Primary care physicians are often the first to see patients with symptoms of
ankylosing spondylitis; however, if ankylosing spondylitis is suspected it is important to be
evaluated at an advanced spine center as soon as possible, since early
and expert intervention can keep the condition from getting worse.
The spine team at the
Weill Cornell Brain and Spine Center — expert spine surgeons along with their team of physicians, nurses,
physical therapists, and pain management specialists — provide comprehensive,
integrated care for patients with ankylosing spondylitis and many other
conditions of the spine. Patients receive a complete continuum of care,
from diagnosis to treatment and recovery.
We generally begin with nonsurgical, non-invasive options (see
Diagnosing and Treating Ankylosing Spondylitis). For patients who do need surgery, we offer the latest in minimally invasive
surgical techniques using state-of-the-art equipment. Patients recover
faster, have less pain, and get back to their normal daily activities
sooner than they could with older surgical methods.
Our surgical faculty includes some of the very best world-renowned specialists:
Roger Härtl, M.D., named as one of the top 50 spine surgeons in the United States, is Co-director
of the Weill Cornell Spine Center and Director of Spinal Surgery and Neurotrauma
at the Weill Cornell Brain and Spine Center. He’s also the official
neurosurgeon for the New York Giants. Dr. Härtl's clinical and
research expertise is in simple and complex spine surgery, neurotrauma,
and neurocritical care medicine. Dr. Härtl believes that surgery
for ankylosing spondylitis should be a part of a multidisciplinary approach
to treatment, and he works very closely with other specialists in a team
effort to achieve the best outcome for his patients. (Read more about
Eric Elowitz, M.D., is a board-certified neurosurgeon specializing in minimally invasive
spinal surgery. Routinely named to national lists of top doctors, Dr.
Elowitz is dedicated to providing state-of-the-art care with individual
attention to each patient’s unique needs. Dr. Elowitz has developed
a special expertise in new XLIF (lateral-access) procedures. (Read more about
Kai-Ming Fu, M.D., Ph.D., obtained his undergraduate degrees from Stanford University and his medical
and graduate training in the M.D./Ph.D. program at Albert Einstein College
of Medicine. Dr. Fu specializes in minimal access surgery as well as having
advanced training in reconstructive, deformity, and oncological spine
surgery. (Read more about
Dr. Ali Baaj is a board-certified neurosurgeon who specializes in spinal surgery, with
advanced training and expertise in spinal oncology and complex reconstructive
surgery for spinal deformity. He is accomplished in both minimally invasive
spinal surgery and open complex spine surgery, having had formal training
in both orthopedic and neurosurgical spine surgery. (Read more about
At the Weill Cornell Brain and Spine Center, patients with ankylosing spondylitis
may also be seen by:
Physiatrists: These rehabilitation physicians specialize in treating injuries or illnesses
that affect movement. They manage non-surgical approaches to back pain,
including the pain of ankylosing spondylitis.
Pain Management Specialists: Advanced pain management techniques allow many patients to avoid surgery
altogether. Our specialists work with patients to develop an individual
treatment plan that can get them back to their daily lives, without pain
and without surgery. Pain management specialists can also help patients
recover more quickly, or with less pain, after surgery.
Physical Therapists: These specialists have expertise in a wide range of non-surgical techniques
to help prevent or overcome pain and build strength to help prevent future
injuries. A physical therapist may work with a patient as an alternative
to surgery, or after surgery to help rebuild strength.
The spine surgeons at the Weill Cornell Brain and Spine Center are fortunate
to be part of the NewYork-Presbyterian Hospital team. The 2013-14 "America's
Best Hospitals" ranking in
US News and World Report placed NewYork-Presbyterian as the #1 hospital in New York, and our Neurology
and Neurosurgery program ranks as the #1 program in New York (and #3 nationwide).
Together, the NewYork-Presbyterian/Weill Cornell Medical Center team is
the best choice for your back.
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