Fall 2016 Highlights from The Spine Hospital

Summer has faded, and fall is officially upon us. The temperatures are dipping, the leaves are radiating hues of orange and yellow and the holidays will be here in a blink.

Here at The Spine Hospital at the Neurological Institute of New York, our year has flown by with no shortage of excitement. Enjoy our highlights from this past summer season.

1. Spinal Cord Tumor Surgery — It’s Come a Long Way, Baby

Today, Spine Hospital Director Dr. Paul C. McCormick and his team of neurosurgeons can safely operate on the spinal cord and remove tumors—but that has not always been so. Step back more than a hundred years and you’ll find spinal cord tumor surgery was barely considered an option, as attempts often left patients paralyzed. So what happened?

Around 1910, the first spine specialist at the Neurological Institute, Dr. Charles Elsberg, pioneered a new way to remove spinal cord tumors, changing the field forever.

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2. In Neurosurgery the Whole Is Often Greater than the Sum of Its Parts

Let’s start with cake. Flour, sugar, eggs and other ingredients that bake into a delicious treat. Similarly, when our neurosurgeons come together, each bringing his unique and valuable expertise, the result is outstanding.

Dr. Richard Anderson, who treats children, and Dr. Michael Kaiser, who treats adults, recently blended their expertise of each age group to teach a course. They taught other neurosurgeons and medical students how to perform surgery at the base of the skull and top of the spine.

A patient’s age is a big factor in this type of surgery, so by coming together, these two neurosurgeons gave attendees a richer perspective.

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3. A Classroom Manner as Good as His Bedside Manner: Society of Neurological Surgeons Honors Dr. Quest

And the award for the most effective teacher of neurosurgery in North America goes to our very own Dr. Donald O. Quest! We congratulate Dr. Quest for receiving the Medical Student Teaching Award from the Society of Neurological Surgeons.

Dr. Quest is known for being not only a top neurosurgeon but also a mentor to medical students—our future neurosurgeons. This award recognizes how he shapes them beyond their technical skills by showing them how to be true doctors who listen to and respect their patients.

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4. Welcome Dr. Larry Lo to The Spine Hospital!

The Spine Hospital team is growing. Our latest addition is Dr. Sheng-fu “Larry” Lo. He trained at The Johns Hopkins Hospital, and his expertise is in complex spine surgery and spinal oncology. He also conducts research to better understand spinal tumors.

Dr. Lo is thrilled to be here, a place he describes as “a world-class institution where you have excellent colleagues around you.”

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5. What Is Normal, Anyway? Dr. Anderson Looks at Cervical Spine Growth in Children and Adolescents

Children’s and adolescents’ bodies are in constant growth mode, making spinal surgery more complex than for adults. What helps is research that clarifies how the spine changes as these young people age.

Being the avid researcher that he is, Dr. Richard C.E. Anderson, along with his colleagues, investigated how the uppermost part of the spine (the neck) grows. One finding was the age at which the spine stops growing in girls and boys.

Their findings are providing neurosurgeons with much-needed knowledge that is helping refine how neurosurgeons diagnose and treat these young patients.

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Learn more about The Spine Hospital neurosurgeons at their bio pages below.

Dr. McCormick
Dr. Anderson
Dr. Kaiser
Dr. Lo
Dr. Quest

Image credit: ©valiunic/pixabay

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