Division of Spine Surgery | NYU Langone Health

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Department of Orthopedic Surgery Divisions Division of Spine Surgery

Division of Spine Surgery

As a leader in the education and training of physicians, clinicians, and scientists, the Division of Spine Surgery in NYU Langone Health’s Department of Orthopedic Surgery offers a balanced didactic curriculum of research and clinical activities in a highly collaborative environment with surgeons and members of other departments throughout the institution.

Our research program focuses on optimizing patient care by using cutting-edge techniques in the analysis of clinical outcomes. Faculty members have helped pioneer the use of large administrative databases to perform high-volume analysis of risk factors in spinal surgery. Many of our surgeons use minimally invasive surgical techniques, such as robotic technology, which significantly improve the accuracy of surgical implants.

Surgeons in our division provide comprehensive treatment for adult and pediatric spine disorders, including degenerative diseases, complex spinal growth disorders, neuromuscular disorders, traumatic injuries, and revision surgeries.

Spine Surgery Education

Medical students wishing to explore orthopedic surgery may enroll in electives with the Division of Spine Surgery as part of NYU Grossman School of Medicine’s Curriculum for the 21st Century.

Residents complete rotations in spine surgery as part of the Department of Orthopedic Surgery’s residency program. They receive training in the treatment and management of both adult and pediatric spine disorders and participate in a large volume and variety of surgical cases.

Fellows in our one-year spine surgery fellowship program receive intensive training in a wide range of spine pathology, from degenerative diseases and complex pediatric and adult deformity cases to tumors.

Spine Surgery Research

The division’s Spine Research Center is highly active and prestigious, producing more than 100 peer-reviewed journal publications and 150 presentations per year at national and international meetings during the 2015–16 and 2016–17 academic years. Investigators undertake biomechanical, clinical, and outcomes-based research in the fields of adult and pediatric spinal deformity, minimally invasive surgery, and cervical and lumbar degenerative spinal disorders.

The center is a member of two major multicenter study groups: the International Spine Study Group, which focuses on adult spinal deformity, and the Harms Study Group, which focuses on pediatric spinal deformity.

In addition, the center has been a major contributor to several pivotal multicenter trials, such as the Spine Patient Outcome Research Trial, the Pfizer STRIVE (Staphylococcus aureus Surgical Inpatient Vaccine Efficacy) Trial (phase 2), the Cervical and Lumbar ProDisc U.S. Food and Drug Administration (FDA) Investigational Device Exemption (IDE) Trial, and the Coflex® FDA IDE Trial. Learn more about clinical trials conducted by the Division of Spine Surgery.

There are 10 faculty members actively involved in the Spine Research Center under the leadership of Aaron J. Buckland, MD. Research opportunities are available to premedical, medical, postgraduate, and master’s students. Fellows in our fellowship program have opportunities to conduct clinical and biomedical research. Medical and premedical students may participate in summer research programs by special request. Information about research opportunities and applications should be directed to Constance Maglaras, PhD, research scientist, at constance.maglaras@nyulangone.org.

Learn more about research in the Department of Orthopedic Surgery.

Spine Surgery Clinical Services

The Division of Spine Surgery provides comprehensive treatment of adult and pediatric spine disorders. This includes surgical care that spans the entire spectrum of spinal conditions, including spinal deformity, degenerative disease, trauma, tumors, and infections of the spine. Our physicians emphasize using the most appropriate surgical technique to optimize patient outcomes.

We deliver surgical treatment of spinal disorders at NYU Langone Orthopedic Hospital, Tisch Hospital, Kimmel Pavilion, Hassenfeld Children’s Hospital at NYU Langone, NYU Langone Hospital—Brooklyn, NYU Winthrop Hospital, and NYC Health + Hospitals/Bellevue.

We use state-of-the-art surgical techniques, including spinal reconstruction, three-column osteotomies, and minimally invasive spinal robotic and spinal navigation technologies to enhance and optimize patient clinical outcomes. We also perform motion preservation procedures such as cervical disc arthroplasty. Our surgeons may collaborate closely with NYU Langone’s Department of Neurosurgery and Hansjörg Wyss Department of Plastic Surgery on revision closures of complex spinal wounds. In conjunction with the Department of Neurosurgery, we collaborate with the Department of Radiology for optimal treatment of neoplasms of the spine.

Our Spine Center practices a holistic approach to treating people with spinal disorders. We evaluate and treat patients together with physicians from NYU Langone’s Departments of Neurosurgery and Neurology, Division of Rheumatology, Rehabilitation Medicine, Center for the Study and Treatment of Pain, and integrative health programs. This provides a collaborative and collegial environment centered around the needs of the patient. We also provide orthopedic spine care at additional satellite offices, including NYU Langone Orthopedic Surgery—Rutherford Place, NYU Langone Orthopedics—Westchester, NYU Langone Huntington Medical Group, Preston Robert Tisch Center for Men’s Health, and NYU Langone Seaport Orthopedics.

Physicians in our division use the most advanced techniques to treat spinal conditions, including minimally invasive surgery to treat ruptured or herniated discs, spondylolisthesis, scoliosis in children, and scoliosis and kyphosis in adults. We often work with visiting professors interested in learning the latest surgical techniques to enhance patient outcomes. Our division is dedicated to optimizing the care and satisfaction of our patients through quality and safety projects that develop and evaluate inpatient treatment pathways.

Spine Surgery Leadership and Administration

Themistocles Protopsaltis, MD, is chief of the Division of Spine Surgery, as well as chief of the spinal deformity service. John A. Bendo, MD, is chief of the spine service for clinical affairs. The director of our spine surgery fellowship and chief of the spine service for education is Jeffrey A. Goldstein, MD. Charla R. Fischer, MD, is the associate fellowship director and the director of quality and patient safety. Aaron J. Buckland, MD, serves as the division’s research director.

Yong H. Kim, MD, serves as chief of the degenerative spine service, and Jeffrey M. Spivak, MD, is chief of the spine service for technology and innovation.