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Spine Center


The Spine Center of the Department of Neurosurgery includes neurosurgeons, physiatrists and physician assistants who work as team to provide customized spine care for you and your family. As recognized experts, Stony Brook Medicine is often the destination for patients whose complex cases go beyond the capabilities of other hospitals -- or those who had prior surgery that needs to be revisited. Unmatched patient care is our goal, from initial consultation to surgery or non-surgical care and follow-up. Our Spine Center is active with both research and physician education and our exceptional team is led by Dr. Raphael Davis and Dr. Frederick Gutman.

The Stony Brook Difference

Stony Brook Medicine is the regional leader in experience and spine case volume, more than 350 surgical cases per year. We are board-certified, have the Neurocritical Care Unit in Suffolk County, and have 24-hour-a-day, 7-day-a week physician extender coverage to help facilitate pre- and post-operative care. This unified organizational structure allows us to deliver the full scope of services to you and your family. We are skilled with both minimally invasive and traditional spine therapies and will work with you to determine the best possible treatment path for your unique situation. We have the experience to know when a surgery will or will not benefit you, and after a thorough evaluation, we will refer you to the most appropriate specialist. Our range of care offerings includes medical therapies, customized physical therapy programs, spinal injections, and the latest in minimally invasive and open surgical techniques. Minimally invasive techniques are often preferred, as they typically reduce pain, complications, and infection risk. In balancing the best outcome with procedural risks, we prefer to advise the least invasive care plan possible. For this reason, we are conservative with surgery and rely on other strategies first.

We offer free MRI screening by the neurosurgeons. After screening, you will be directed for an appointment with a neurosurgical Physician Assistant or one of the physiatrists, Dr. Jonathan Raanan or Dr. Donald Macron, who will work with you on a non-surgical treatment plan that may include a physical therapy, an exercise regimen or steroid injections. After a period of time, if these therapies are not successful, you may be referred to a surgeon. If surgery is decided upon, our talented group of surgical schedulers and physician assistants will work with you to make you patient experience as good as possible.

The Spine Center is also the only practice in Suffolk County with two full-time pediatric neurosurgeons, Dr. Chesler and Dr. Egnor. For infants, children, and young adults with neurological disorders of the spine, our pediatric neurosurgeons will work with you and your child's pediatrician to help determine the most appropriate care for your child's situation.

The Spine Center is equipped with new, technologically advanced operating suites and a state-of-the-art digital imaging system that allows us to perform an array of highly advanced diagnostic and treatment techniques. We offer linear accelerator stereotactic radiosurgery (LINAC) treatment for spinal tumors, which sends highly precise X-ray energy to a specific area, fluoro-navigation, and intraoperative CT image guidance, which may be used during surgery for back and neck problems. During spinal fusion and regeneration procedures, we use bone morphogenic protein and biologics, which stimulate bone growth naturally. After treatment, we will continue to be available to you and will help arrange for physical therapy or rehabilitation services.

Although people come to us from all over the country and we have a case volume comparable to that of Manhattan hospitals, we are known and trusted in the community for our level of expertise and our accessibility. We are easy to get to and welcome all spine patients who come through our doors. We have two ambulatory care offices ineast Setauket and Riverhead. The physiatrists perform steroid injections in Stony Brook, Port Jefferson and Riverhead.