At the Orthopaedic Institute, we specialize in a number of effective treatments for spine conditions - from nonsurgical options to the most advanced minimally invasive surgeries. Our priority is to provide patients with the best outcome and the shortest recovery time based on the severity of their condition.

The benefits of minimally invasive spine surgery

Using leading-edge technology and advanced imaging techniques, we can safely and accurately view the spinal anatomy without the need for large incisions while greatly reducing the trauma to underlying muscle and soft tissue. Benefits of minimally invasive spine surgery include:

  • Less postoperative pain
  • Reduced blood loss and scarring
  • Shorter hospital stay
  • Quicker recovery
  • Greater postoperative function

The spinal surgical procedures performed at the Orthopaedic Institute include:

  • Discectomy – The surgical removal of herniated disc tissue that is pressing on a nerve root or the spinal cord.
  • Spinal fusion – The surgical fusion of two or more vertebrae in the lower back to remove bone and tissue that is narrowing the spinal canal and squeezing the spinal cord or spinal nerves.
  • Lumbar laminectomy and cervical laminectomy – The surgical removal of all or part of the vertebral bone (lamina) to relieve compression of the spinal cord.
  • Lumbar decompression and cervical decompression – A surgical procedure to relieve compression of the spinal cord and/or nerve roots such as herniated discs, collapsed discs, thickened joints, loosened ligaments and bony growths that narrow the spinal canal and cause pain.
  • Scoliosis and spinal deformity surgery – A surgical procedure to stabilize an unbalanced spine to improved posture and walking.
  • Tumor removal – Surgical removal of cancer that has metastasized to the spinal column.
  • Balloon kyphoplasty – A surgical procedure for treating painful compression fractures of the spine, in which a balloon is placed through the skin and into the spinal bone. The balloon is inflated to restore the height of the vertebrae. Cement is then injected into the space to ensure that it doesn’t collapse.

Our operating rooms and hospitals practice advanced and effective infection control procedures to ensure optimal conditions for surgery and recovery.

Nonsurgical treatments

Many people find pain relief with conservative, or nonsurgical, treatments. They are especially effective when combined with a change of lifestyle or behavior. A few nonsurgical treatments that our specialists may recommend include:

  • Epidural steroid injections – Anti-inflammatory drugs are injected into the epidural space to relieve inflamed or impinged nerves caused by a bulging disc or other cause of neck or back pain.
  • Nerve root injections – Using X-ray guidance, a small needle is placed into the nerve root sheath (the tissue that surrounds the nerve). A small amount of anesthetic is injected to provide pain relief.
  • Facet joint injections – Using X-ray guidance, a needle delivers a long-lasting corticosteroid and an anesthetic numbing agent to reduce inflammation and pain.
  • Medial branch block – A type of injection of local anesthetic and corticosteroid that is injected outside the joint space near the nerve that supplies the joint.
  • Sacroiliac joint injections –An injection of a steroid or other medication into the sacroiliac joint that is commonly used to treat low back pain.
  • Spinal cord stimulator implants – A device that is implanted around the spinal cord for chronic pain management purposes. This is often a last-resort treatment when other forms of nonsurgical spine treatments are not effective in reducing pain.

Our specialists might recommend other conservative treatments that can offer additional relief, including:

  • Medication – Certain over-the-counter or prescription medications are sometimes prescribed to relieve symptoms of back or neck pain. These include nonsteroidal anti-inflammatory drugs (NSAIDs), oral steroids, muscle relaxants, antidepressants and narcotics.
  • Physical therapy – A type of rehabilitative medicine that improves mobility, function and quality of life. Physical therapy management plans for patients can include specific exercises, manual therapy and manipulation, mechanical devices such as traction, assisted devices and other interventions.
  • Hot or cold pads – Ice or cold pads are commonly used to treat an injury that is recent, inflamed or sensitive. Cold treatment can minimize post-exercise inflammation. Heat is beneficial in treating recurrent pain to increase blood flow, improve range of motion and promote healing.
  • Therapeutic massage – A physical therapy technique in which hands and body are used to press, rub, or manipulate muscles and other soft tissues. The goal is to improve circulation and muscle function, release scar tissue and promote relaxation.
  • Acupuncture – A form of alternative medicine that involves inserting thin needles into the skin to stimulate specific points of the body to decrease pain, such as low back pain, shoulder stiffness and knee pain.

Northwell Health Orthopaedic Institute

The Orthopaedic Institute offers a full range of services — including evaluation, diagnosis, treatment and rehabilitative care — for illnesses and injuries affecting your bones, joints, muscles, ligaments and tendons.

Take control of your health

It might be time to see a doctor if back pain is affecting your daily life.