When Disc Disease is a Real Pain in the Neck (or Back)

February 11, 2020

North Jersey physician has the answers to help patients take their lives back.

From minimally invasive treatments to cutting-edge robotic surgery, the Institute for Robotic Surgery treats a full spectrum of spine-related conditions, with a focus on reducing pain and improving function.

“We are truly dedicated to turning this hospital into a center for orthopedic excellence,’’ said Dr. Imran Ashraf, chief of orthopedics. “We have invested a lot into new technology, which allows us to perform complex surgeries with minimally invasive approaches, meaning very small incisions, great outcomes for our patients and, more importantly, faster recovery.’’

Whether a condition is caused by disease, aging or trauma, surgeons evaluate each patient to determine if surgery is necessary or if the condition can be treated with less invasive techniques. Common diseases treated include arthritis, degenerative disc disease, herniated disc, lower back pain, osteoporosis, sciatica, scoliosis and spinal stenosis.

“Chronic back pain can be so debilitating that a person’s life is altered drastically,’’ Dr. Imran said. “Some might feel that surgery is the only answer for relief. In fact, only a small percentage of cases require surgery.’’

Other treatments include anti-inflammatory medication, heat, ice, physical therapy and massage.

When surgery is required, patients can rest assured knowing the hospital offers world-class robotic surgery through the Institute for Robotic Surgery. Safer, more accurate, with fewer complications and smaller incisions, robotic surgery is shortening recovery times and producing better outcomes for patients at HRH, the only hospital in Hudson County to offer this type of spinal surgery.

“Incredibly at Hudson Regional Hospital, in such a short time span, we’ve recruited many surgeons in many specialties and now we are maximizing the use of the robot system to benefit patients,’’ said Dr. Maurizio Miglietta, chief of surgery. ‘’This is a renaissance for us and we are taking advantage of it.’’

For this surgical method, the surgeon creates a blueprint by loading CT scans into the robotic system’s computerized 3D planning system. During the procedure, the surgeon uses the 3D blueprint and the robot to see the spine and perform the procedure. The robot — the size of a soda can — has a tiny arm that bends and rotates to precisely guide the surgeon.

“The feedback we get from patients has really been tremendous,’’ Dr. Miglietta said. “The fact that we can offer this technology is amazing.’’

To speed recovery, the Hudson Regional Hospital Rehabilitation Center helps patients gain strength, range of motion and function with both inpatient and outpatient services.

Delivering patient-centered care, many orthopedic procedures can be done as same-day surgery at the Institute for Robotic Surgery, so patients can recover where they’re most comfortable — at home. For patients who have to stay in the hospital, Hudson Regional Hospital offers private rooms staffed by caring nurses.

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