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The Best Kind of Back Support is Spine Care Close to Home
When you need treatment for spinal problems, even the thought of traveling out-of-state for care can be painful. At RWJBarnabas Health, our team of orthopedic surgeons and neurosurgeons work with you to create a personalized treatment plan, right here in your own community. We offer non-surgical treatments such as pain management, hot and cold therapy and trigger point injections. And if you do need surgery, we also offer the latest techniques such as reconstruction and minimally invasive robotic surgery.
Minimally Invasive Spine Surgery
Minimally invasive spine surgery makes it possible to access the bones of the spine through small incisions, causing less post-operative pain and leading to a faster recovery. Through top-of-the-line technology, our board-certified neurosurgeons can now access the spine using the smallest incisions possible, minimizing any damage to surrounding muscles and other tissues. By contrast, traditional, open spine surgery starts with a long incision down the back and then manipulating or removing the adjacent muscles and soft tissues to access the problem area of the back.
During minimally invasive spine surgery, your surgeon will access the problem area of your back through very small incisions, through which a tubular retractor will create a tunnel to pass small tools and instruments, to work on the spine. A special operating microscope called a fluoroscope is guided through an endoscope, to allow your surgical team to view the X-ray images of the spine in real time, to ensure the utmost accuracy. The tiny video camera attached to the endoscope projects an internal view of the patient’s body onto a TV screen in the operating room. Once the procedure is done, the incisions are closed with sutures and covered with surgical tape.
A minimally invasive technique can be utilized for the following spinal surgeries:
- Microsurgical neurological care
- Spinal stabilization
- Spinal fusion
- Disc arthroplasty
- Motion preservation
- Disc replacement
- Repair of herniated discs
- Deformity corrections
- Decompression of spinal tumors
- Repair of vertebral compression fractures
I had 20 years of back pain that got progressively worse over a short period of time,” says Jordan Feinman, 41, of Old Bridge Township. His condition affected his job as a union electrician, which requires working with a team to manually move two-ton spools of construction cable. At home, he began missing out on activities with his two busy daughters, ages 9 and 11.
Obdulio (Jay) Serrano, Jr.
Retired police officer Obdulio (Jay) Serrano, Jr., remembers the on-duty incident well. “It was a bad domestic call,” says the 52-year-old Waretown resident, who served on the Lakewood force. “After locking up one guy, I tripped over another guy and fell on my gun side.” The tumble damaged three discs between vertebrae in Jay’s lower back and required fusion surgery in 2012 to “weld” that part of the spine into a single solid bone.
Denise and Michael Newkirk
One day in 2018, Denise Newkirk of Hamilton picked up her 1-year-old granddaughter and felt a sharp, burning pain in both legs. “I couldn’t move for a week,” recalls the 55-year-old nurse. “I couldn’t twist from right to left or get out of a chair.” When she became more mobile, she had trouble walking, standing, and lifting. She and her husband, Michael, have an RV, and they are typically on the road for seven months each year.
Robert Silverbrook, DO
In the summer of 2019, Robert Silverbrook, DO, an internist with RWJBarnabas Health Medical Group, was suffering from debilitating back and leg pain. He had to drive down his driveway to get his mail because it was too painful to walk. When he went to work, he always had to worry about finding a parking spot close to the door. When he visited his children in another state, he had to stop at rest stops because he couldn’t sit for long.