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Getting Rid of Back Pain – New Surgical Treatments for Spinal Stenosis

Spinal stenosis, a narrowing of the spinal canal, can put pressure on the spinal nerves, making back pain almost unbearable for the millions of Americans who suffer from it. Many patients are unable to walk long distances because of the stenosis. However, new surgical techniques are always evolving.  

Mitchell Levine, MD, Director of the Spine Center at the North Shore-LIJ Health System, explains the latest minimally invasive spinal fusion surgery. “By working in the space between the spinous processes, the surgeon can access the area of ligamentous overgrowth that characterizes spinal stenosis without removing normal structural anatomy. This approach allows for complete alleviation of the stenosis. Unlike other minimally invasive procedures, this procedure radically decompresses the nerves. The fusion device is placed, including a bone graft which distracts the spine and serves as a fusion substrate. Additional bone graft is placed along the sides of the spine. The surgery, which is best for patients over the age of 60, takes about one hour and patients are able to go home the next day.”

There is another minimally invasive spinal surgery procedure called the XLIF® procedure which is a good treatment option for patients of any age with spinal deformity or back pain. It is performed through one or more small incisions that allow the surgeon to have direct access to the intervertebral disc space and fuse the lumbar spine, entering this area from the side of the body. By accessing the side of the body, this allows for less tissue trauma, less scarring, shorter hospital stay and less postoperative discomfort.

Make an appointment at the Spine Center:
Cushing Neuroscience Institute’s Spine Center makes it easy for you to take the first steps in ensuring the best neurological and neurosurgical care for yourself or your family. Simply fill out our Request an Appointment form, email us at or call us at (516) 773-7737 or (631) 968-3221.