Frequently Asked Questions

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Learn More About Spine Surgery with Dr. George Kakoulides

Dr. George Kakoulides is a board-certified neurosurgeon specializing in the latest, safest, minimally invasive spine surgery techniques. He wants you to lead a pain-free life without relying on opioids and medications. Instead of simply masking the symptoms of chronic pain, he diagnoses and treats the root cause using the least invasive methods possible. If you have chronic back pain, neck pain, or other symptoms of spinal disorders, please contact Dr. Kakoulides for a diagnosis. You may continue reading to learn more about spine surgery.


What is a neurosurgeon?

In general, neurosurgeons are orthopedic surgeons with advanced training in diagnosing spinal disorders and minimally invasive spine surgery. Dr. Kakoulides is a physician specializing in the management of spinal and cranial disorders. He is medically trained to help patients suffering from severe chronic neck and back pain caused by spinal disorders, such as nerve compression, spondylosis, disc herniation, and more. To become a neurosurgeon, Dr. Kakoulides specialized in orthopedic training, including residencies and fellowships in neurosurgery.

What are a neurosurgeon’s qualifications?

All neurosurgeons are also orthopedic surgeons, but all orthopedic surgeons aren’t also neurosurgeons. To qualify as a neurosurgeon, the physician must complete four years of medical school, a one-year internship in general surgery, up to seven years in a neurosurgery residency program, and fellowship training in a specialized subset of neurosurgery.

Dr. Kakoulides’ educational background is beyond merit He acquired his medical degree with high honors from Tufts University School of Medicine. Dr. Kakoulides concurrently completed a joint master’s degree in international relations at The Fletcher School of Law and diplomacy at Tufts University. Upon reception of his  medical degree, he completed his residency in neurological surgery at Dartmouth-Hitchcock Medical Center. Dr. Kakoulides followed this with an advanced fellowship in complex spine surgery.

Should I consult a neurosurgeon?

You should consult Dr. Kakoulides’ office if you have chronic neck pain or chronic back pain caused by possible spinal disorders. Dr. Kakoulides specializes in the management of spinal and cranial disorders caused by spinal disorders, such as degenerative disc disease, scoliosis, spondylosis, and disc herniation. You can contact our office for a diagnosis if you experience persistent neck and back pain, radiating pain in various parts of the body, muscle weakness, numbness and tingling sensations, loss of mobility, instability, and other neurologic symptoms.

Will I need physical therapy after surgery?

Physical therapy is essential before and after spine surgery. Dr. Kakoulides only recommends minimally invasive spine surgery after all non-invasive, conservative solutions have been tried. If you have spinal disorders, he may refer you to a physical therapist or recommend a series of exercises to improve mobility, restore range of motion, improve strength, and address the underlying cause of the spinal disorder. He only recommends spine surgery after several weeks of physical therapy and conservative treatments don’t produce the desired results.

You also need physical therapy a few weeks after your spine surgery. You will have to rest for a few days after your minimally invasive spine surgery, and you may even have to wear a neck or back brace to immobilize the spine and facilitate healing. However, after a brief recovery period, your spine surgeon will recommend a series of regular physical exercises or refer you to a physical therapist. You need physical therapy to restore joint mobility, increase strength, increase range of motion, and minimize the risk of recurrence.

Is minimally invasive spine surgery necessary?

Minimally invasive spine surgery isn’t always necessary. Dr. Kakoulides only recommends minimally invasive spine surgery as a last resort after all non-invasive, conservative solutions have been tried for at least a few weeks. Your pain treatment journey may start with rest, chiropractic care, physical therapy, medications, and epidural injections. In rare cases, minimally invasive spine surgery might be recommended if you have the symptoms of severe spinal disorders, such as loss of mobility and the possibility of paralysis.

What are the benefits of minimally invasive spine surgery?

Minimally invasive spine surgery is the ideal alternative to traditional open surgeries. Open spine surgery involves one large incision and considerable muscle dilation to access the underlying spine and damaged spinal discs. Minimally invasive spine surgery is performed via a few small incisions, using special techniques to dilate the muscles and cause minimal disruption. Minimally invasive spine surgery involves minimal bleeding during surgery, minimal risk of complications, and a shorter recovery period. The best neurosurgeons and spine surgeons only provide minimally invasive spine surgery instead of open surgery.

Dr. Kakoulides recommends minimally invasive spine surgery for several reasons. Less risk of complications, reduced blood loss during surgery, less pain, and faster recovery times, to name a few. Most patients can resume most daily activities after only a few days.

What should I bring to the first appointment?

You should bring the following documents when visiting Dr. Kakoulides for the first time:

  • Your current insurance papers and details
  • Your identification cards, such as your state ID or driver’s license
  • Your medical history
  • Details of your previous surgeries and operations
  • Results from previous imaging tests, such as MRIs, X-rays, and CT scans
  • A comprehensive list of your previous and ongoing medications
  • All reports relevant to your medical history, medications, and surgeries
  • New patient registration forms, which you can download online

Contact Dr. George Kakoulides

Dr. George Kakoulides, an affiliate of Long Island Brain & Spine, is the leading board-certified neurosurgeon in New York — he has successfully treated thousands of patients across Long Island. He specializes in the management of spinal and cranial disorders using minimally invasive spine surgery techniques that address the root cause of pain. He believes the outcome of spine surgery is determined by the relationship between the patient and physician, so he ensures all his patients have a direct line of communication with him. Please schedule an appointment today.