Primary care physicians are often the first to see patients with symptoms of ankylosing spondylitis; however, if ankylosing spondylitis is suspected it is important to be evaluated at an advanced spine center as soon as possible, since early and expert intervention can keep the condition from getting worse.
The team at Och Spine at NewYork-Presbyterian at the Weill Cornell Center for Comprehensive Spine — expert spine surgeons along with their team of physicians, nurses, physical therapists, and pain management specialists — provide comprehensive, integrated care for patients with ankylosing spondylitis and many other conditions of the spine. Patients receive a complete continuum of care, from diagnosis to treatment and recovery.
We generally begin with nonsurgical, non-invasive options (see Diagnosing and Treating Ankylosing Spondylitis). For patients who do need surgery, we offer the latest in minimally invasive surgical techniques using state-of-the-art equipment. Patients recover faster, have less pain, and get back to their normal daily activities sooner than they could with older surgical methods.
Our surgical faculty includes some of the very best world-renowned specialists:
Roger Härtl, M.D., named as one of the top 50 spine surgeons in the United States, is co-director of Och Spine at NewYork-Presbyterian at the Weill Cornell Center for Comprehensive Spine Care. He’s also the official neurosurgeon for the New York Giants. Dr. Härtl's clinical and research expertise is in simple and complex spine surgery, neurotrauma, and neurocritical care medicine. Dr. Härtl believes that surgery for ankylosing spondylitis should be a part of a multidisciplinary approach to treatment, and he works very closely with other specialists in a team effort to achieve the best outcome for his patients. (Read more about Dr. Härtl.)
Kai-Ming Fu, M.D., Ph.D., obtained his undergraduate degrees from Stanford University and his medical and graduate training in the M.D./Ph.D. program at Albert Einstein College of Medicine. Dr. Fu specializes in minimal access surgery as well as having advanced training in reconstructive, deformity, and oncological spine surgery. (Read more about Dr. Fu.)
Michael Virk, M.D., Ph.D. is a widely published neurosurgeon with specialty training in minimally invasive and complex surgery for a wide variety of spine conditions. In addition to ankylosing spondylitis, his specialties include scoliosis, spinal tumors, trauma, degenerative disease, radiculopathy, herniated discs, and spinal stenosis. Dr. Virk uses state-of-the-art minimally invasive techniques with intraoperative, computer-assisted navigation as well as spinal endoscopy. He also uses fundamental, open surgical strategies in patients who will benefit most from these. (Read more about Dr. Virk)
At Weill Cornell Medicine Neurological Surgery, patients with ankylosing spondylitis may also be seen by:
Physiatrists: These rehabilitation physicians specialize in treating injuries or illnesses that affect movement. They manage non-surgical approaches to back pain, including the pain of ankylosing spondylitis.
Pain Management Specialists: Advanced pain management techniques allow many patients to avoid surgery altogether. Our specialists work with patients to develop an individual treatment plan that can get them back to their daily lives, without pain and without surgery. Pain management specialists can also help patients recover more quickly, or with less pain, after surgery.
Physical Therapists: These specialists have expertise in a wide range of non-surgical techniques to help prevent or overcome pain and build strength to help prevent future injuries. A physical therapist may work with a patient as an alternative to surgery, or after surgery to help rebuild strength.
The spine surgeons at Weill Cornell Medicine Neurological Surgery are fortunate to be part of the Och Spine at NewYork-Presbyterian Hospital team, consistently ranked by US News and World Report as one of the top hospitals in the United States. Together, the NewYork-Presbyterian/Weill Cornell Medical Center team is the best choice for your back.