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New Technologies Lead to Safer Spinal Stenosis Surgery for Back Pain Sufferers

What Is Spinal Stenosis?

Spinal stenosis sufferers experience pain in their necks and backs. Their arms and legs may hurt, or they may feel numb or weak. A simple, two-hour surgery can correct this problem, leaving patients pain-free. William J. Sonstein, M.D., F.A.C.S., of Neurological Surgery, P.C. (NSPC) is a Long Island board certified neurosurgeon with over 20 years of experience performing this spinal stenosis surgery. In addition, modern technology makes the surgery even safer than before.

“I started experiencing shocks up and down my arms. Often it would happen after I worked out or sometimes when I was walking,” explained Walter Valentine of Smithtown.

When the spine narrows, either at the center, the canals where nerves branch out, or in the spaces between vertebrae, patients might consider spinal stenosis surgery. This is because spinal stenosis puts painful pressure on the nerves and spinal cord.

Spinal Stenosis Surgery Example

During Walter’s surgery, called an anterior cervical discectomy, Dr. Sonstein and his team made a small incision in a crease through the front of the neck to remove the disc, insert a small bone, and attach a small plate. This procedure alleviates the pressure on the nerves and spinal cord, eliminating pain and numbness. Patients typically recover quickly, returning home the next day with little or no pain.

Technology Reduces Surgical Complications

Dr. Sonstein makes spinal stenosis surgery safer using two technologies. The Aquamantys® System uses radiofrequency (RF) energy and saline to shrink blood vessels, quickly stopping the bleeding. The Misonix Ultrasonic device preserves soft tissue such as the spinal membrane. When doctors use these technologies, patients lose less blood and reduce their risk of complications.

“These systems are revolutionary in the treatment of spine surgery. These technologies allow us to do spine surgery much more safely than before. You can also perform surgery faster because you have improved ability to stop bleeding and reduce complications of working within the spinal canal,” explained Dr. Sonstein.