Cold weather didn’t slow down the Spine Hospital at the Neurological Institute neurosurgeons this winter. We have a spread of heartwarming patient stories, new research and one-of-a-kind videos to share with you. Enjoy our highlights of the season:
1. McCormick’s Video: ‘Textbook’ Removal of Spinal Cord Tumor
Have you ever watched a world-renowned neurosurgeon perform surgery? Well, here’s your chance. And you don’t even have to leave your living room.
You can watch a video of Dr. Paul C. McCormick, Director of the Spine Hospital, removing a spinal cord tumor. The patient was in his late 30s at the time, and the tumor was an ependymoma, which is typically a noncancerous, slow-growing mass.
The video shows Dr. McCormick carefully navigating to the tumor and delicately removing it. All the while, he narrates his every move. The video was published online in a special video supplement in the Journal of Neurosurgery. You can watch it here or read about the video in this blog post.
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2. Dr. Angevine: A Tale of Two Approaches to the Spine
You may be surprised to learn that there are two types of doctors who do spine surgery: neurosurgeons and orthopedic surgeons. Neurosurgeons are trained to treat disorders of the nervous system, which includes the spine and spinal cord. Orthopedic surgeons, on the other hand, are trained to treat disorders of the musculoskeletal system. Both are qualified to do spine surgery, but each offers a different, and valuable, perspective.
Wouldn’t it be great if a doctor had training in both specialties? Dr. Peter D. Angevine thinks so. That’s why he trained first as a neurosurgeon and then did a fellowship with orthopedic surgeons. His unique expertise makes him highly sought after for both surgery and teaching other surgeons at educational conferences.
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3. For Dr. McCormick’s Patient, Dumbbell Tumor Doesn’t Stop Wedding Bells
Craig Livoti and his fiancée were busy planning their wedding. When it was just two weeks away, a tweak in Craig’s back sent him to the doctor. An MRI scan revealed the cause of the back pain, a herniated disc. It also revealed a dumbbell tumor in his spine, which is a rare tumor that, true to its name, resembles a dumbbell, or hourglass shape.
The tumor needed to be removed, but that was easier said than done. The surgery would be complex because the tumor was growing along a nerve and near the spinal cord. Also, because the tumor is so rare, most of the spinal surgeons Craig and his fiancée talked to had seen only one case, or none at all.
Then they heard about Dr. Paul C. McCormick, Director of the Spine Hospital at the Neurological Institute of New York. He is one of the few neurosurgeons experienced at surgically removing dumbbell tumors. There is even a video of him removing one, published online on the Journal of Neurosurgery website.