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Corpectomy Surgery

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One of the most common pain complaints that people have is spinal pain related to back pain and/or neck pain, it’s become almost epidemic. There are many different causes of these pains, but one thing is the same, spinal pain can be life altering and leave people so restricted that they’re unable to perform daily tasks and enjoy life. Downtown Pain Physicians NYC is here to help you find relief from spinal pain. We’ll carefully listen to your symptoms and work with you to develop the best course of treatment. We’re here to help you begin the journey to living without spinal pain.

What is Corpectomy Surgery

One possible solution to your back pain is corpectomy surgery but this is not typically a first course of action. Corpectomy is a procedure that involves removing damaged vertebrae and discs that are compressing your spinal cord or your spinal nerves. The amount of damaged bone and spinal disc that needs to be removed is different for every individual.

Some people will also need a bone graft or a different type of graft to replace the missing vertebral material and a fusion surgery may be necessary to support the spine in that region. These are additional procedures that can be performed with the corpectomy. The overall goal of all of these procedures is to decompress the spinal cord and relieve impinged nerves, this will lead to a life with considerably less pain and more mobility.

What To Expect with Corpectomy Surgery

Cervical corpectomy surgery and a thoracic corpectomy procedure are basically the same procedure but they’re performed on different areas of the spine. Your cervical region is the neck, and the thoracic region is the middle of your back.

Your orthopedic spinal surgeon may recommend an anterior cervical corpectomy spine surgery or an anterior thoracic corpectomy. Both of these procedures involve a surgical approach from the front of the body, which gives your surgical team the best access to the problem vertebrae and provides you with a more minimally invasive surgery. This is good news because it can shorten your recovery time and it involves smaller incisions so there is less wound care and healing necessary.

Patients typically work through several conservative options before corpectomy becomes the best course of treatment to relieve back and neck pain. If it’s decided that corpectomy surgery is right for you, this is what you can expect.

  • You will be placed under anesthesia for your procedure and monitored by an anesthesiologist
  • You will be positioned and prepped for surgery
  • If you’re having a bone graft, this area will be prepped and the bone graft will be harvested
  • If you’re having cervical corpectomy, a breathing tube will be inserted to keep your airway open
  • An SSEP (somatosensory evoked potentials) machine may be used to monitor signals between your spinal cord, brain, and nerves
  • Small incisions will be made to provide access for your surgeon, necessary tools, and visual aids
  • Muscles and other structures will be carefully and gently moved to allow access to your spine
  • A thin needle is maneuvered into the discs to confirm operative level
  • Small grasping and cutting instruments are used to remove the targeted vertebral body
  • A rotary cutting tool separates the vertebral body from the posterior of the vertebra
  • The ligament that runs behind the vertebral body will be examined and addressed if necessary
  • The connecting endplates are roughed-up using a drill to encourage fusion
  • Bone graft material or substitutes are positioned in your spine
  • A metal plate will be attached via screws to protect the grafted area
  • Additional spinal fusion may be required for more stability
  • X-rays are taken to make sure the procedure has gone exactly as planned
  • Once surgical success is confirmed, your incisions will be closed and bandaged, and you will move to a recovery room
  • A halo brace or other supportive device might be required as your fusion is healing

Keep in mind that your surgical team at Downtown Pain Physicians will be customizing your pre-op care, surgical procedure, and post-op care to your condition. Your steps may vary throughout the entire procedure but we will keep you well informed so you’re prepared for what to expect and can plan for the best recovery possible.

What Happens After Corpectomy Surgery

When you’re still in the hospital, you will be prescribed pain medication and it will be closely monitored. Your surgical team will be there to help you slowly ease into sitting and walking. This will begin as soon as possible to prompt the recovery process. You can expect to have your therapy continue once you’re released, in fact, the further out you are from your procedure, the more physical therapy will be a part of your healing routine to speed up the process.

Plan to have limitations on work, driving, bending, sitting for long periods of time, lifting, household chores, swimming and bathing, and other activities. It’s critical that you follow your doctor’s advice to achieve the best results and get back to enjoying life as soon as possible.

There will be follow-up appointments, at first to tend to your wounds and change bandages. Later, your progress will be evaluated, and your doctor will always be there to answer any questions you may have.

Is A Corpectomy Surgery Right for Me

As mentioned above, corpectomy surgery is rarely a first step in a treatment plan. If you’re suffering from debilitating back and/or neck pain, it’s likely that you’ve tried other options before reaching this state. Together you and your health care team will consider if a corpectomy surgery is right for you. Some indications that corpectomy surgery might be the best option for you are:

  • You’ve tried nonoperative measures and haven’t found relief from your pain
  • Your pain is severe
  • You are suffering from a compressed spine
  • You’re experiencing neurological deficits (numbness, tingling, and/or pain in the arms and legs)
  • You’ve lost control of your bowels or bladder
  • You’re having difficulty walking
  • Coordinated movements of the hands are impaired

If you’re experiencing any of these symptoms, it’s best to schedule a consultation at Downtown Pain Physicians today so you can begin moving toward health and recovery.

Meet Your Surgeon

Dr. Gbolahan Okubadejo, MDDowntown Pain Physicians has one of the best orthopedic surgeons on staff, ready to help you start the recovery process. Dr. Gbolahan Okubadejo is an expert in spinal surgery, giving his patients the best care available with a focus on your long-term goals and customizing a treatment program that goes beyond surgery and incorporates after-care so you can get back to enjoying life to the fullest and participating in the activities you love.

Dr. Okubadejo is an outstanding resource for our medical group, bringing a well-rounded education and award-winning ideas to our patients. His approach to surgical options is geared toward creating best case scenarios where pain and recovery time is minimized with exceptional outcomes.

  • ★★★★★


    He was a very detailed in explaining what was wrong. Great Doctor!

  • ★★★★★


    Friendly, very professional, caring, and explained in detail what test I have to get done in order to determine if surgery is needed or not. I have faith & trust any decision Dr. Okubadejo will give me. After I get better with my neck, then he will start treating me for my lower back. My husband & I left his office with such a relief because finally I found the right doctor that is willing to help me with my neck & back problems.

Book Your Appointment Now at Downtown Pain Physicians NYC

If you’re suffering with neck pain, back pain or any spinal injury, it’s time to schedule an appointment and begin healing. There’s no reason to put it off any longer, in fact, the sooner you begin care, the easier it is for your body to recover.


At Downtown Pain Physicians NYC, we often treat busy professionals. Our Downtown and Lower Manhattan area locations makes it convenient for people who live and work near the Lower East Side, Tribeca, Financial District, Downtown Brooklyn, Dumbo, Soho, Chelsea, East Village, Murray Hill, Brooklyn Heights, Williamsburg and surrounding areas to stop in for a consultation and appointments.

In our office, you’ll find a welcoming space that puts your comfort first. From the moment you step in the door, our staff will work to accommodate your needs and get you in to see the doctor with little wait time. We’ve invested in the best state-of-the art diagnostic tools available to give you the most accurate care and a targeted treatment plan that works. Having the latest and the best technology from the beginning to the end of your care in our office leads to a faster recovery with less setbacks along the way. We also put a lot of stock in our entire staff, making sure that we have top-rated patient care specialists who are leaders in their field. Your health care is our priority.

Connect with our office today to schedule an appointment and begin the healing process.

This page was published on Jan 12, 2022, modified on Jan 12, 2022 by Dr. Raj Raval, MD (Pain Management Doctor) of Downtown Pain Physicians Of Brooklyn

The information on this website is to provide general information. In no way does any of the information provided reflect definitive treatment advice. It is essential to consult a best-in-class pain management specialist in New York regarding ANY questions or issues. A thorough evaluation should ALWAYS be performed for an accurate diagnosis and treatment plan. Be sure to call your pain doctor to schedule a consultation.

  • Dr. Gbolahan O. Okubadejo, M.D.

    1. Board certified and fellowship trained
    2. Orthopaedic Spine Surgeon
  • Education & training

    1. Johns Hopkins University, Doctor of Medicine
    2. Washington University, St. Louis, Barnes-Jewish Hospital (Internship)
    3. Washington University, St. Louis, Barnes-Jewish Hospital, Residency in Orthopedic Surgery
    4. University of Pittsburgh Medical Center, Fellowship in Spine Surgery
    5. Brown University
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