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Ana Cadena and Dr. Ira Goldstein

Spine Neurosurgery

The Spine Center of New Jersey is the premier center of the New Jersey Medical School under the Department of Neurological Surgery. The Spine Center is part of the Neurological Institute of New Jersey.   Led by nationally renowned spine surgeon, Dr. Robert F. Heary, MD, the Spine Center is staffed by comprehensive team including his colleague; Ira M. Goldstein, MD and two Advanced Practice Nurses; Sherine Varghese, APN, and Ana S. Cadena, APN.  Both physicians operate at University Hospital, a Level I Trauma Facility and as part of neurosurgery team at Rutgers-NJMS are actively involved in the teaching and supervision of the only neurosurgery residency program in the New Jersey. 

The clinical team of the Spine Center is dedicated to providing the best possible care to their patients; including both operative and non-operative treatment modalities.  The Spine Neurosurgery team stresses a team approach to comprehensive spine care and utilizes all available recourses at Rutgers and its affiliates, such as Kessler Institute. Every patient who enters the Spine Center of New Jersey system is promptly evaluated by surgeons with formal training in both Neurological and Orthopedic Surgery. If necessary, spine surgery of any level of complexity can be performed in a timely fashion. Operative treatment includes: minimally invasive surgery, routine spine, complex spine, revision, deformity and tumor surgery. 

All members of Spine Center of New Jersey are actively involved in advancement of field and improvement of patient outcomes, by participation in promising clinical trials, research, education and active membership in professional organizations. 

Dr. Heary has been the recipient of many awards and honors, including Best Doctors in America, Best Spine Surgeons in America, Who's Who in Science and Engineering, the Mayfield Award for Clinical Science, and numerous visiting professorships across the country and the globe.

Spinal Cord Injury Care

The Spine Center is part of the Northern New Jersey Spinal Cord Injury System (NNJSCIS). The NNJSCIS is the only federally designated model spinal cord injury system in the state of New Jersey and it is one of only 14 such centers in the United States.

Any patient enrolled in the Northern New Jersey Spinal Cord Injury System receives rehabilitation at the Kessler Institute - West Orange facility. As a recognized leader in spinal cord rehabilitation, the partnership between the Spine Center and Kessler Institute give our patients access to a variety of experts in Spinal Cord Injury evaluation and treatment. This allows us to provide a level of service that far surpasses that of any other service in New Jersey.