The human body is an intricate machine, requiring not just specialized fields of medicine but also sub-specialties. Dr. Matthew Goldstein, a board certified orthopedic surgeon, focuses on one: management of spinal disorders.
The spinal cord is the lifeline connecting all our parts. But it’s exactly this detailed, high-stakes work that appeals to the Cornell and SUNY Downstate College of Medicine graduate—that and the immediate results. “The patient experience and surgical outcomes are unbelievably gratifying. A patient can start the day in pain, weak or numb and wake up after surgery with resolution of these symptoms. This can be life changing for many.”
This was on display last year when a patient had been suffering from acute quadriplegia for 24 hours. It was discovered that she had a cervical tumor compressing her spinal cord. Goldstein performed surgery throughout the night and today the patient has movement in all extremities and her cancer is in remission.
Spinal surgery is a rapidly growing field, as specialists like Goldstein are faced with a population that lives longer and remains active into later years. “As a specialty, we continue to improve our understanding of and improve our ability to restore anatomical alignment. This is leading to consistently better outcomes and faster recovery times in our patients than spinal surgery results in the past.”