Spine Surgeon in Nassau County

Ira Chernoff, MD FAAOS

Dr. Ira Chernoff obtained his BS degree from Long Island University- C.W. Post where he graduated Summa Cum Laude. He received his MD degree from the State University of NY at Downstate. He completed his residency in Orthopaedic Surgery at SUNY Stony Brook serving as chief resident in 1987. He went on to complete his Spine fellowship at the Hospital for Special Surgery. After serving as a spine attendent at Stony Brook University Hospital for over 10 years, he left to pursue private practice. He has been performing complex spine surgery in Long Island for over 27 years.

Dr. Chernoff is Board Certified in Orthopaedic Surgery and is a Fellow of the American Academy of Orthopaedic Surgery. He has privileges at hospitals throughout Manhattan and Long Island including Lenox Hill Hospital, Winthrop University Hospital, Mather Hospital, St. Charles Hospital and rehabilitation, Saint Catherine’s hospital, and Northwell / Huntington hospital. Dr. Chernoff enjoys spending his free time with his wife and three children.

Ira Chernoff, M.D. – CV


Marc Chernoff, MD FAAOS

Dr. Marc Chernoff attended the City University of New York accelerated 7 year BS/MD program at City College where he graduated Summa Cum Laude. He received his MD degree from the State University of NY at Stony Brook in 1993 where he was elected into the AOA Medical Honor Society in his junior year. He completed his residency in Orthopaedic Surgery at SUNY Stony Brook serving as chief resident in 1998. After serving as the Harvard Spine Fellow in Boston, Massachusetts, he moved back to Long Island to join his brother Ira in private practice at New York Orthopaedic Spinal Associates in 1999.

Dr. Chernoff is Board Certified in Orthopaedic Surgery and is a Fellow of the American Academy of Orthopaedic Surgery. He has privileges at hospitals throughout Manhattan and Long Island including Lenox Hill Hospital, Winthrop University Hospital, Mather Hospital, St. Charles Hospital and rehabilitation, Saint Catherine’s hospital, and Northwell / Huntington hospital. Dr. Chernoff enjoys spending his free time with his wife and four daughters.

Marc Chernoff, M.D. – CV

 

Back Pain Relief

Do you contend with a sharp pain in your back? If this occurs frequently then it could be a symptom of a larger problem. Back pain is no small matter if you want to get to the root of the problem, make an appointment with a spine surgeon in Nassau County at New York Orthopaedic Spinal Associates!    

Causes

Spine Surgeon in Nassau County

However resilient our body, it is very easy to injure your spine. Common causes of spine pain are:

  • Lifting with your back – The best way to lift an object is by lifting with your knees.  Lifting with your knees and keeping your back straight will prevent both gradual and sudden injury to the spine.
  • Muscle or ligament strain – If you are bending down and jerk up hastily this could affect spinal ligaments and back muscles. These ligaments surround the dura, which is a membrane that protects the spinal cord and its nerves. Damaging this can lead to muscle or ligament strains/spasms.
  • Arthritis – Can eventually lead to spinal stenosis this happens when osteoarthritis affects the lower back for too long.
  • Skeletal irregularities – Usually does not affect one until they are middle-aged. An example of this is scoliosis, scoliosis is when your spine starts to curve to either the left or right side.
  • Osteoporosis – The vertebrae along your spine can become brittle, porous, and sponge-like due to a variety of factors including calcium deficiency.

Symptoms

You do not need a Ph.D. or to go to medical school to know when something doesn’t feel right.  You know how you should feel, but if you are not sure whether to contact a Spine Surgeon in Nassau County some common symptoms of spine problems are:

      • Stiffness – If you experience limited range of motion due to stiffness, this could be a sign of a variety of spine problems
      • Muscle Spasms – Whether you are standing still or about to do a triple backflip if you feel your muscles spasm then that is a cause for concern.
      • Chronic Pain – Pain that is constant and lasts more than two weeks in your back is considered chronic.
      • Acute Pain – Pain that occurs when you bend over, walk, stand in your back it not normal.

Treatments

Depending on how severe the pain and your back is treatments vary from simple to surgical treatments. Treatments include:

      • Rest – Depending on how bad you have hurt your spine rest could be a simple fix. If you notice after 2-3 days, your condition has not improved, other treatment options may be needed.
      • Non-steroidal anti-inflammatory drugs (NSAIDs) – Ibuprofen, indomethacin, meloxicam (Mobic), or naproxen
      • Corticosteroid shots – Are injections that may help relieve pain and inflammation in a specific area of your body. They’re most commonly injected into joints.
      • Lumbar Epidural Steroid Injection –  The steroid injection is not a tremendous procedure, it is nothing to be afraid of. If you have lower back pain this will help ease your pain.  The pain may start in the lumbar area of the spine or it may start in the tailbone.  

It may feel like you cannot go back to living your life as you use to before you had spine pain and you’re right.  You cannot go back but you can go forward with new knowledge of how to take care of your spine and back the proper way.  Depending on the severity of your situation you may not be able to do the activities you use to do, but if you take proper care of your spine and make changes to help with the healing process then maybe you can go back to enjoying the things you use to do.  That’s why you should contact a Spine Surgeon in Nassau County!

What Is Sciatica?

Spine Surgeon in Nassau County

Sciatica is a pulsing pain diverging from the lower back down to one or both legs. The pain occurs when the sciatic nerve is injured, or some sort of stimulant puts pressure on the nerve. What’s unique about the sciatic nerve is that it’s considered the longest nerve in the body, stretching from the back down to the legs. Unfortunately, injury or excessive force to any part of the nerve can create sciatic discomfort. If you believe you’re suffering from sciatica, contact the office of Dr. Ira Chernoff & Dr. Marc Chernoff over at New York Orthopaedic Spinal Associates. As a spine surgeon in Nassau County, both doctors are fully capable of diagnosing your condition and determining if sciatica is the source.

Causes

    • A herniated disk – A condition which refers to the bulging, splitting, or rupturing of the rubbery disk between the spinal bones.
    • Spinal stenosis – Narrowed space within the spine, most commonly found in the neck and lower back region. Treatment can be executed by a spine surgeon in Nassau County.
    • Back or neck strain – In some cases, recurring activities such as exercising, poor posture, or heavy lifting can be a catalyst for sciatic pain.
    • Physical injuries – Blunt forces to the back, leg, or any point along the sciatic nerve can lead to sciatic pain. In most cases, this can occur from major physical trauma such as a car accident. If you’ve injured your back or legs as a result of a spontaneous accident, speaking to a spine surgeon in Nassau County is an ideal source for treatment options and other pertinent information.

Symptoms

    • Leg numbness – Numbness within the legs initially crops up spontaneously and on rare occasions, the entire leg will feel the effects.
    • Tingling sensation – Specifically found in the leg, buttock, or back. Unfortunately, this may serve as a warning sign of a significant nerve injury.
    • Immobility – Difficulty standing, walking, or balancing could be triggered by numbness or pain in the leg or back, indicating the presence of sciatic pain. Are you having difficulty maneuvering because of sciatic discomfort? Consider contacting a spine surgeon in Nassau County to discuss your condition in further detail.
    • Neck pain – Neck pain can point to a host of different problems, including the potential presence of sciatica.  

Warning Signs

Understandably, early detection can serve as a major difference in your recovery efforts. Take a look at some of the immediate warning signs that may indicate you’re suffering from sciatica:

    • Experiencing severe pain in your lower back or leg along with the presence of numbness or muscle weakness.
    • Major/chronic discomfort after a traumatic experience, especially in the case of a traffic accident or anything of that nature.

If you’ve developed spontaneous lower back pain or any of the symptoms listed above, contact a spine surgeon in Nassau County immediately.

Treatment: What Can Surgery Do For You?

spine surgeon in Nassau County

Surgery is usually reserved for more chronic cases, such as when the pressured nerves are too weak to suffice. Patients experiencing bowel or bladder issues may also require surgery, especially if the level of pain is intolerable. Considering a surgical procedure for your sciatica? Reach out to a local spine surgeon in Nassau County who can properly assess your condition and determine if surgery would be necessary. Ordinarily, sciatica can be treated through simpler measures such as rest or scheduled workout regimens. Allow Dr. Ira Chernoff & Dr. Marc Chernoff to make this distinction for you, putting your mind at ease.

If any of these symptoms regarding sciatica seem to apply to you, contact your local spine surgeon in Nassau County today for an appointment and consultation.

Facet joints medically referred to as zygapophysial joints or z-joints, are located on each side of the back of the spine. This provides the spine stability and allows it to bend and twist. The facet joint contains cartilage between the bones and is surrounded by a capsule containing synovial fluid. The two main reasons for facet-joint injections are a diagnosis, determining the source of pain, or therapy, to treat a detected abnormality. Schedule an appointment with a spine surgeon in Nassau County at New York Orthopaedic Spinal Associates if you are experiencing ongoing lower back pain.

Why Get These Injections?

Back pain can improve within a few weeks with options including rest, physical therapy, exercise, and medications, but when the pain is six weeks ongoing, your practitioner may order diagnostic tests to evaluate the spine’s structure. Problems, such as inflammation and arthritis, in the facet joints, may appear on the diagnostic imaging and may even be a contributing factor to an individual’s back pain, however, “normal appearing joints” on the imaging does not rule out facet joints as the source of joints completely.

An injection may be performed to truly determine if the facet joint is the source of pain. If the pain is reduced or relieved after an anesthetic is injected into the joint or surrounding nerve, the facet joint may be the source of pain. If that’s the case, our spine surgeon in Nassau County may also inject a corticosteroid or steroid to prolong pain relief.

Who can benefit from this form of treatment?

As these injections are usually offered as a last resort when all else fails, they may be used for conditions where the joints become susceptible for pain, such as:

    • Lumbar facet syndrome
    • Spondylolysis
    • Spinal Stenosis
    • Spondylolisthesis
    • Ankylosing Spondylitis
    • Trauma such as car accidents or sports/work involving “repetitive forceful hyperextensions”

Facet-joint injection benefits

Compared to other alternatives, facet-joint injections act as a non-invasive tool to confirm the facet joint is, in fact, the source behind a patient’s lumbar pain. Combined with physical therapy and medication, this treatment option can reduce inflammation, which in turn, can improve an individual’s function and overall quality of life without the need for invasive back surgery. Studies have found facet-joint injections to have immediate, long-lasting low-back pain relief. Also, these injections act as both a diagnostic tool and a therapeutic treatment option. If you believe your facet joints may be the source of your lower back pain, call our spine surgeon in Nassau County for confirmation.

Recovery From Spinal Fusion Surgery

Spinal Fusion

Spinal or posterior lumbar fusion is a surgical procedure performed to connect two or more vertebrae in a spine to boost stability, fix a deformity, or alleviate pain. The techniques used in spinal fusion surgery are designed to replicate the body’s natural healing process. During spinal fusion, a surgeon uses a bone or a material with similar qualities and places it in between two vertebrae. Following this, they then may use screws and plates to keep everything in place and help the bones to heal together. If you’re interested in undergoing Spinal Fusion Surgery, contact us to speak with a spine surgeon in Nassau County.

When Might You Need Spinal Fusion Surgery?

Spine surgery is a severe and complicated procedure because of its invasive techniques. This option is reserved usually for when your doctor can accurately pinpoint the source of pain by performing various tests and diagnostics. This can include evaluations such as a computerized tomography scan (also known as a CT), MRI scan (magnetic resonance imaging), or an x-ray. You’ll need to ensure that you’re undergoing the proper testing. If you’re looking for a spine surgeon in Nassau County, contact New York Orthopaedic Spinal Associates today.

What Does Spinal Fusion Treat?

Spinal fusion surgery has been known to treat the following medical complications:

  •     Broken vertebrae.
  •     Deformities of the spine.
  •     Spinal weakness or instability.
  •     Spondylolisthesis.
  •     Herniated disk.

If your injury is not listed here, see other conditions our spine surgeon in Nassau County has been known to treat on our website.

Recovering from Spinal Fusion Surgery

The recovery process proceeding spinal fusion surgery typically ranges from one month to three months. During the recovery time, patients usually participate in physical rehabilitation and are warned to avoid certain strenuous activities such as heavy lifting. Visit our website for more information regarding what options are available to you, courtesy of our spine surgeon in Nassau County.

Here is an outline of what the days after surgery may look like:

  1. After spinal fusion surgery, you might have to start your recovery in the hospital for a few days.
  2. You likely will be fitted with a brace to help promote support and stability.
  3. In most cases, patients will need some form of rehab to regain strength and standard functionality.
  4. Depending on your overall health and other factors, within 2-6 months after gradually increasing activity, you will likely start to regain normal function.

Learn more about the benefits of spinal fusion surgery and contact a spine surgeon in Nassau County who could help you over at New York Orthopaedic Spinal Associates.

Preventing Degenerative Disc DiseaseMan with hat

What Is Degenerative Disc Disease?

Degenerative disc disease is a condition where the discs between each vertebra periodically wear down, typically due to the effects of aging. The purpose of these discs is to act as a shock absorber for your spine. This allows you to bend, twist, and maintain flexibility while performing other daily movements. In the event that your discs begin to break down, the discomfort will likely follow. Unfortunately, pain can prevent us from completing simple daily tasks that we may have initially taken for granted. If you have degenerative disc disease or suffer from other forms of chronic back pain, contact New York Orthopaedic Spinal Associates. Our spine surgeon in Nassau County has been helping patients with back pain for over 16 years.  

Causes of Degenerative Disc Disease

  • Drying out of a disc
    • Due to the aging process, our discs gradually dry out and are unable to absorb shocks as well as they did previously.
  • Daily activities
    • Normal actions that we do every day can affect the wear and tear on our discs. Activities such as sports and manual labor may cause tears to develop on the outer core of the disc.
  • Injuries 
    • Various injuries may create swelling, soreness, and instability in our discs forcing them to deteriorate rapidly.
    • Once the disc is injured, it’s difficult for it to repair itself due to the lack of natural blood flow to these areas of the body.

Symptoms of Degenerative Disc Disease

Depending on where the degenerative disc is located, symptoms will vary. Most commonly, the neck and lower back are where patients endure the most discomfort. Other pain-related symptoms of this condition can include the following:

Pain that –

  • Ranges from slight to severe and even disabling.
  • Spreads from the neck to the arms and hands.
  • Worsens when sitting down.
  • Worsens when performing movements like bending, twisting or lifting.
  • Gets worse when moving around.
  • Comes and goes.
  • Involves numbness and tingling.

Prevention of Degenerative Disc Disease

Although degenerative disc disease is many times an inevitable aspect of aging, there still are many ways you can help yourself prevent it or potentially expedite the process. Our spine surgeon in Nassau County recommends the following:

  • Maintain an active lifestyle and incorporate exercise:
    • Exercise as simple as walking daily can sometimes be enough to prevent degenerative disc disease. This allows you to maintain a full range of motion in all of your muscles by promoting blood flow.  
  • Use good form and body mechanics:
    • This can involve using proper form when lifting an object. Remember to avoid using your back as this will put unnecessary strain on it.
  • Avoid smoking:
    • Tobacco use has been linked to degenerative disc disease.
  • Be able to reach and maintain an ideal weight:
    • Less weight being carried on the body leads to less pressure being put on bones, joints, and discs.  
    • Studies have indicated that being overweight early in life may potentially lead to the development of degenerative disc disease down the road.   
  •  

If you seek a spine surgeon in Nassau County, the New York Orthopaedic Spinal Associates are here to help you with your spine-related issues. If you believe you have symptoms of degenerative disc disease, contact us today so we can help treat you and relieve your discomfort.

 

Frequently Asked Questions about Spine Surgery:

What is the recovery time after spine surgery?

Typically for a minimally invasive procedure, you will be relieved from your symptoms within a few weeks. Whereas, if you recently underwent a Laminectomy or Fusion surgery the recovery process is longer. It tends to take 3 to 4 months for your bones to heal well enough to return to normal activities. The complete recovery process could take up to a year. 

What precautions should I take into consideration after having surgery?

Depending on the type of surgery your doctor will recommend certain positions or movements you should be avoiding. This could include bending over, twisting, or lifting items over a certain weight. 

What risks come along with spine surgery?

Like any form of surgery, there are possible risks and complications. A few that come along with spine surgery include a reaction to anesthesia, bleeding, infection, blood clots, herniated disc, nerve damage, or even a heart attack. 

 

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