If you and your doctor decide that surgery is the best treatment for your spine condition, the renowned orthopedic surgeons and neurosurgeons at the Spine Center work together to create a personalized treatment plan for you. Whenever appropriate, we use minimally invasive approaches, many of which NYU Langone experts helped pioneer. These techniques allow for smaller incisions, a shorter recovery time, and a quicker return to the activities you enjoy.
We use the most advanced navigation and surgical technologies available. For example, our surgeons use Precision Virtual Reality™ for procedures treating spinal deformities. Developed and refined by NYU Langone neuroradiologists, this technology turns MRI images into three-dimensional virtual reality landscapes, allowing surgeons to view a patient’s anatomy from any angle to improve the accuracy of the procedure.
Our intraoperative monitoring team helps ensure your safety during the procedure by observing your motor skills, checking muscle and nerve health, and monitoring your reaction to touch, pressure, and pain.
Our surgeons are supported by a team of nurse practitioners, physician assistants, and neurosurgical nurses who monitor your progress and care for you with compassion, starting before surgery and continuing through recovery.
Conditions We Treat with Spine Surgery
We treat a broad range of conditions that affect the spine:
- degenerative conditions of the spine, such as osteoarthritis of the spine
- complex spinal problems associated with a previous failed surgery
- scoliosis in children and scoliosis and kyphosis in adults
- cervical and lumbar herniated discs and spinal stenosis
- neuromuscular diseases
- spinal cord and spinal column tumors
- all spinal fractures, including spine compression fractures
- spine trauma
- all intradural and extradural spinal pathologies
- congenital conditions such as spina bifida, tethered cord syndrome, diastematomyelia, and hemivertebrae
Spine Procedures We Perform
Our surgeons have expertise in a range of surgical procedures, some of which can be performed on an outpatient basis, allowing you to return home the same day.
In a disc replacement, which is performed to decompress nerves or part of the spinal cord in the cervical or lumbar spine, surgeons replace a worn or damaged disc between two vertebrae with an artificial disc or “spacer.” No plates or fusion is needed for this procedure, which preserves mobility. Your doctor may recommend disc replacement rather than spinal fusion if you have a herniated disc in your neck and are younger than 65.
Diskectomy or Microdiskectomy
Diskectomy and microdiskectomy both refer to decompression surgeries to remove the portion of a disc that is herniated and pressing on a nerve. These procedures preserve mobility.
During this decompression procedure, a surgeon enlarges the spinal canal, the space through which the spinal cord passes, to alleviate stenosis and preserve mobility.
Foraminotomy is a decompression procedure in which surgeons enlarge the space through which a nerve passes out of the spinal canal. These spaces, called foramina, can become partially blocked with bone or other tissue. Surgeons remove the obstruction to free the nerve and preserve mobility.
Laminectomy and Laminotomy
During a laminectomy, a surgeon removes the back part of a vertebra, called the lamina, to provide more space to a nerve or a portion of the spinal cord that is being compressed. If only a portion of the lamina is affecting the nerve, the surgeon may remove some of the tissue in a procedure called laminotomy. Both procedures preserve mobility.
Spinal fusion is performed to stabilize the spine or to straighten a crooked spine. During the procedure, a surgeon permanently joins, or fuses, two or more vertebrae in the spine. As the vertebrae heal, they become one solid bone. This prevents the vertebrae from moving in a way that compresses or irritates the nerve. Spinal fusion is performed to treat some spinal deformities such as scoliosis or kyphosis as well as broken or unstable vertebrae and conditions including spondylolisthesis.
Vertebral Body Tethering
Vertebral body tethering (VBT) is a minimally invasive surgical procedure to treat children with scoliosis. During this procedure, a surgeon places a flexible cord, or tether, to pull the spine into alignment as the child grows. VBT is one alternative to traditional surgical techniques such as spinal fusion surgery.
Dedicated Spine and Neurosurgery Operating Rooms
Many of our spine surgeries are performed at NYU Langone’s Kimmel Pavilion in dedicated spine and neurosurgery operating rooms—which feature the most advanced technology available, including intraoperative CT and MRI scanning—on dedicated neuroscience floors, where all team members specialize in caring for people who have spine conditions.
We have Spine Center locations in Manhattan and Brooklyn, as well as on Long Island. To make an appointment, call 844-698-2224.