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About Spine Surgery

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The spine neurosurgeons at the Weill Cornell Brain and Spine Center
Back row: Dr. Ali Baaj, Dr. Kai-Ming Fu, and Dr. Athos Patsalides. Front row: Dr. Roger Hartl and Dr. Eric Elowitz

Millions of people suffer from neck or back pain at some point in their lives. Sometimes this pain can be attributed to trauma, a spinal tumor, or an infection. More often, the pain is chronic, progressive, and unrelenting. This pain often responds to multiple levels of intervention.

The team of physicians, nurses, therapists, and staff at the Weill Cornell Center for Comprehensive Spine Care provides state-of-the-art, comprehensive, integrated care for patients with back pain and all types of spine-related conditions and injuries. Patients receive a complete continuum of care, from diagnosis to treatment and recovery. When surgery is part of the plan, the spine surgeons from Weill Cornell Medicine's neurosurgery faculty offer world-class surgical expertise in TLIF and other advanced, minimally invasive procedures

Our neurosurgeons are part of the Weill Cornell Center for Comprehensive Spine Care, a comprehensive new facility on East 59th Street in New York that offers multidisciplinary services for a wide range of back and neck disorders, all under one roof.

The Center for Comprehensive Spine Care prides itself on a three-part plan for each patient:

Expert, Accurate Diagnosis. Too many people suffer from back or neck pain from unknown causes — or worse, due to a misdiagnosis. Our world-class experts will pinpoint the exact cause of your pain to determine the most effective treatment.

Comprehensive Treatment: Our team approach allows us to draw on expertise from neurology, neurosurgery, rehabilitation medicine, anesthesiology, and physical therapy. After assessing your case, the spine team will tailor a treatment plan that may include physical therapy, medication, interventional pain management, acupuncture, and movement therapies. When surgery  is part of the plan, we offer the most advanced minimally invasive techniques, including lateral access surgery that dramatically shortens your recovery time. We offer on-site rehabilitation, led by physical therapists whose holistic spine rehabilitation includes therapeutic exercise, manual techniques, yoga, McKenzie technique, and pool therapy.

Patient/Doctor Partnership:  Patient education is one of the hallmarks of our approach. We consider you our partner in collaboratively planning the most effective and customized approach to restoring you to health.

When not directly serving patients, physicians and staff conduct cutting-edge research through laboratory and clinical research, then impart that knowledge to both patients and other physicians through a series of multidisciplinary education programs provided by the Spine Center in collaboration with Weill Cornell Medical College.

If You Do Need Surgery

  • The Weill Cornell Medicine Center for Comprehensive Spine Care has five full-time, fellowship-trained spine surgeons on faculty
  • We perform more than 1,500 spinal operations per year, most of them using minimally invasive techniques, encompassing all pathologies, age groups, and complexities (more about neurosurgery)
  • We serve local, regional, national, and international patients
  • We take an interdisciplinary approach to comprehensive spine care
  • We focus on minimally invasive surgery, computer navigation, complex and deformity spinal surgery
  • Compared to national averages, spine surgery at Weill Cornell Medicine compares  favorably in terms of the judicious and sparing use of spinal fusion surgery, length of stay, blood loss, length of surgery, early  complications, and patient satisfaction
  • We are at the forefront of basic science research, clinical research, and research trials; our research, combined with our surgical excellence, positions us as a leader in national and international spinal surgery.
Dr. Athos Patsalides performs a kyphoplasty procedureUsing the advanced facilities available at Weill Cornell Medicine, Dr. Athos Patsalides performs a minimally invasive kyphoplasty procedure.

For more information about spine surgery, please call 877-728-0439

Or use our online form to Request an Appointment With a Neurosurgeon
For appointments with other specialists,
visit the Center for Comprehensive Spine Care site