Chernoff MD - Orthopedic & Spinal Surgery

Spine Surgeon on Long Island

Ira Chernoff, MD FAAOS

Dr. Ira Chernoff is a Spine Surgeon on Long Island who 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

Stony Brook Office

2500 Nesconset Highway – Building 9
Stony Brook, NY 11790

T: 631-246-6100
F: 631-246-9464

Jericho Office

800 Wodbury Rd – Suite K
Woodbury, NY 11797

T: 516-794-6202
F: 631-246-9464

Riverhead Office

887 Old Country Road – Suite F
Riverhead, NY 11901

T: 631-727-1873
F: 631-246-9464

Hampton Bays Office

186 West Montauk Highway – Suite D6
Hampton Bay, NY 11946

T: 631-723-3700
F: 631-246-9464

Back Pain Treatment From Long Island Spine Surgeon

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!    

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Learn More: What Causes Spinal Pain?

Spine Surgeon on Long Island

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.


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.


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? Can It Be Treated By A Spine Surgeon On Long Island?

Spine Surgeon on Long Island

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.


  • 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.


  • 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?

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.

Herniated Discs

spine surgeon on Long Island

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 on Long Island, 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.

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 surgeons of Long Island at New York Orthopaedic Spinal Associates can help diagnosis your pain, deciding whether or not you are suffering from a herniated disc.

What are the treatment options? – Spine Surgeon On Long Island

Treatment 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 on Long Island 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!

Anterior Cervical Discectomy & Fusionminimally invasive spine surgery long island

If you have chronic pain, numbness, or low mobility of the back and neck, you may have a degenerated or herniated disc. This painful condition occurs when the rubbery discs that separate the spinal vertebrae wear down over time or slip out of place, putting pressure on your nerves and causing pain and weakness. It is common to have problems with these discs, the result, however, may lead you to experience back and neck pain that doesn’t get better.

If your condition is chronic, it may be time to find out if an Anterior Cervical Discectomy and Fusion is right for you. This surgical procedure is recommended once all other treatment methods have failed. By choosing to forgo an Anterior Cervical Discectomy & Fusion, you’ll find a permanent solution for your spinal disc problems.

If you and your doctor have determined that this procedure is the right move for you, contact our spine surgeon on Long Island for a consultation. At New York Orthopedic Spinal Associates, we will go through all of the details and answer any questions you may have about this procedure.

The Procedure

Before scheduling your appointment, here is a quick overview of the steps your surgeon will take during the procedure:

  • To gain access to your spinal discs, your surgeon will make an incision through the throat.
  • It is necessary to go through the front as to not disturb the sensitive structure of the back.
  • Your surgeon will move through your anterior muscle to get to the disc that is damaged and will completely remove the disc.
  • The removed disc will be replaced either through a bone graft or arthroplasty.

What to expect post surgery:

Since this is an outpatient surgery, you will be able to return home on the same day as the procedure. You will likely experience pain in and around the area that was operated on for a few weeks. Your doctor may recommend certain medications for the pain if needed. Most people return to their routines within 6 weeks or less. Once you’ve fully recovered you’ll have complete relief from all those spinal disc issues.

If you’re considering having an Anterior Cervical Discectomy and Fusion, our spine surgeon on Long Island can talk you through the procedure step-by-step. So rather than living with the pain of a degenerated or herniated disc, contact New York Orthopedic Spinal Associates today!

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, 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 on Long Island has been helping patients with back pain for over 16 years.  

Lumbar Arthritis Treatment From Spine Surgeon on Long Island

Lumbar 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 on Long Island that can help you work through your lumbar arthritis as well as any other spinal or back problems you may have!


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.

If you notice any of these symptoms in your lower back around your spine, you have also likely been diagnosed with another form of arthritis or psoriasis.  


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.

How a Spine Surgeon on Long Island Can Help You:

If you require surgery to help correct your lumbar arthritis or any other back or spinal problem we recommend you consider receiving help from a spine surgeon on Long Island at New York Orthopaedic Spinal Associates. Our experienced doctors can help ensure you get the best treatment and are well taken care of when it comes to any back or spinal issues you might have. Contact us for more information.

Spinal Muscular Atrophy

Spinal muscular atrophy (SMA) is a genetic condition that affects your ability to move and potentially eat or breathe. Those with SMA have trouble using their muscles because the nerves that originate from the spine and brain stem and connect to the muscles are impaired. SMA primarily affects children and is the leading genetic cause of death for infants. Further problems can be caused due to SMA such as abnormal spinal curves which can make eating and breathing even more challenging. At New York Orthopaedic Spinal Associates, the many experienced doctors are available to provide you with the best spine surgeon on Long Island to help correct any spinal curves as well as the care and information you need to help someone dealing with SMA.

Types of SMA:

  • Type 1 – This is the most severe type of SMA and is usually diagnosed within the first six months of being born. Since type 1 results in extremely limited motor functions and inability to swallow, breath, or sit, death usually occurs within two years of life. The baby’s body will be floppy, limp and motionless after birth and other deformities such as scoliosis will possibly also be present.
  • Type 2 – Also called intermediate SMA, type 2 is the most common type of SMA.  This type begins to appear around 6 to 18 months and will likely be identifiable by the child not being able to sit without support, motor delay, deformities, enlarged calf muscles or finger tremors present. The life span for those with type 2 SMA is most often in their 20’s or 30’s and most often death is a result of respiratory infection. A child with type 2 SMA will never be able to walk but will likely result in only partial function in their arms.
  • Type 3 – Also known as mild SMA, type 3 is usually diagnosed after a child starts to walk and difficulties walking arise. Those with type 3 will likely just need assisting devices to help them with walking and other functions and see a doctor regularly to monitor their spinal curvature and respiratory system.
  • Type 4 – Type 4 is adult-onset SMA and is the most-mild. Symptoms are similar to those with type 3 and generally won’t appear until the person is in their 30’s.


SMA is not curable but treatment for SMA is focused on keeping the person comfortable, focusing on the quality of life, and encouraging independence.  Medications, physical therapy, and utilizing assistive devices such as wheelchairs, feeding tubes, and breathing machines will likely be recommended. Surgery, with a spine surgeon on Long Island, may also be recommended to help correct and improve any spinal curvature or deformities.

How a Spine Surgeon on Long Island Can Help:

If you or someone you know requires spinal surgery or guidance with SMA we recommend speaking with a doctor at New York Orthopaedic Spinal Associates and receiving help from a spine surgeon on Long Island. Our experienced and caring doctors can ensure that you get the best help and treatment for any illness affecting the spine. Contact us for any information or further questions.

What is a trigger point injection? Offered By Long Island Spine Surgeon

Trigger Points

Trigger Point Injections Long Island

Patients who are considering triggering point injections on Long Island or in the surrounding area should inquire with the skilled spine surgeons at New York Orthopaedic Spinal Associates. Dr. Ira Chernoff & Dr. Marc Chernoff are both highly skilled Spine Surgeons on Long Island who have experience injecting patients with needles into their trigger points. 

What is a trigger point?

Before diving into the treatment itself, it’s imperative that patients understand more about their trigger points. These palpable nodules are located in various areas around the body that have knots of muscles. They form themselves when your muscles are able to contract but they cannot relax. Trigger points tend to develop more frequently in the myofascia, the center of a muscle belly. Everyone has trigger points, but not everyone experiences pain in these areas. If you’re experiencing trigger point related discomfort, please contact our skilled Spine Surgeon on Long Island for treatment and diagnosis.

What are trigger point symptoms? 

The intention of a trigger point injection is to treat pain in parts of the body that have trigger points. Typically, trigger point pain is stimulated by injury or overuse of certain muscle groups. Other common catalysts of trigger points include stress and chronic anxiety. Trigger points tend to irritate nerves in the body, formulating discomfort and inducing pain. Other symptoms include deterioration of the patients’ range of motion.  

What is the process for trigger point injections?

During the TPI procedure, your spine surgeon on Long Island will insert a small needle into the affected area. Depending on the severity, this small needle will include an anesthetic, saline, or potentially a corticosteroid. By natural means, the trigger point will become inactive and pain relief should be the immediate result. This prototypical procedure usually only takes approximately 2-3 minutes and can easily be done by our spine surgeon on Long Island. Primarily, the muscle groups that are targeted for trigger point injections tend to include the ones located within the legs, arms, neck, and back. Fibromyalgia is also a condition that is often treated with the help of trigger point injections.

Ankylosing Spondylitis – Treated By Spine Surgeon on Long Island

Describing Ankylosing Spondylitis:

Ankylosing spondylitis is a painful type of arthritis that causes neck pain, spine pain, and more for patients who suffer from the effects. This inflammatory arthritis is not a condition that will heal on its own, and if left untreated, a patient may begin to have difficulty breathing and even develop more serious health issues, such as osteoporosis. 

If you or someone you know is struggling with ankylosing spondylitis, a spine surgeon on Long Island, at New York Orthopedic Spinal Associates can help.

Symptoms of Ankylosing Spondylitis:

Considering the severity of a condition as forbidding as Ankylosing Spondylitis, it’s important to understand the symptoms so you can recognize and treat the condition before it becomes worse. Some common symptoms of Ankylosing Spondylitis are the following:

  • Constant Back Pain.
  • Bowel Trouble.
  • Weight Loss.
  • Weaker Lung Function.

At New York Orthopaedic Spinal Associates, we aim to provide high-quality care for our patients. For any questions regarding ankylosing spondylitis or our other services and treatment options, contact a spine surgeon on Long Island such as Dr. Ira Chernoff or Dr. Marc Chernoff.

Treatment Options Available From Spine Surgeon on Long Island:

When it comes to choosing the right treatment option for your health-related condition, it helps to know about the types of treatment options that are available at your disposal. Potential treatment options for Ankylosing Spondylitis can include some of the following:

  • NSAIDs – This type of medication can help lower the number of prostaglandins that are produced. Overall, the intention is to lead to a reduction in both pain and swelling. Ranging from Aspirin to Relafen, there are a wide variety of NSAIDs to choose from. However, NSAIDs can mess with blood flow and lead to ulcers. Consult with your physician before purchasing any medication.
  • DMARDS – DMARDS help with joint damage and inflammation. There is a wide variety of DMARDS to choose from such as Azathioprine, Leflunomide, etc. However, DMARDS can upset your stomach and increase the risk of infection. Again, please consult with your physician before making any of these purchases.
  • Surgery – Surgery can correct the poor posture Ankylosing Spondylitis causes by re-aligning the bones. Although it has side effects as well, surgery is said to be very effective for this condition. 

If you’re in need of surgery for your ankylosing spondylitis, reach out to a spine surgeon on Long Island here at New York Orthopaedic Spinal Associates. 

How can a spine surgeon on Long Island help?

New York Orthopaedic Spinal Associates’ certified team will work with you to treat your ankylosing spondylitis and also incorporate our pain management treatments for further management of your condition. Click here to book your appointment with us today!

Frequently Asked Questions about our Spine Surgeon on Long Island:

Spine Surgeon on Long Island

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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