear and tear affecting the spinal discs in the neck. When this degeneration leads to spinal cord compression, it results in cervical myelopathy, characterised by symptoms such as numbness, weakness, and coordination issues.
  • Neck Pain and Stiffness
    Neck pain can arise from various underlying causes, including muscle strain, ligament sprains, and nerve compression.
  • Compression Fractures
    These fractures typically result from osteoporosis or trauma, causing sudden and severe back pain. Treatment aims to alleviate pain, stabilise the spine, and restore mobility.
  • Degenerative Conditions of the Spine
    Degenerative spine conditions, including osteoarthritis and degenerative disc disease, arise from the gradual deterioration of the spine’s components.
  • Slipped Disc
    Also known as a herniated disc, this condition occurs when the soft cushion of tissue between the bones in the spine pushes out. It can cause pain and discomfort for the patient.
  • Spinal Stenosis
    Spinal stenosis involves the narrowing of spaces within the spine, which can put pressure on the nerves that travel through the spine. Symptoms include pain, numbness, muscle weakness, and problems with bladder or bowel control.
  • Sciatica
    This condition is characterised by pain that radiates along the path of the sciatic nerve, which branches from the lower back through the hips and buttocks and down each leg. It’s typically caused by a slipped disc or bone spur on the spine compressing part of the nerve.
  • Scoliosis
    Scoliosis is a condition characterised by an abnormal lateral curvature of the spine. It varies in severity and can affect both children and adults.
  • Spinal Infections
    These can include osteomyelitis, discitis, or epidural abscesses, which can affect the vertebrae, intervertebral discs, or the space around the spinal cord.

Diagnostic Techniques

To accurately diagnose spine-related conditions, spine specialists utilise a variety of diagnostic tools and techniques. The most commonly used diagnostic tools include:

X-rays are often the first imaging technique used to assess the spine. They can reveal vertebral fractures, osteoarthritis signs, and changes in the alignment or shape of the spine.

Magnetic Resonance Imaging (MRI):
MRI scans provide detailed images of the spine’s soft tissues, including discs, nerves, and ligaments. This tool is useful for diagnosing conditions like slipped discs, spinal stenosis, and spinal tumours.

Computed Tomography (CT) Scan:
A CT scan combines X-rays from different angles to create cross-sectional images of the spine. It is particularly useful for visualising bone structures and can detect spinal fractures, tumours, and degenerative spinal conditions.

Bone Scan:
Bone scans can detect bone growths, fractures, or infections not visible on standard X-rays.

Treatment Options

Spine specialists offer a comprehensive range of treatment options tailored to address the specific needs and conditions of their patients. These treatments span from conservative, non-surgical interventions to advanced surgical procedures, aiming to alleviate pain, restore function, and improve quality of life.

The choice of treatment depends on the severity of the condition, the patient’s overall health, and their personal preferences.

Non-Surgical Interventions

Non-surgical treatments are often the first line of therapy for many spine-related conditions, especially in cases where symptoms are mild to moderate.

Physical Therapy

Physical therapy involves exercises and techniques designed to strengthen the muscles supporting the spine, improve flexibility, and increase range of motion.


A variety of medications are used to manage pain and inflammation associated with spine conditions, including non-steroidal anti-inflammatory drugs (NSAIDs), muscle relaxants, analgesics, and in some cases, corticosteroid injections.

Epidural Steroid Injections

These injections deliver steroids directly into the epidural space in the spine to reduce inflammation and alleviate pain caused by nerve irritation.

Surgical Interventions

Surgery may be considered when non-surgical treatments fail to provide relief or in cases where the condition is severe or worsening.

Minimally Invasive Spine Surgery (MISS)

Minimally Invasive Spine Surgery (MISS) is employed for the treatment of various spine conditions, including herniated discs, spinal stenosis, and spinal deformities. MISS utilises small incisions, reducing damage to the surrounding tissues. This approach often results in less pain post-surgery, a shorter hospital stay, and a quicker return to daily activities.

Spinal Fusion

Spinal fusion is a surgical procedure aimed at achieving permanent fusion of two or more vertebrae, providing stability to a spinal segment. By immobilising the affected vertebrae, spinal fusion can significantly reduce pain and correct misalignments.


Laminectomy involves the removal of part of the vertebral bone, known as the lamina. This procedure is primarily performed to relieve pressure on spinal nerves caused by conditions such as spinal stenosis.


Discectomy is a surgical intervention aimed at removing the damaged portion of a herniated disc in the spine, which is pressing on a nerve and causing pain or weakness. This procedure can be performed using minimally invasive techniques, offering the patient a faster recovery time and less post-operative discomfort.

Spine specialists are committed to providing the best possible outcomes, whether through conservative management or surgical intervention.


Are Your Symptoms Affecting Your Quality Of Life?

Consult our MOH-accredited orthopaedic specialist for an accurate diagnosis & personalised treatment plan today.

When To See A Spine Surgeon

  • Chronic Back or Neck Pain
    If you experience persistent or chronic back or neck pain that does not improve with conservative treatments such as rest, physical therapy, or medication, it may be time to consult a spine specialist.
  • Neurological Symptoms
    If you develop neurological symptoms such as numbness, tingling, weakness, or loss of coordination in your arms, legs, or other parts of the body, it is important to seek the expertise of a spine surgeon.
  • Spinal Deformities or Trauma
    If you have spinal deformities like scoliosis, or if you have experienced a severe spinal injury or trauma, a spine surgeon should be consulted.

Dr. Kau Chung Yuan

MBBS (S’pore)

MRCS (Ireland)

MMed (Ortho)

FRCSEd (Ortho)

Dr Kau (许医生) is a Fellowship trained Orthopaedic Surgeon with a subspecialty interest in Hip and Knee surgery and has been in practice for more than 15 years.

He is experienced in trauma and fracture management, sports injuries, and joint replacement surgery.

  • Fellow of the Royal College of Surgeons Edinburgh, Orthopaedics (FRCS, Edin) 2014
  • Master of Medicine (Orthopaedics), Singapore (MMed) 2013
  • Member of the Royal College of Surgeons Ireland (MRCS, Ire) 2009
  • Bachelor of Medicine and Surgery (MBBS, Singapore) 2004

Patient Journey with Dr Kau


During the initial consultation, Dr Kau will evaluate your medical history, assess your condition and advise you on the next course of action.


After consultation, Dr Kau will decide which tests are needed. Most conditions will benefit from an X-ray and MRI of the affected region to aid in your diagnosis.


After diagnosis, Dr Kau will recommend a personalised non-invasive or surgical treatment plan, depending on your condition.

Partnered Programs & Insurance Plans

For Singaporeans, Singapore Permanent Residents and Foreigners.
Please speak to our friendly clinic staff about using your insurance plans.

Patient Feedback

Ethan Chan
Dr. Kau is an exemplary doctor who is experienced in his field and is very patient with his patients. He walked me through the details of my knee condition and addressed all my concerns. Thanks to Dr. Kau, I had a better understanding of my ACL and MCL injury and the various treatment options available. His advice and treatment have been very valuable to me.
Ming Lee Chua
Dr Kau was very careful and explained clearly the surgery procedures. After surgery, the care while I was in hospital was closely monitored and he even came during weekends! The hip so far has recovered and healed. His ‘predictions’ of when what can happen are so accurate. Trust him.
Teo Pek Suan Diana
I had a very successful total hip replacement done by Dr Kau 4 years ago. 4 months after the operation I was back walking, cycling and swimming. The beautiful job gave me much confidence Dr Kau is most professional and has such great doctor patient communication.

Send Us An Enquiry

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    Visit Us Today

    Mount Elizabeth Novena
    Specialist Centre
    Mount Alvernia
    Farrer Park
    38 Irrawaddy Road,
    Singapore 329563
    1, #02-01 Farrer Park Station Rd,
    Connexion, Singapore 217562

    Frequently Asked Questions (FAQs)

    Is surgery necessary for my back pain or are there non-surgical alternatives?

    The necessity of surgery for your back pain depends on the specific condition and its severity. Non-surgical alternatives are often explored initially, including physical therapy, medication, and lifestyle modifications. However, if conservative treatments are ineffective or your condition is severe, surgery may be recommended. Consulting with a healthcare professional or a spine specialist will help determine the most suitable treatment approach for your individual case.

    How long is the expected recovery time after a spinal surgery?

    The recovery time after spinal surgery varies but typically ranges from several weeks to several months. Full healing and recovery may take several months to a year or more. Following post-operative instructions and participating in recommended rehabilitation are important for optimal recovery.

    Will I be able to walk after a spinal surgery?

    In most cases, patients are able to walk after spinal surgery. However, the specific ability to walk and the timeframe for resuming walking may vary depending on the type and extent of the surgery, as well as individual factors. Some patients may be encouraged to walk shortly after surgery, while others may need a gradual progression in mobility.

    What should I expect during my first visit to a spine specialist?

    During your initial appointment, the spine specialist will review your medical history, perform a physical examination, and discuss your symptoms. They may also order diagnostic tests to gain a clearer understanding of your condition.

    What lifestyle changes can support spine surgery recovery?

    Making specific lifestyle changes can significantly support your recovery after spine surgery. These include adopting a balanced diet rich in vitamins and minerals to promote bone health, staying hydrated, quitting smoking, and gradually increasing physical activity as recommended.

    Can spine conditions lead to paralysis if not treated?

    Some severe spine conditions, if left untreated, could potentially lead to paralysis, especially those involving significant nerve compression or spinal cord injury.