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Spine Surgery: An Overview

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Spine Surgery: An Overview

  • Dr. Charla Fischer
  • Dec 18, 2018

Things like age, trauma, abnormalities, or improper body mechanics can cause back pain and discomfort all the way down your legs. Chronic pain related to your spine affects many aspects of your daily life, making it difficult to find a comfortable position. If you’re struggling with this type of pain, schedule an appointment with NYC Spine Surgeon Dr. Fischer at NYU Langone Medical Center in New York City to find out about getting rid of your pain and returning to your normal activities.

Is surgery my only choice?
The good news is that many back problems can be treated without surgery. A wide variety of conservative therapies are available, and often a combination of treatments can be performed to eliminate your discomfort. Some common non-surgical alternatives include physical therapy, bracing, pain medication, or anti-inflammatory medications. If these types of methods don’t provide relief after about six months, more invasive options like surgery may be recommended. Dr. Fischer will be able to diagnose you properly and identify the specific source of your pain. Then, you can work with the doctor to develop the very best treatment plan to get you on the road to recovery.

What is minimally invasive surgery?
Traditional spine surgery is known as open surgery because it involves opening the area with a long incision to provide full access to the spine. Now surgeons are able to use minimally invasive techniques to treat many spine conditions. This innovative solution does not require long incisions or manipulation of the tissue and muscles along the spine, making it a shorter and less painful operation with a faster recovery time.

Are there new technologies that can help?
Computer-assisted technology provides surgeons with the ability to perform spine surgeries with greater precision than traditional methods. Computers are used to compare images taken before surgery with images taken during the procedure, providing real-time insights into the anatomy during surgery. This also gives the surgeon the ability to be very accurate in positioning and inserting implants like rods or screws. Other advanced technologies like fluoroscopy (real-time X-rays) and preoperative computed tomography (CT) may be used by doctors during spine surgeries as well.

Will my back have to be cut open?
The spine may be accessed from varying directions of your body during open surgery or minimally invasive methods. An anterior approach may be used, which goes through your abdomen in the front of your body. A lateral approach takes a pathway through the side of your body, and a posterior approach provides access through your back.

What are the most common types of back surgeries?
There are many kinds of spine surgeries that Dr. Fischer at NYU Langone Medical Center performs to relieve patient symptoms. Common procedures include spinal fusion, disc replacement, discectomy or microdiscectomy, laminectomy, and laminotomy. Your condition will be accurately assessed and diagnosed to find out if surgery is needed at all, and if so, which type of procedure will benefit you the most.

Contact Dr. Fischer today to schedule your consultation.  Dr. Fischer is has office is Manhattan and White Plains


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