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LI spine surgeon has many success stories performing artificial disc surgery, which actress Melissa Gilbert recently had

Actress Melissa Gilbert, 56, was recently in the news for opening up about her successful artificial disc surgery.

The former Little House on the Prairie star, who had sustained two herniated discs from two accidents in 2012, had previously had three spinal fusion surgeries. Last year, she found out that the last fusion, which was done in 2016, had failed; the hardware was boring a hole in her C7 vertebra, as she explained in an Instagram post. By the time she had her surgery, she had gotten to the point where she was in near constant pain and had tingling in the fingers of her right hand.

Unlike a spinal fusion procedure, in which two vertebrae are connected using metal plates or rods to allow them to fuse together, artificial disc surgery involves replacing a herniated or degenerated disc in the spine with an artificial one made from plastic and metal. A relatively new procedure, it is an effective and preferable alternative to spinal fusion in some patients.

“In some situations, artificial disc surgery is a better option than spinal fusion,” said Dr. Sumeer Sathi, MD, of Long Island Neuroscience Specialists, who has performed artificial disc surgeries and has many success stories.

As disc replacements are designed to function like the body’s discs, artificial disc surgery may allow greater spine mobility than fusion, which welds bones together. Artificial disc replacement also creates less stress on other spinal bones and has a faster recovery time, since the patient does not have to wait for their bones to fuse.

Dr. Sathi is a neurosurgeon and spine surgeon who is the founding member of Long Island Neuroscience Specialists, a multidisciplinary group of neuro-spine surgeons with locations in East Patchogue and East Setauket. Dr. Sathi, who is a graduate of Harvard Medical School, is also a clinical assistant professor of neurological surgery at Weill-Cornell Medical College in New York.

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Laser Therapy is growing as a fast, effective and noninvasive treatment for pain and inflammation

Laser Therapy is growing in use as a safe, effective and noninvasive treatment for a wide variety of musculoskeletal disorders and injuries and certain neurological conditions.

Long Island Neuroscience Specialists uses MLS (multiwave locked system) Laser Therapy to decrease pain and inflammation for patients suffering from arthritis, bursitis, sciatica, plantar fasciitis, tendonitis, tendon and ligament injuries, carpal tunnel, muscle strains and tears, peripheral neuropathy and other conditions. It can be used alone or before and/or after surgery to reduce healing time.

“Patients like MLS Laser Therapy because it is a simple, painless treatment and they see results rapidly,” said Dr. Meeru Sathi-Welsch, MD, who provides laser therapy at Long Island Neuroscience Specialists. “Each treatment takes about ten minutes, and most patients see marked improvement in pain and swelling after one to three treatments.”

By reducing pain and swelling in degenerative conditions like arthritis, MLS Laser Therapy allows patients to be more physically active, which is very important to the management of these conditions.

In MLS Laser Therapy, light energy is used to stimulate inter-cellular activity to speed the recovery of damaged cells. MLS technology uses dual wavelengths, which produce greater anti-inflammatory and pain-relieving effects than either could accomplish on their own, while minimizing the risk of thermal damage. The average course includes seven to 10 treatments.

“For many patients, MLS Laser Therapy is an effective alternative to surgery or prescription painkillers,” said Dr. Sathi-Welsch.

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Barricaid device can help prevent recurrence of herniated discs in certain patients

Many people suffer from herniated discs, a problem affecting one or more of the soft cushions between the vertebrae of the spine. A herniated disc occurs when some of the softer disc material pushes out through a weakness or hole in the tough outer part. If the herniation is large enough, the disc material can press on the spinal cord or nerves and cause pain in the back and legs as well as numbness or weakness. People who do not get better with conservative treatment may need lumbar discectomy surgery.

While lumbar discectomies are successful for most patients, certain patients are at higher risk for disc re-herniation after surgery. The size of the defect in the disc wall is a significant risk factor for recurrence. According to published studies, patients with defects of 6mm or larger have up to a 25 percent chance of recurring herniation.

Doctors Sumeer Sathi and Steven P. Leon, spine surgeons with Long Island Neuroscience Specialists, have had success with a relatively new implant called a Barricaid annular closing device that is inserted during lumbar discectomy surgery and has proven to be successful in lowering the risk of recurring herniation in certain patients with large defects and/or other risk factors.

The implant, which consists of woven mesh that blocks the defect, is anchored to healthy bone with a titanium component.

“Barricaid is an exciting innovation and a major breakthrough that will improve long-range outcomes for many patients,” Dr. Sathi said.

Dr. Sumeer Sathi is a neurosurgeon and spine surgeon who is the founding member of Long Island Neuroscience Specialists, a multidisciplinary group of neuro-spine surgeons with locations in East Patchogue and East Setauket. Dr. Sathi, who is a graduate of Harvard Medical School, is also a clinical assistant professor of neurological surgery at Weill-Cornell Medical College in New York.

A board-certified neurosurgeon with specialization in spinal surgery, Dr. Steven P. Leon treats spinal tumors, trauma, infections, deformity and degenerative diseases at Long Island Neuroscience Specialists. He completed a spinal surgery fellowship at the Cleveland Clinic Foundation in the Department of Orthopedic Surgery and Neurosurgery, a Neurological Surgery Residency at Brigham and Women’s Hospital and Children’s Hospital (Harvard Program) and graduated with honors from Harvard Medical School.

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Intracept Procedure provides an effective, minimally invasive alternative to spinal fusion surgery

Lower back pain affects about 30 million Americans at any given time and is one of the most common reasons for missed work.

When patients with chronic lower back pain do not respond to conservative, non-surgical treatments, they may think that their only hope for improvement is invasive spinal surgery. But for some patients, there is now another option: a minimally invasive procedure known as the Intracept Procedure.

Dr. Sumeer Sathi, M.D. of Long Island Neuroscience Specialists is one of only a handful of doctors in the region offering Intracept, an outpatient procedure that targets the basivertebral nerve. The basivertebral nerve, which is located in the bones of the spine, is often responsible for lower back pain.

With Intracept, the doctor makes a small incision in the lower back, through which a special probe is inserted to deliver radiofrequency energy (heat) to disable the nerve in a process known as basivertebral nerve ablation. The procedure takes less than two hours and recovery is just a couple of days.

The procedure is indicated for many patients who have had lower back pain for six months or more, who have not responded to conservative treatment and who have changes to the spine known as Type 1 or Type 2 Modic changes (which show up on an MRI).

“This procedure offers relief of back pain without major fusion surgery,” said Dr. Sathi. “My patients appear to have excellent results and high satisfaction with the effectiveness of the procedure and how it has filled a need in the marketplace for a minimally invasive procedure to improve back pain.”

Dr. Sathi is a neurosurgeon and spine surgeon who is the founding member of Long Island Neuroscience Specialists, a multidisciplinary group of neuro-spine surgeons with locations in East Patchogue and East Setauket. Dr. Sathi, who is a graduate of Harvard Medical School, is also a clinical assistant professor of neurological surgery at Weill-Cornell Medical College in New York.

For more information, visit longislandneuro.com or call 631-475-5511.