Spine Disorders

How We Treat Spine Disorders

Comprehensive Care for Spine Disorders of All Types

The spine care teams of NewYork-Presbyterian treat the full range of disorders affecting the neck and back, including:

Herniated disc

Discs between the vertebrae in the lower back commonly rupture (herniate), especially as you age. If you have a herniated disc, we may treat you using:

  • Medical therapy: Physical therapy and other nonsurgical approaches, such as spinal injections and nerve blocks.
  • Minimally invasive spine surgery: If nonsurgical treatments don't work, we may use "minimally invasive microdiscectomy" to remove the herniated portions of a disc pressing on a spinal nerve; fuse the vertebrae above and below the disc; or perform a lumbar disc replacement. We have exceptional experience performing these operations safely and effectively. We use minimally invasive approaches and computer-assisted 3D navigation to relieve your symptoms and restore your comfort. We are also at the forefront of spinal research, using cutting-edge biologic therapies and tissue engineering for the treatment and regeneration of degenerative disc disease that causes back and neck pain.

Spinal stenosis

It can be challenging to treat spinal stenosis without surgery. If you have spinal stenosis, we may treat you with:

  • Minimally invasive spine surgery to relieve the pressure in your spine.
  • Surgery to insert implants to stabilize the parts of your spine affected by stenosis.

Fractures of the vertebrae

We may stabilize vertebral fractures, such as those caused by osteoporosis or spinal tumors, using vertebroplasty or kyphoplasty. If you have a more serious fracture caused by a tumor or an injury, we can perform surgery to repair it.

Scoliosis and other spinal deformities:

Scoliosis and kyphosis (abnormal curvature of the spine) interfere the movement of your spine and can cause pain or pressure on your spinal cord and/or nerves. Severe scoliosis can interfere with breathing.

  • Nonsurgical therapy: Some people with scoliosis benefit from bracing or physical therapy. Our spine care teams include physical therapists with specialized training in the care of young people with scoliosis, including Schroth physical therapy and Mehta casting. Our researchers are also developing a new brace that can dynamically adjust forces and movements on the spine in three dimensions to control spinal curves in young people with scoliosis.
  • Surgical treatment: When nonsurgical therapies are not effective, our world-renowned spine surgeons can improve the alignment of your spine, reduce your pain, and restore your function. We treat people of all ages who come to us from around the world with the most severe scoliosis.

Spinal trauma

As a Level I Trauma Center, the team at NewYork-Presbyterian/Weill Cornell Medical Center cares for patients with severe spinal cord injuries and spinal trauma, using a multidisciplinary approach and minimally invasive surgery whenever possible. We quickly stabilize people with spinal injuries to avoid further damage. We can use surgery to repair fractured vertebrae, release pressure, and treat other injuries in the body. We begin rehabilitation within days of stabilization whenever possible.

Spinal tumors

If you have a primary spinal tumor or cancer that has spread to the spine from another site (metastasis), we offer a combination of therapies, including:

  • Medical therapy: Some people benefit from chemotherapy to shrink spinal tumors.
  • Minimally invasive spine surgery: Our surgeons use techniques to stabilize your spine if it has been affected by spinal metastases, preserving your nerve function and improving your quality of life. We perform minimally invasive spinal surgery whenever appropriate.
  • Radiation therapy: We use radiation therapy and radiosurgery to treat spinal tumors and to relieve pain in people with tumors that have spread to the spine from other parts of the body.