Spine Surgeon in Suffolk 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 attendant 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 FAAOSDr. 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.
Back PainDo 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 Suffolk County at New York Orthopaedic Spinal Associates!
CausesHowever 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.
SymptomsYou 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 Suffolk 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.
TreatmentsDepending 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.
What Is Sciatica?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 Suffolk County, both doctors are fully capable of diagnosing your condition and determining if sciatica is the source.
- 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 Suffolk 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 Suffolk County is an ideal source for treatment options and other pertinent information.
- 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 Suffolk 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 SignsUnderstandably, 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.
Treatment: What Can Surgery Do For You?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 Suffolk 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 Suffolk 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 Suffolk County at New York Orthopaedic Spinal Associates if you are experiencing ongoing lower back pain.
The Benefits of Lumbar Facet-Joint Injections
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 Suffolk 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 to pain, such as:
- Lumbar facet syndrome
- Spinal Stenosis
- Ankylosing Spondylitis
- Trauma such as car accidents or sports/work involving “repetitive forceful hyperextensions”
Facet-joint injection benefitsCompared 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 Suffolk County for confirmation.
Spinal Stenosis occurs when bones along your vertebrae become narrow. This condition admits pressure on spinal bones and nerves that lead to your arms, lower back, and neck. While select people with this condition may experience little-to-no symptoms, many endure numbness and muscle weakness throughout their body. Depending on your severity, the doctors at NY Orthopaedic Spinal Associates can guide you along the road to recovery. One common form of treatment for Spinal Stenosis is undergoing a Decompressive Laminectomy. This minimally invasive surgery aims to relieve lower back pain and Spinal Stenosis symptoms. If you are in search of a spine surgeon in Suffolk County or believe you are suffering from Spinal Stenosis, consider scheduling a consultation with one of our specialists.
What is Spinal Stenosis?Spinal Stenosis is a condition that damages bones and nerves along your vertebrae. It prompts various forms of pressure and discomfort along your back, neck, and arms. There are two types of Spinal Stenosis that may lead you to contact a spine surgeon in Suffolk County:
- Lumbar Stenosis: Narrowing of bones occurs more specifically along your lower spine. (The most common form of Spinal Stenosis)
- Cervical Stenosis: Narrowing of bones occurs more readily in the lower neck.
- Numbness, tingling, or weakness in foot or leg
- Pain and cramping in legs when standing or walking for long periods
- Feel relief when sitting and bending forward
- Numbness, tingling, or weakness in arm or hand
- Difficulty walking and balancing
- Neck Pain
- Bladder or bowel dysfunction
What is a Decompressive Laminectomy?Not all cases of Spinal Stenosis require surgery. Upon consulting with a spine surgeon in Suffolk County, our specialists may suggest alternative recommendations. Steering away from spinal-strenuous activities may be wise. It’s better to follow doctor-instructed exercises to strengthen your back and stomach muscles to better support your spine. Depending on your response to alternative treatments, our doctors may advise a Decompressive Laminectomy. Despite the specific type of Stenosis, the overall goal of the procedure is to relieve spinal cord and nerve pressure to better support your spine. In the most severe case, our surgeons can adjust parts of your spine that are causing the trouble. They may also fuse problematic vertebrae to create more space within your spinal canal. Depending on your specific case, the level of invasiveness varies, but we assure that relieving your pain is not impossible. If you have been searching for a spine surgeon in Suffolk County, consider contacting NY Orthopaedic Spinal Associates, and make an appointment at one of our various locations. Our doctors treat patients like family and believe in personalized care for all. Relieve your back pain today and schedule a consultation now! Discs are the rubbery cushions that sit between the bones along the vertebrae (spine). When these discs are damaged, they can be identified as a herniated disc (also known as ruptured or slipped discs). These discs are meant to hold the vertebrae in place and act as shock absorbers, making the spine comfortable to move around. A Herniated disc can cause severe pain in the neck, upper and lower back. Depending on how severe the disc is, surgery may be an option. At New York Orthopaedic Spinal Associates, we specialize in herniated discs. If you are looking for a spine surgeon in Suffolk County, contact us today to set up an appointment!
What causes a herniated disc?When the disc bulges outside its parameter, it causes its outer layer to crack. This can result in pain anywhere throughout the spine and can possibly lead to the buttox or leg, which is called sciatic pain. Herniated discs are mainly caused by the natural effect of aging, but they can be worsened by injuries to the spine and or stress. If a herniated disc is not treated, it can lead to major damaging of the spine making it hard to move around and it can cause heavy lifting of the vertebrae. Which is why you should contact a spine surgeon before the herniated disc becomes damaged beyond repair.
What are the symptoms?The disc can deteriorate from aging or from specific injuries causing pain, tingling, numbing and even muscle spasms. Sudden movements such as coughing, bending, stretching, even sneezing can worsen the herniated disc. The most common area for herniated discs is in the lower back. Our spine surgeon in Suffolk County at New York Orthopaedic Spinal Associates can help diagnose your pain, deciding whether or not you are suffering from a herniated disc.
What are the treatment options? – Spine Surgeon in Suffolk CountyTreatment often begins with lots of bed rest and taking various medications and painkillers. Occasionally, epidural injections may be used to lessen the nerve irritation and help the healing process. Depending on the damage of the disc, surgery may be your best option. Here at New York Orthopaedic Spinal Associates, we want you to be as comfortable as possible and have the most trust in your surgeon. If you are looking for a spine surgeon in Suffolk County and feel like you may have a herniated disc, please give us a call today to set up an appointment with one of our specialists!
Lumbar ArthritisLumbar arthritis refers to the inflammation of the joints in the lower part of your spine. It can be symptomatic of various other forms of arthritis including osteoarthritis, psoriatic arthritis, and rheumatoid arthritis. More than 50 million Americans are currently living with some form of arthritis, which can be very painful and become more and more severe over time. New York Orthopaedic Spinal Associates has a top tier spine surgeon in Suffolk County that can help you work through your lumbar arthritis as well as any other spinal or back problems you may have!
Symptoms:Any type of arthritis can be painful. It could also lead to a larger impact on your daily life than you may like. This is especially true when it comes to Lumbar Arthritis, due to the chronic or lingering pain it may be causing. Below we have listed some signs and symptoms that you could be suffering from when it comes to lumbar arthritis:
- Chronic pain or soreness.
- Waking up with stiffness.
- Burning sensations after physical activity.
- Muscle spasms.
- Creaking sounds from your joints.
- Worsened mobility and range of motion.
Treatments:Typical treatments for lumbar arthritis may include:
- Over-the-counter medications – Nonsteroidal anti-inflammatory drugs along with a pain killer.
- Prescribed medications – Corticosteroids to minimize inflammation or muscle relaxants to help with muscle spasms.
- Lifestyle changes – Losing weight, eating inflammation-reducing foods, reducing alcohol consumption, and quitting smoking.
- Physical therapy – This can help to increase and better your range of motion.
- Surgery – More likely to be utilized if the joints are heavily worn down and the bones are starting to rub or fuse.