Discover what our patients have to say regarding their office visit, surgical experience or recovery process. We also encourage our existing patients to share their own experience!


  • Lumbar Microdecompression Surgery
Today is June 14, 2019 and today for the first time in over a year I took a shower without needing to stop and sit or rush because the pain in my leg was so severe! I walked one mile on the treadmill without stopping and it didn't take me 5 minutes just to get into my car!!! I have taken for granted the small things in life that my body does like tying shoe laces, barbecuing, walking to the mailbox etc I am truly on the path to being myself again and I owe it all to Seattle Spine Institute the administrative staff, and the medical staff are top notch, they listened they asked questions I was not rushed and the follow up was excellent. If you are dealing with spinal problems you couldn't come to a better place!

  • L5-S1 Laminectomy/microdiscectomy; L5-S1 Artificial Disc; L4-L5 Fusion with Cage; L5-S1 Immobilized
I had nearly unendurable back & leg pain from 1976-1990 when I finally stumbled into to Dr. Schwaegler's office. Dr. Schwaegler is the first doctor who believed something...anything was even wrong with me, the MRI showed a HUGE herniation at L5/S1. I elected to have a laminectomy/microdiscectomy in 1991 (knowing more surgery would be needed later), I was back jumping horses in 6 weeks and problem free until 2006 when I reinjured L5/S1 and spent a another year with terrible pain. In 2007, Dr. Schwaegler implanted an artificial disk at that level which was great until several violent dismounts over the next year, I fractured L3, destroyed the artificial disk and returned to unbearable pain, I felt like I was being tortured, no position relieved the pain so I went back to surgery in 2010 for a two part fusion with cage at L4/L5 and in 2011 immobilization of the artificial disk. Five lumbar spine surgeries later, all performed by Dr. Schwaegler, I have all kinds of metal pieces and parts and I am better than new. I don't know how the magic works but it does & Dr. Schwaegler's surgical skills are beyond compare. Huge bonus that he never gets mad at me for continuing to live my life. My only advice is that you have to completely detox from all opiate pain medication as soon as your surgery has healed. From my experience, if you continue using pain medication, your brain will tell you that your back still hurts. Two weeks of tapering off and one day you wake up and nothing hurts. The only pain medication I use now are NSAID's and that's all that I need.

David B.

  • Fusion, epidural injections
Dr. Schwaegler performed a low back fusion on me about five years ago. I put this off for years because I had known many people who ended up with very poor results. So I continued to just have decompression surgeries done. Its been a great improvement since. It was the fifth time I had back surgeries and has been far far the best results. He's been great to work with for follow up and on-going treatments. I don't believe you can find a better doctor/ back surgeon in all of greater Seattle.

Jill S.

  • Low back surgery
I chose to seek out medical attention for my back pain with Dr. Schwaegler and his team after speaking to many physical therapists, other doctors, and online research. I went to a few back doctors (specialists) just to meet them and the clinic they were in and to discuss my back issues. I was having significant back issues which I knew could probably lead to surgery and I wanted to establish a relationship with a well known Dr. I have not regretted my decision to go to the Seattle Spine Institute (SSI) for help. Most clinics have staff who are nice and welcoming, however, I want to say staff at SSI go above and beyond just being nice and welcoming. They go the extra mile to make sure you are comfortable. I received personal attention from all staff, including Dr. Schwaegler. They all check in with you after you have had some sort of procedure done. They work as a solid team. They explain what is going on with your back. They take the time to show you your tests and what they see as the problem area(s). You can ask them multiple questions and they do not try to rush you out the door. They spend quality time with you to ensure you understand what is wrong with your back and discuss options. They discuss all the options you have and the pro's and con's associated with every single option. I feel as though I am part of the family there. I have nothing but good things to say about this clinic. I am so thankful to them for helping me recover from the significant back pain I was having. If you are having issues with your back, I encourage you to meet the staff at SSI, see what they have to say, and learn how they can help.

Mike M.

  • Spinal Fusion
The entire team is awesome.Can work with your schedule. The entire process was explained and my outcome from surgery is nothing less than spectacular. I can walk, run, sit, bend now without pain. Im not dragging my leg around anymore. Thank you Seattle Spine.Its truly a miracle to me.

David A.

  • Lumbar Decompression
I have degenerative disk disease in my lower lumbar area. For many years I was in extreme pain. I had seen several doctors through my years for this problem but none gave me any hope of solution until I saw Dr. Schwaegler. He gave me hope and performed 4 separate surgeries over 20 years for me. Each surgery was successful in re leaving my pain and restoring my mobility. The last time I was in need my insurance company forced me to several other surgeons because Dr. Schwaegler was not a provider in network. I was sent to a highly recommended neurologist and Virginia Mason in Seattle. I was having pain down both legs and partial paralysis in my left leg. After my MRI and other procedures the Doctor gave me a devastating diagnosis. He told me that surgery was to risky and I needed to accept the pain and paralysis as part of life. I refused to accept that and went to Doctor Schwaegler. He again gain me hope and performed a miraculous surgery to free me from pain and resort the use of my left leg. The surgery was 7 hours of a very delicate and difficult procedure that went past mid night. My wife said Dr. Schwaegler was exhausted and dripping with sweat at the end of the procedure. That was many years ago and to the this day I am mostly pain free. I am very grateful for this loving, caring and extremely skilled surgeon. He is the Best!!
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