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Spine Surgery Specialist 

When non-surgical treatments aren't appropriate or don't offer you relief from back and neck pain, spine surgery might be the answer. If you're struggling with severe, chronic back pain, orthopaedic spine specialist Evan O'Brien, MD, and Chris Hennessey, PA, at Woodbury Spine, can help. At their practice in Woodbury, New Jersey, they use advanced techniques such as artificial disc replacement and discectomy and fusion to address the cause of your back or neck pain. To take advantage of their spine surgery expertise, call Woodbury Spine to book an appointment today.

Spine Surgery Q & A

Why might I need spine surgery?


You might need spine surgery if you have a back or

neck injury or disease where there are no other

effective treatments.

Dr. O'Brien typically employs conservative measures

when treating patients, to begin with, as these are

often successful in relieving back and neck pain.

Medication and physical therapies along with activity

modification and using ice and heat are the first


When these non-invasive methods fail to resolve

your pain, epidural steroid injections may be necessary. 

Advanced, minimally invasive procedures such as

radiofrequency ablation and spinal cord stimulation

could help some patients, and vertebroplasty and

kyphoplasty are effective ways of treating vertebral

compression fractures.

If you aren't benefitting from these treatments, spine surgery might be the next step.

What conditions are treatable using spine surgery?

Spine surgery could be helpful for a range of back and neck conditions. Some of those Dr. O'Brien often treats include:

  • Degenerative disc disease

  • Herniated discs

  • Cervical radiculopathy

  • Spinal stenosis

  • Sciatica

  • Spondylosis

  • Spondylolisthesis

  • Scoliosis

Acute spinal injuries may require urgent spine surgery.

What kind of spine surgery might I need?

The spine surgery you need depends on the cause of your condition and factors like your age, lifestyle, and other health issues. Some of the techniques Dr. O'Brien uses include:

Discectomy and fusion

Discectomy involves removing a damaged disc, followed by fusing the vertebrae on either side of the space using bone graft. Fusion stabilizes your spine and resolves pain but results in some movement limitations in that part of your back or neck.

There are several ways to approach this type of surgery, including ALIF (anterior lumbar interbody fusion), PLIF (posterior lumbar interbody fusion), TLIF (transforaminal lumbar interbody fusion), and XLIF (extreme lateral interbody fusion). Dr. O'Brien performs all of these types of surgery. He also has expertise in small incision lumbar fusion using the Spineology Optimesh technique.

Artificial disc replacement

After performing a discectomy, Dr. O'Brien may implant an artificial disc rather than use fusion techniques. An artificial disc more closely reproduces the natural movement of your spine.

Medicrea® rod surgery

The Medicrea rod is a patient-specific custom-designed rod that Dr. O'Brien uses to correct the kind of spinal deformity typical of scoliosis. This involves computer-aided surgical planning to determine the exact shape of your corrected spine. Then the rods are manufactured in Lyon, France, to match your custom spinal correction. 

During surgery, the spine is released to allow deformity correction and then pulled to the custom Medicrea rod to achieve the planned correction precisely.

Dr. O'Brien may use minimally invasive spine surgery (MISS) techniques for some procedures in suitable patients. MISS requires smaller incisions than open surgery, resulting in less pain, a faster recovery, and minimal scarring.

To benefit from Dr. O'Brien's spine surgery expertise, call Woodbury Spine to book an appointment today.

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