Dr. Debra Petrucci Neurosurgeon
Diplomate of the American Board of Neurological  Surgery

Specialized help for Neck Pain, Back Pain, and Treatment of Spinal Injuries

  • George Washington University School of Medicine

  • Trained Massachusetts General Hospital and is Board Certified in Neurosurgery

  • Using minimally invasive techniques where possible

  • Current in the latest procedures that may benefit her patients

  • Selected Keynote Speaker for the First Annual Women in Spine Meeting

  • Named Several Times in Westchester WAG's Most Distinguished Doctors

  • Honored by Southern CT Urban League as a "Woman of Influence"
     2009 Womens Empowerment Summit in Greenwich, CT

  • Chief of Neurosurgery at White Plains Hospital Center in 2001 - 2007

Appointments:
Please call  
(203) 785-2807
Request an Appointment by Email

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About the Practice

BACK PAIN

Mechanical Disorders

Inflammatory & Infectious Disorders

Tumors

Trauma

Osteoporosis

NECK PAIN

Mechanical Disorders

Inflammatory & Infectious Disorders

Tumors

Trauma

Spine Anatomy

Treatment Options

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(203) 785-2807  

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Back Pain

Inflammatory and Infectious Disorders

Though infections and inflammation of the spine are rare, if they are neglected for a period of time, or if there is a delay in diagnosis, they can become a significant source of pain and disability. Bone and joint infections anywhere in the body can be crippling and life threatening.

Discitis
Discitis is a low-grade infection that affects the disc space between two vertebrae. Although discitis is uncommon, children under ten are usually the ones affected by this condition which is the result of an inflammation caused by staphylococcus, viruses, or other inflammatory processes. Discitis is characterized by the slow onset of severe back pain and may or may not be associated with fever, chills, sweats, feeling tired, loss of appetite or other symptoms. The diagnosis is usually made by seeing narrowing of the disc space between two vertebrae and a bone scan that shows that the disc and adjacent vertebrae are "hot" on the scan. This condition can be very painful and is often aggravated by any movement of the spine. The pain often travels to other parts of the body including the abdomen, hip, leg, or groin. It usually occurs in the lower (lumbar) back and upper (thoracic) back.


Spinal Infection

Young children with this condition are usually irritable and uncomfortable and refuse to sit up, stand or walk. The treatment of discitis generally involves antibiotics, rest, and a brace. Surgery is rarely needed.

Ankylosing Spondylitis
Ankylosing spondylitis is a rare condition that can cause back and neck pain. It is a rheumatic inflammatory disease that affects the spine and sacroiliac joints. Although it primarily attacks the spine (usually the low back first), this chronic and painful disease can also attack other joints, tendons and ligaments, and the chest wall.

Over time, this disease can cause the vertebral bodies in the spine to fuse together. When this happens, patients with ankylosing spondylitis can have difficulty moving freely. Common symptoms for ankylosing spondylitis are gradually occurring back pain and stiffness (usually over a period of weeks or months). Early morning stiffness is often helped with a warm shower or light exercise. Symptoms last longer than three months.

In particularly severe cases, patients may be unable to look above the level of the horizon, or they may develop a significant amount of pain from having a hunched over posture. Ankylosing spondylitis is usually diagnosed using x-rays of the sacroiliac joints, looking for changes in the tissues caused by inflammation. However, tissue changes are not always visible.

Back Pain Topics


1171 East Putnam Avenue - Greenwich, CT 06830
Yale Spine Center - 1 Long Wharf Drive, 6th Floor - New Haven, CT (203) 785-2807

Dr. Debra Petrucci
Please call for an appointment.                            

Insurance Plans Accepted, Medicare, Workman's Compensation NY, NY No Fault
Patients should check with their insurance plan for out of network plan benefits.