Minimally Invasive Spinal Surgery

Pain Management Services

What is Minimally Invasive Spinal Surgery?

At one time, open back surgery that required a long recovery period, or prescription opioids were the only choices you had for chronic back and neck pain. Today, minimally invasive spinal surgery treatment options have made it possible to do many procedures on an outpatient basis with little or no damage to surrounding tissues, few side effects and a much quicker recovery than ever before.

Dr. Ilana Etelzon is an experienced interventional pain and musculoskeletal specialist in New York City who focuses on providing effective treatment options that break the pain cycle for people suffering from back pain or neck pain. She works closely with you to create an individualized treatment plan for obtaining relief as quickly as possible.

What Conditions May Be Treated with Minimally Invasive Spine Surgery?

Minimally invasive spine surgery is frequently done to relieve pressure pushing on nerves and it may also be done to stabilize joints. It’s an effective form of treatment for a number of conditions that cause chronic or recurring pain. Conditions that may benefit from this type of treatment include:

  • Herniated disc
  • Sacroiliac joint dysfunction
  • Spinal stenosis
  • Sciatica
  • Degenerative disc disease
  • Compression fractures
  • Spinal instability
  • Piriformis syndrome
  • Scoliosis
  • Spinal tumors

A thorough evaluation by your NYC pain doctor is done to determine the best form of treatment for you. Your doctor may recommend minimally invasive spinal surgery if other nonsurgical treatment methods haven’t been effective in relieving your pain. Examples of nonsurgical treatment options for back or neck pain include:

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What Types of Spine Surgery Can Be Performed Using a Minimally Invasive Approach?

The techniques used in minimally invasive spine surgery can be applied to several different types of spine surgery. Examples of procedures performed by Dr. Etelzon include:

  • Percutaneous lumbar discectomy to remove material that’s pressing on a nerve or the spinal column
  • Percutaneous rhizotomy to remove sensation from a painful nerve in order to relieve the discomfort of degenerative spine conditions and nerve pain
  • Spinal cord stimulator that sends low levels of electricity to the spinal cord to relieve chronic pain
  • Peripheral nerve stimulator, which relies on mild electrical currents sent to nerves outside the spinal column to treat neuropathy or post-amputation pain syndrome
  • Sacroiliac joint fusion to reduce pain and instability caused by sacroiliac joint dysfunction
  • Posterior spinal fusion to prevent movement between spinal bones
  • MILD procedure that involves decompression to relieve pressure on the spine
  • Kyphoplasty to treat compression fractures in the spine

Depending on the procedure, you may be given local anesthetic or minimal conscious sedation to ensure your comfort. Your spine specialist identifies the best procedural approach and utilizes the fluoroscopy or ultrasound guidance to identify the area that needs to be treated and to best perform the procedure. 

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What Are the Benefits of Minimally Invasive Spinal Surgery?

Minimally invasive spine surgery is much easier on your body than traditional open surgery. One big benefit of minimally invasive spinal surgery is that it’s often done on an outpatient basis, allowing you to recover at home. Other benefits of this type of surgery include:

  • Less blood loss
  • Little or no scarring because a long incision isn’t needed
  • Less post-op pain
  • Shorter recovery time
  • Reduced risk of infection
  • Reduced need for medication

When you have spinal surgery done by a skilled pain management specialist, your risk of complications is greatly reduced. If other forms of treatment haven’t provided pain relief, minimally invasive spinal surgery may be your best bet. To find out the best treatment options for your neck pain or back pain, contact Dr. Ilana Etelzon’s team today to set up a consultation.

Lumbar Fusion

Lumbar fusion refers to the surgical process of permanently uniting two vertebrae in your lower spine region, also known as the lumbar spine, permanently. These vertebrae form part of your backbone and this surgery is designed to restrict movement between them and provide solutions for various spinal conditions and diseases.

Fusion between vertebrae typically involves using a bone graft as well as various screws, rods, or plates to maintain proper alignment between vertebrae. This procedure may help alleviate pain while maintaining function for those suffering from damaged or diseased lumbar spines.


Types of Lumbar Fusion

  • Posterolateral Fusion: A bone graft is placed between the transverse processes at the back of your spine and wires are used to connect each vertebra.
  • Interbody Fusion: A bone graft is placed into the space occupied by intervertebral discs to form interbody fusion. There are various forms, including Anterior Lumbar Interbody Fusion (ALIF), Posterior Lumbar Interbody Fusion (PLIF), Transforaminal Lumbar Interbody Fusion (TLIF) and Direct Lateral Interbody Fusion (DLIF or XLIF).
  • Allograft Fusion: Utilizes bone from a bone bank as the graft source.
  • Autograft Fusion: Employs patient’s own bone from the pelvis region as a source.
  • Synthetic/Artificial Graft Fusion: Made up of synthetic materials combined with modified natural bone.
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Patient Testimonials

Patient Doctor Relationships Based on Trust

  • Dr. Etelzon always makes sure you are comfortable and leave her office with less pain you came in. She gets to the root of the problem. She's friendly. Clean office environment. No long waits, efficient visit. Highly satisfied with my treatment plan.
    Jacqueline Rodriguez Patient
  • Doctor Etelzon is very knowledgeable and really cares about her patients. She will take her time to discuss patients problem, answer questions and use her expertise to help. Dr. Etelzon maintains a friendly , clean , and efficient office environment.
    Narik Fuzailov Patient
  • Helped me with my pain! Great bedside manner. Highly recommend this doctor.
    Anonymous Patient
  • Dr.Etelzon is very knowledgeable and caring and has hands of hold! She was so thorough in her examination and really sees and hears the patient and determines a customized treatment. Thank you, Dr.Etelzon!
    Anonymous Patient
  • Dr. Ilana Etelzon thank you for your help, you have golden hands. Very attentive and knowledgeable doctor. The office staff is friendly and kind, you girls are beautiful.
    Valeriy Shek Patient (Google Review)
  • Dear Doctor Etelzon, Thank you again. I am starting to feel more like myself again...I couldn't say the problem is totally gone, but a big weight has been lifted...Today...I decided to go and do my nails which I did not do for a long time after the incident. I also asked my daughter if we could go to the park. These are things I normally enjoy but forgot about them for a few months now.
    Anonymous Patient
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