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Lumbar Fusion is Still an Option

Lumbar fusion, also called spinal fusion, is just what it says — the welding of two or more vertebrae in the back. Fusing vertebrae allows them to heal into a single bone, reducing painful motion or restoring stability. In the practice of orthopedist Paul Brisson, MD, spinal fusion isn’t not the first choice, it’s recommended only after we pinpoint the source of back pain and other, non-invasive procedures don’t bring relief.

Why Consider Lumbar Fusion

Spinal fusion may help relieve pain caused by arthritis, a fractured vertebra, infection, herniated disks, lumbar degenerative disk disease, spinal decompression, spinal stenosis, scoliosis, spondylolisthesis, tumors or the fact that we are just getting old and wearing out. These conditions may cause unnatural stretching of the nerves or the ligaments and muscles attached to the spine, causing unnatural motion. When that motion is eliminated, the pain usually follows.

How Does It Work?

To determine the exact source of pain and to plan your treatment, your orthopedist has numerous imaging tests (computerized tomography [CT] plus magnetic resonance imaging [MRI] or x-rays scans) to gather information. Once the data is analyzed fully and the nature of the problem is clearly understood, the medical team can determine which bones to fuse and how to approach it — from the front, the sides or the back, depending on the nature and location of the problem — and if they can employ new, minimally-invasive techniques which use smaller incisions.

A bone graft may be placed in the problem area to stimulate healing and increase bone production, helping the vertebrae merge into one solid bone. In the past, grafts were taken from the patient’s hip bones, which adds more to the surgery and, therefore, more to healing time, but it was the only way. New materials and options, developed in recent years, including bone banks and synthetic bone, have speeded recovery and lowered post-operative pain for many patients.

For added recovery success, immobilization is necessary — the bones will heal faster when they don’t move. Internal fixation means surgeons implant plates, screws and rods to hold the spine still. External fixation means using a back brace or similar device. Internal fixes generally hasten post-operative recovery, but added surgery always carries some additional risk.

Visit New York City’s Top Spinal Surgeon

Located just east of Madison Square Park on 25th Street in Manhattan, Dr. Brisson’s practice provides the best possible service to all his patients. He is a fully-qualified and well-respected member of the New York City medical community, with over 30 years of practice and a skilled staff to back him up. If you’re in pain, contact Dr. Paul M. Brisson, MD, today for a consultation. Hundreds of the Doctor’s previous patients are proof positive — you don’t have to live with back pain. 

Relieve Neck Pain Without Invasive Surgery

Surgery is always an option when cervical (neck) pain invades your life, but ongoing research has given orthopedists like Dr. Paul M. Brisson, MD, new tools that can reduce or cure neck pain without resorting to the scalpel. We’ll all probably be in pain at some point, due to accident or injury, lifestyle, work habits or just the fact that we’re getting old.

Treatment depends on the source and severity of your pain — most neck pain is a short-term problem that the body heals on its own, with a little help from pain relievers, chiropractic and lifestyle improvements.

Non-surgical Treatment Options

Most neck injuries occur in the soft tissues — muscles, tendons or ligaments. Patients describe them as a persistent ache, stabbing or burning; areas sensitive to the touch; numbness and tingling or headaches. To help these small problems work themselves out:

  1. Apply Ice: These are different treatments for different situations. The body often rushes additional blood to an injured area, but, when the body overdoes it and swelling occurs, ice helps reduce blood flow by constricting blood vessels.


  1. Apply Heat: As swelling goes down, switch to heat (via heating pad, hot tub or warm wrap, to loosen muscles and send more blood to the area. Apply it for about 20 minutes at a stretch, several times daily.


  1. Correct Your Posture: Sitting up straight, walking with shoulders high is old, and very sage advice, but there’s more. Tilting your neck forward 20 degrees, like looking at your phone or tablet — puts 30 extra pounds of pressure on your spine. Over time, this can erase the natural curve of your neck, weaken muscles and cause shoulder muscles to tighten, producing create chronic neck pain. Sit with your eyes facing straight forward as much as possible then move around and stretch out regularly.


  1. Exercise: Appropriate exercise strengthens neck muscles, enabling them to do more without pain. Aerobic exercises increase blood flow to soft muscles and tissues of the neck, loosening tight muscles, strengthening weak ones and increasing range of motion. Discuss your goals with your physician, who can help you design a suitable exercise program.


  1. Eat Right, Quit Smoking, Don’t Misuse Drugs: These should be no-brainers, but some people insist on risking their long-term health with bad habits.


Visit New York City’s Top Orthopedic Surgeon

Dr. Brisson is a fully-qualified, well-respected member of the New York City medical community, with over 30 years in practice and a skilled staff to back him up. Located just east of Madison Square Park on 25th Street in Manhattan, his practice provides the best service to every one of his patients. If you’re in pain, contact Dr. Paul M. Brisson, MD, today for a consultation. You don’t have to live with neck pain.

Learn the Signs of Degenerative Disc Disease

Degenerative disc disease is a condition where your spinal discs start showing signs of pain and inflammation while performing daily functions. Not classified as a disease but a condition, the term “degenerative disc disease” has taken common use due to the serious symptoms that it brings, such as severe back pain.

Almost everyone is prone to this condition. This makes it extremely important to learn about its symptoms and seek professional help for degenerative disc disease treatment in New York if the signs call for it.

What is Degenerative Disc Disease?

All humans have various discs along in their spine that act as shock absorbers to the spinal bones. The discs are made up of two sections:

  • An outer layer that contains nerves (annulus fibrosus).
  • An inner, soft core (nucleus pulposus).

When we are born, about 80 percent of spinal discs are made up of water. But as we grow older, these discs dry out. This causes the discs to not absorb shocks as well as they did at a younger age.

This means that almost everyone goes through a degenerated disc in their life, even if they don’t feel pain due to the condition.

But for some, a degenerated disc could weaken to the point where it leads to back pain or inflammation with movement. This happens when the outer disc tears or if the inner core leaks its substance to the outer core or tissues. As a result, it can cause severe back pain and inflammation among other symptoms.

Other causes that can lead to a torn disc could be sports injuries or accidents. These can also contribute heavily to degenerative disc disease.

What are the Symptoms of Degenerative Disc Disease?

The most common symptoms of degenerative disc disease include pain in various areas of your body.

Pain from degenerative disc disease often starts out as a dull ache and slowly progresses in intensity. But depending upon the location of the affected spinal disc, it could start with a sharp pain across your spine and neck as well. Common areas that are affected by pain include:

  • Neck
  • Upper back
  • Lower back
  • Hips
  • Upper thighs

Back pain resulting from degenerative disc disease can be episodic or perpetual. If the pain gets severe when you move, sit, bend or lift, then you should immediately contact a professional for degenerative disc disease treatment in New York.

Treating Degenerative Disc Disease in New York

Finding degenerative disc disease treatment in New York is easy when you know about a professional who is credible, experienced, and proficient in their medical specialty.

As a board-certified orthopedic surgeon and spine specialist with more than 25 years of experience to his name, Dr. Paul Brisson is known as one of the top doctors in NYC.

Due to his dedication to his patients and his team’s proficient service at NY Spine Care, Dr. Brisson’s practice has been acknowledged by publications such as the New York Magazine, which highlighted him in its “Best Doctors in New York” issue.

If you have been experiencing any symptoms that are related to degenerative disc disease or have been going through neck or back pain of any kind, don’t hesitate from reaching out to Dr. Brisson at NY Spine Care today.

When Should I Worry About My Neck Pain?

Are you having neck pain in the New York area? Any kind of neck pain might be a sign of something more serious. Consulting with your doctor can help you understand what is causing your pain and hopefully relieve any worries about more severe health issues. Read on to learn more about some common neck pain issues and when you should see your doctor.

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Causes of Common Neck Pain

Have you ever had your cervical spine pain bother you? Your neck pain could just be a frequent cause from using your computer or other activities that make you bend your head several times a day. Some common reasons a person can experience neck pain include:

  • – Spinal stenosis
  • – Osteoarthritis
  • – Disc herniation
  • – Muscle Tear
  • – Neck strain or sprain
  • – Acute cervical pain
  • – Injuries
  • – Other diseases

However, sometimes your neck pain can radiate into other areas of the body such as your shoulders, arms, and hands. You can also experience other symptoms such as numbness and tingling.

Types of Neck Pain to Look Out For

For those who experience neck pain that is severe enough that they can’t stand it, you might want to get it checked out by a doctor. This doesn’t mean something is wrong with you, but it’s always a good idea to get it checked out. You should also look out for any neck pain that isn’t getting any better or worse. You don’t want it to progress further than it has to be, so try to consult your doctor right away. Your doctor can give you the neck pain relief you need.

When Should You See a Doctor About Neck Pain?

Most often neck pain isn’t anything to worry about. You might have just been bending your head too much at work. However, here are a few reasons to seek a doctor about your neck pain:

  • – Your neck pain lasts for more than 6 weeks
  • – A severe headache that comes on very fast
  • – Other symptoms that go along with your neck pain could indicate other health problems
  • – Neck pain along with nausea, dizziness, and/or vomiting
  • – Sensitivity to light
  • – Drowsiness
  • – Mood changes or confusion


If you feel any of these symptoms along with your neck pain, these could be signs of a more serious health issue. Checking with your doctor can help relieve your worries, so consult with your doctor to make sure it’s not an infection or other serious illness. If you visit Dr. Paul Brisson as your Orthopedic doctor, he will make sure he goes through every type of treatment option for you before thinking about surgery as an option.

If you live in or around New York, NY, consider NY Spine Care for your neck pain treatment in New York. Contact us today to set up an appointment with Dr. Paul Brisson. We offer the best care and services for every patient!

A New York Spine Specialist’s Tips on a Healthy Recovery After Surgery

If you suffer from back pain, you may need to have back surgery at some point. This can help to correct alignment and relieve pain. But before you can feel better and be rid of that pain, you still need to get through recovery. The recovery period can sometimes be lengthy and difficult. But you can help the process go more smoothly. Here are some tips to recover more quickly, plus advice on what to do if the back pain persists.

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The Road to a Fast Post-Surgery Recovery

The following tips will help you recover completely and quickly:

  1. Follow Your Doctor’s Instructions: This may seem obvious, but surprisingly, not every patient understands the importance of this step. Many people simply follow the instructions that they believe apply to them and ignore the others. You should follow all instructions, and if you have questions about whether something applies to you, ask your doctor.
  2. Keep Every Follow-Up Appointment: These appointments may seem routine, but they are essential for keeping your recovery on track. Your doctor may catch complications which otherwise would derail your recovery, but that cannot happen if you don’t attend the appointment.
  3. Prevent Infection: It’s not likely that you will be touching an incision on your back (unless it’s your lower back), but you should make sure that anyone who changes bandages or touches the incision washes their hands beforehand.
  4. Inspect the Incision: Use a mirror to check out your incision. If it is pink or red, has wound drainage, or has missing or damaged stitches or staples, it may be infected. When this happens, you should call your doctor immediately.
  5. Stay Hydrated and Eat Properly: If you are dehydrated or suffering from malnutrition, you will face problems with recovery. Drink plenty of water and eat according to your doctor’s instructions, including any special diet your doctor feels will help you. If you are nauseated or experience a loss of appetite, bring it up with your doctor. He or she may be able to provide medication to help you eat.

What to Do if Back Pain Persists

If you are experiencing back pain with no apparent relief, you may need to see a specialist who can help you with spine surgery or other treatments. Dr. Paul Brisson in New York, New York, can help you recover quickly so you can get on with your life. His office provides back pain treatments, starting with minimally invasive treatments. We offer several types of back surgery to correct your pain, including bloodless spine surgery. Contact Dr. Brisson’s office today to schedule a consultation for your back pain.

Top Signs It May Be Time To Visit A New York Spine Doctor

Life becomes a pain when you can’t do normal daily activities like walking your dog or tying your shoelaces because your back hurts too much. Back pain can cause havoc in your life if you don’t seek proper treatment. Looking for the signs is key to knowing when to visit a spinal surgeon and finally figuring out if surgery is essential for you.


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When Should I Visit a Spinal Surgeon?

You might wonder: how do you know when to seek a spinal surgeon? Experiencing lower back pain is one reason to seek medical help with a spinal surgeon if the pain doesn’t go away. Some lower back pain symptoms could include the following:

  1. Lowers your ability to move around
  2. The feeling of weakness or numbness
  3. Tingling sensations
  4. Nerve pain that radiates down your leg or what’s also known as Sciatica

However, there are more serious medical symptoms that will scream at you to seek medical attention. This occurs when sudden back pain follows these symptoms:

  1. Pain in your stomach or abdominal area
  2. Fever that doesn’t lessen with medication
  3. Any tingling, numbness, or weakness in your knees, groin, or hip areas
  4. Loss of control in bowel movements and bladder

Remember, these are very serious symptoms in addition to the back pain. If you live in New York, finding a spinal surgeon is your next course of action.

What To Look For In A Back Doctor

If your back pain is serious, you want to have an excellent doctor treating you. At NY Spine Center, look no further than Dr. Paul Brisson. He doesn’t suggest spinal surgery at the first sign of pain. Dr. Brisson methodically runs down the list of options before an extreme measure like surgery is needed.

Dr. Brisson will perform a full physical and neurological exam to diagnose you. Of course, he will need your medical history, former scans, or any past surgeries. Make sure to bring any past scans, X-rays, or any other tests you’ve had done. Your medical history is essential in diagnosing you properly, especially when surgery could be involved.

However, some patients have back pain from osteoarthritis, which can be treated with pain medication, special ointments, and corticosteroid injections. Dr. Brisson might suggest acupuncture, massage, and hot and cold compresses as a treatment for spinal arthritis.

Signs I Might Need Spine Surgery

Most people might not know when they actually need spine surgery. So, you might be wondering what some of the signs your body is telling you that surgery is needed. It’s possible that severe back pain and other symptoms of lumbar degeneration or disease could be one of those signs that surgery is necessary for your health.

However, if you choose Dr. Brisson as your spine surgeon, you will see that he always uses surgery as a last resort. First, he utilizes physical therapy, stretching, and exercise to reduce your back pain and enable you to move around better. Sometimes physical therapy can do a world of good on your body.

Dr. Brisson doesn’t treat every patient the same. You will receive your own individual attention and treatments. He listens to all his patients. Whether they are still having back pain or other back problems, he’ll take every issue seriously. His patients’ health is his number one priority. Dr. Brisson tries every type of conservative approach to reducing your pain and other major symptoms before he suggests surgery.

Contact New York’s Best Spine Surgeon

If you live in New York, contact Dr. Paul Brisson’s office at NY Spine Care. He’s the best spine surgeon in New York when it comes to patient care and surgery. No one wants to grimace in pain every time they lean over or get out of bed in the morning. Take action now and let Dr. Brisson help relieve your back pain before it’s too late.

5 Tips for Choosing the Right Spine Surgeon in NY

5 Tips for Choosing the Right Spine Surgeon in NY


Suffering from back pain can be debilitating. Before you sign up for any type of back surgery, finding the right spine surgeon is very important.

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Research Your NY Spine Surgeon

One of the most important steps you should take before selecting a spine surgeon is researching each potential candidate. After all, your spine plays a significant role in your quality of life and any invasive procedure should be carefully reviewed. To do this, there are 5 specific means of evaluating a potential spine surgeon in NY.

  1. Read Reviews: Most doctors now use websites to help promote their services. Many of these types of sites encourage patients to leave reviews of their experiences with the back surgeon as well as their recovery. Reviews are often readily available on other sites as well. All it takes is a few simple words in the search bar and you should find hundreds of results.
  2. Talk to Physicians: Physicians should be able to provide professional opinions on back surgeons they feel will be best suited for our specific pains. After all, they are typically “in the know” when it comes to how well their other patients are doing after visiting any other type of surgeon or specialist.
  3. Talk to Other Patients: Other patients may be willing to speak with you regarding their procedure and recovery. This goes beyond a simple review left on a website. Other patients will be able to provide you with firsthand knowledge of how smoothly their back surgery went, how well the staff treated them, as well as the demeanor of the spinal surgeon themselves.
  4. Check On Their Training: Often contained in their “About Me” section, training and certifications help to verify qualification. This section should also provide an idea of how long a potential spine surgeon has been practicing.
  5. Schedule a Consultation: Meeting with a potential back surgeon is another valuable tool.

Spine surgery is an invasive procedure that should only be performed as a last resort. A reputable spinal surgeon, like Dr. Paul Brisson, will fully evaluate your condition before recommending any type of surgery. In fact, they may even recommend other types of back pain treatments, such as exercise or stretching, to see if a more natural solution may be found prior to any type of invasive procedure. During your consultation, do not be shy if you have questions. Want to know how often they have performed this same surgery? Ask!

How Can Dr. Paul Brisson Help You?

Dr. Paul Brisson is the best spine surgeon in NY. With years of experience and a strong desire to help you improve your quality of life, he and his staff do their best to help ease your back pain. If you would like to know more about spinal surgery with NY Spine Care, contact us today!

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Spine Stretches From an Orthopedic Surgeon in Manhattan, NY

Spine Stretches From an Orthopedic Surgeon in Manhattan, NY

If you have undergone back surgery, your doctor may recommend you stretch or exercise from 10 to 30 minutes daily while recovering. Below, the top spine surgeon in NY offers three of the best post-surgery stretches that can increase your flexibility and reduce your healing time.

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Who Should See an Orthopedic Surgeon?

Thousands of Americans life with back pain. They do not have to. While surgery should be a last resort, back pain relief is possible.

Chronic, debilitating, and serious back pain may leave you with few choices aside from surgery. Speaking with a reputable, spine surgeon, like Dr. Brisson, can help determine if back surgery is the best option for you. At NY Spine Care, Dr. Brisson will perform a thorough examination and evaluation before recommending any course of action. However, if surgery is recommended, Dr. Brisson and his staff are ready to help you prepare and recover.

Best Stretches after Surgery

The type of surgery you have undergone, as well as your general health and fitness level, can affect your recovery time and the stretches you should perform. As such, please remember to speak with your doctor before performing any strenuous activities or stretches.

  • Ankle Pumps: Tight hamstrings not only affect your legs; they also your pelvis and lower back as well. While there are plenty of different ways to stretch your hamstrings, we recommend ankle pumps. Lie flat on the floor, keeping your back in neutral position. Slowly flex your toes up then point them down as far as you can. Repeat this 10 times. By laying down, you help support your spine during recovery while still stretching those hamstrings.
  • Abdominal Contractions: Your abs help to support your core, and therefore, your spine. Strengthening your abs takes time; however, abdominal contracts will keep your spine supported while still allowing you to activate your core. Lie on your back, with your knees bend and feet flat on the floor. Tighten your ab muscles, being sure not to hold your breath. Hold this position for 5 seconds and relax. Repeat this 10 times.
  • Straight Leg Raises: Leg raises also help to strengthen your core, while also addressing your pelvic flexibility and glutes. Lie on your back with one knee bend and the other straight out. Tighten your ab muscles to help stabilize your lower back. Slowly lift your straight leg as high as you can and hold for 1 to 5 seconds before lowering it back down. Lift 10 times, switch legs and repeat.

Taking Proper Caution While Stretching

If you have taken the proper precautions while stretching, it can help you heal and regain flexibility faster. However, if pain persists, you should contact a doctor. As the top orthopedic surgeon in Manhattan, NY, you can rest assured Dr. Brisson’s office provides quality pre- and post-surgery care.

At NY Spine Care, Dr. Brisson strives to ensure your recovery is as quick and painless as possible. Contact us today if you are in need of back pain relief!


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Types of Back Pain Treatment by Manhattan Spine Surgeon

Types of Back Pain Treatment by Manhattan Spine Surgeon

Back pain can range in intensity. From moderate aches to severe and debilitating pain, your local Manhattan spine surgeon wants you to know there is help.

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Causes of Back Pain

There are plenty of issues that can trigger back pain. In fact, we have all experienced at least mild forms of back pain at least once in our lives. For example, sleeping wrong, constantly hunching over a computer keyboard, or poor posture can lead to minor back pain. However, there are also injuries and illnesses that can lead to intense back pain. Degenerative disc disease, spinal stenosis, and disc herniation can all cause intensely debilitating back pain.

Types of Back Pain Treatment

Your Manhattan spine surgeon knows when a situation merits an invasive surgical treatment. However, Dr. Brisson believes surgery should be the last option when it comes to helping you heal.

To determine which treatment regimen is best for you, your Manhattan spine surgeon will fully evaluate your condition. This includes a full physical and neurological health examination. X-rays or MRIs may also be requested. As a spinal specialist, Dr. Brisson wants to help you mend as quickly as possible.

After your evaluation, Dr. Brisson will discuss the potential types of back pain treatment that may help relieve or eliminate your symptoms. Treatment may include pain medication, anti-inflammatory drugs, topical ointments, corticosteroid injects, or surgery. Treatment may also include physical therapy, practicing certain exercises, or other lifestyle change assistance.

Certain conditions, like degenerative disc disease, cannot be cured. However, there are types of back pain treatment procedures that can help reduce pain and slow the diseases progress. In this case, steroid shots, physical therapy, surgery or a combination of some or all procedures may be recommended.

Back Pain Relief with Manhattan Spine Surgeon

Your Manhattan spine surgeon, Dr. Brisson, wants to help you live free of back pain. As New York City’s top orthopedic surgeon and spine specialist, Dr. Brisson believes each case deserves the best care possible.

When it comes to your spine, quality, professional, and experienced care is important. After all, your spine protects the vast majority of your nerves. Any damages or pains felt in or around your spine are cause for concern.

Whether you have tried everything or not, Dr. Brisson may be able to help. Every patient treated by Dr. Brisson receives the same professional, courteous, and respectful service.

If you are tired of living with back pain, contact Dr. Brisson’s office today.


What You Need to Know About Degenerative Disc Disease

One of the most common causes of low back and neck pain stems from degenerative disc disease. This condition is caused by wear and tear on the spinal discs in your back. It typically develops into a low-level chronic pain, which can increase to include sporadic periods of intense pains. It can also cause numbness, shooting pains, and weakness in your arms or legs as well.

Who Gets Degenerative Disc Disease?

Anyone can develop degenerative disc disease. Most doctors believe there are three contributing factors that increase the likelihood of developing this back pain condition.

  1. At birth, spinal discs are roughly 80% water. As we age, however, this number decreases. When spinal discs dry out, they no longer absorb shocks as well as they once did. Because spinal discs create a cushion between each vertebrae, the drying out process can lead to pain.
  2. Daily activities, such as lifting and turning, as well as sports, can increase the wear and tear on spinal discs. In fact, these activities can cause tearing in the outer core of each disc, leading to an increased likelihood of developing degenerative disc disease.
  3. Injuries can also contribute to degenerative disc disease. These include injuries that cause instability, soreness or swelling around the spine.

It is important to note, however, that not everyone will develop degenerative disc disease, regardless of activities and injuries. It is also not the sole cause of back pains and should only be diagnosed once other potential illnesses have been ruled out.

Will I Need Back Pain Surgery?

Not all patients who experience degenerative disc disease need surgery. However, in severe cases, or when spinal fractures occur, back pain surgery is recommended. Before surgery, however, most doctors will begin treatment with one or a combination of medicine, physical therapy and steroid shots.

Manhattan’s Top Spine Surgeon

No one should have to live with chronic pain. Dr. Paul M. Brisson, MD understands that each patient is a unique case. As an experience orthopedic spinal surgeon, Dr. Brisson works with you, your referring doctor and special diagnostic testing to develop the best approach to your personal back pain treatment. Starting with the least invasive methods, such as stretching, exercises, and physical therapy – Dr. Brisson tailors your treatment to specifically target your pain. From the initial visit and throughout your treatment, Dr. Brisson will walk you through each step to ensure you understand the details.

Contact us today if you would like to schedule an appointment with the best spinal surgeon in Manhattan.


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