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Spine Services

At Yale-New Haven Hospital Saint Raphael Campus, we offer various treatments to help you manage your back pain. We're a regional leader in spine surgery, offering cutting-edge procedures including lateral interbody fusion, in which surgeons access the spine from the patient's side. We also offer the latest technology in artificial disc replacement and the X-Stop implant for the treatment of spinal stenosis.

Spine Services

Our expert orthopedic and neuro-spine surgeons provide the latest treatment for spine disorders that are the result of:

  • Cervical spine disease (such as arthritis in the spine)
  • Disc herniation (a torn ligament in the disc that causes pressure, inflammation and pain)
  • Spinal cord compression (caused by bone fragments from a vertebral fracture, a tumor, abscess, ruptured intervertebral disc or other lesion)
  • A traumatic spinal injury
  • Degenerative spinal conditions in older and middle-age patients such as spinal stenosis - a narrowing of the channel that normally protects the lower spinal cord
  • Adolescent scoliosis - a genetic curvature of the spine

In addition, our surgeons use real-time monitoring which provides safer access to the spine. The technique employs a neuromonitoring system that lets physicians view nerves electronically. Patients are generally walking the same day they undergo surgery.

Our program was recently designated as a Center of Excellence for Spine Surgery by the Joint Commission in three types of surgery:Joint Commission Quality Seal

  • Discectomies (removing part of a disc pressing on the spinal cord or nerves)
  • Decompressions (such as removal of overgrown vertebral joints or ligaments that narrow the spinal canal causing spinal stenosis – pressure on the spinal chord and nerves)
  • Fusions (surgically joining two or more vertebrae to create stability and alleviate back pain due to degenerative disease or spinal injury)

Our comprehensive program includes preoperative education classes, sophisticated treatment for pain control during and after surgery, and post-operative followup.

Advances in Spine Surgery

At Yale-New Haven Hospital Saint Raphael Campus, we are at the forefront of the latest advances in technology and treatments. We also participate in clinical trials and taking advantage of the expertise of our experienced physicians and surgeons. Performing the second highest volume of spine surgery in Connecticut, our orthopedic surgeons and neurosurgeons provide the latest treatments for spine disorders including cervical spine disease, disc herniation, spinal cord compression, traumatic spinal injury and other conditions.

Advanced treatments include:

  • Minimally invasive instruments and techniques during disc surgery to reduce blood loss and infection while speeding the recovery process
  • Inserting a synthetic cage modeled on the human body, into the spine that acts as a spacer between the vertebrae
  • Using artificial cervical discs, which are made from materials such as titanium, ceramics and stainless steel
  • Introducing bone morphogenic protein - or BMP - which attracts bone cells to a targeted area to prompt new bone formation
  • Adding pain-managing drugs to spinal fluid and using vibration to stimulate nerve centers
  • Improved braces and surgery for scoliosis
  • Lateral Interbody Fusion, a minimally invasive procedure that gives the surgeon direct access to the intervertebral disc space of the spine from the side of the body (lateral) as opposed to the front or back. The technique employs a neuromonitoring system that lets physicians view nerves electronically. Patients are generally walking the same day they undergo surgery.
  • The CyberKnife system, which delivers stereotactic radiation to spinal tumors with pinpoint accuracy; it can be used in both benign and malignant tumors

For more information about spine services, please call 203.789.5997.

Pre-Operative Educational Classes

Once you've been scheduled for spine surgery, you will be asked to register for a pre-operative educational session. In this session, you'll learn more about preparing for your surgery including what to bring to the hospital, testing before surgery, anesthesia, and specifics about your surgical procedure (e.g. lumbar fusion, laminectomy, cervical fusion, etc.). You'll also hear tips on what to expect during your recovery such as pain management and the do's and don'ts of post-operative activities.

You must have your surgery date scheduled in order to register for one of these session. Please try to pick one that is close to your scheduled date of surgery.

If you have any questions about the registration, please call 203.789.5997.

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Yale School of Medicine
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