Back pain is one of the most common medical complaints, affecting 8 out of 10 individuals at some point in their lives, according to the National Institutes of Health. Although most back pain subsides on its own, persistent problems can be signs of a more serious medical condition and can create a cascade of issues that greatly impact health and quality of life.
Recognizing that patients with back and spine problems have complex needs, NYU Langone Medical Center has launched a new, state-of-the art comprehensive Spine Center, offering personalized treatments for a broad range of conditions.
The Spine Center builds on the already outstanding collaborative partnership between several of NYU Langone’s nationally ranked clinical departments, including Orthopedic Surgery, Neurosurgery, and Rehabilitation Medicine. Many of the services are provided at NYU Langone’s Center for Musculoskeletal Care at 333 East 38th Street on Manhattan’s East Side.
The center is led by co-directors Thomas J. Errico, MD, chief of the Division of Spine Surgery in the Department of Orthopedic Surgery, and Anthony K. Frempong-Boadu, MD, director of the Division of Spinal Surgery in the Department of Neurosurgery.
“Many patients with longstanding back issues refrain from seeing a doctor to avoid the prospect of surgery,” says Errico. “Our main objective is to provide nonsurgical treatments first, when possible. You may have previously been told your MRI needs surgery, but you actually might not.”
NYU Langone’s spine surgeons take a conservative treatment approach and consult with specialists at several other programs, including Rusk Rehabilitation and the Center for the Study and Treatment of Pain, to assess and provide nonsurgical therapies, physical therapy, medications, or injections when appropriate.
The complex nature of back and spinal conditions is, indeed, one of the driving forces behind the establishment of NYU Langone’s Spine Center.
“Patients may benefit most from care provided by a particular specialist, such as an orthopedic spine surgeon, a spine neurosurgeon, or a rehabilitation medicine or pain specialist. For especially complex cases, a neurosurgeon and orthopaedic surgeon may consult on diagnosis and, if necessary, perform the surgery together to ensure the best outcomes,” says Frempong-Boadu, an associate professor in the Department of Neurosurgery. “We’re here to use all the resources available at our medical center to figure out the best way to make a patient better—whatever it takes.”
Care at NYU Langone’s Spine Center is expedited through a single entry point, including a single phone number: 844-698-2224. A clinical nurse coordinator speaks to all callers about their symptoms, and then guides them to whichever specialist is most appropriate at a given juncture of care.
Specialists at the Spine Center are internationally recognized leaders in the field, evaluating 18,000 patients annually and performing 2,850 surgeries and 3,000 interventional procedures a year. Patients are provided with same-day, state-of-the-art diagnostic imaging, including digital X-rays, MRI, and EOS® imaging—a high-resolution, low-dose radiation spinal imaging system with complex, three-dimensional reconstruction capability.
NYU Langone’s Spine Center offers treatments in degenerative conditions of the spine, such as osteoarthritis, complex spinal problems associated with a previous failed back surgery, scoliosis in adults and children, reconstructive procedures, cervical and lumbar herniated discs, spondylolisthesis, spinal stenosis, growth disorders, neuromuscular diseases, tumors of the spinal cord and spinal column, spinal fractures, vascular abnormalities, and congenital conditions such as spina bifida.