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Dr. Thomas Dowling

Orthopedic Spine Surgery
Commack, NY
41 years experience male

Locations

Long Island Spine Specialists, PC

Commack, NY

Address

763 Larkfield Rd, 2nd Fl, Commack, NY, US
Directions

Practice website

Insurances accepted

HIP Health Plans

Oxford Health Plans

United HealthCare Insurance Company

About

Bio

Fellowship trained, board certified orthopaedic surgeon in a mulitispecialty practice limited only to the treatment of spinal disorders. The practice is composed of all board certified and fellowship trained physicians & orthopaedic spine surgeons guiding treatment. Long Island Spine Specialists, PC is the most established & experienced spine practice on Long Island offering comprehensive care of spinal issues.

Specialties
Doctors may have more than one area of specialty interest. Board certification in a specialty area means the doctor has completed formal training and has practice experience in that specialty, and has passed the certification examination from the corresponding accredited medical specialty board.

Orthopedic Spine Surgery

Doctor Q&A

2.3K Answers
380 Agrees
The number of answers this doctor has agreed with.
A 21-year-old member asked:
Dr. Thomas Dowling
Orthopedic Spine Surgery 41 years experience
Yes : The one who is best versed in scoliosis in terms of what it is, its diagnosis, types and treatment options and outcomes with and without various treat... Read More
Created for people with ongoing healthcare needs but benefits everyone.
A 21-year-old member asked:
Dr. Thomas Dowling
Orthopedic Spine Surgery 41 years experience
It may if there is : Muscle spasm present in the back or neck -occasionally patients find that ice may aggravate those symptoms if present from the disc herniation.
Created for people with ongoing healthcare needs but benefits everyone.
A 41-year-old member asked:
Dr. Thomas Dowling
Orthopedic Spine Surgery 41 years experience
Be proactive by : checking to make sure your seating has armrests and a good back support and possibly adjustable in sitting height. Even then, make sure you get up pe... Read More
Created for people with ongoing healthcare needs but benefits everyone.
A 50-year-old member asked:
Dr. Thomas Dowling
Orthopedic Spine Surgery 41 years experience
There is no main : Nerve in your back but there is the spinal cord which begins at the base of your skull and extends down to on averge to the lumbar 1 vertebral level ... Read More
Created for people with ongoing healthcare needs but benefits everyone.
A 29-year-old member asked:
Dr. Thomas Dowling
Orthopedic Spine Surgery 41 years experience
It literally means : That there is something pressing on spinal cord in neck or cervical region that may or may not cause symptoms or physical findings. This compression ... Read More
Created for people with ongoing healthcare needs but benefits everyone.
A 39-year-old member asked:
Dr. Thomas Dowling
Orthopedic Spine Surgery 41 years experience
When a 10 percenter: Only 10% of disc herniations require surgery. 1% have an emergency situation when involving bowel/ bladder control or there is a progressive weakness... Read More
Created for people with ongoing healthcare needs but benefits everyone.
A 30-year-old member asked:
Dr. Thomas Dowling
Orthopedic Spine Surgery 41 years experience
If you are not ...: If you are not getting better after 12 weeks of care & the symptoms are such that you cannot or will not live with them & your leg pain is worse tha... Read More
Created for people with ongoing healthcare needs but benefits everyone.
A 40-year-old member asked:
Dr. Thomas Dowling
Orthopedic Spine Surgery 41 years experience
Let me count the way: This can occur due to natural aging, related to a spine fracture, due to a lift, twist or bending injury, from a disc space infection, from a spinal i... Read More
Created for people with ongoing healthcare needs but benefits everyone.
A 21-year-old member asked:
Dr. Thomas Dowling
Orthopedic Spine Surgery 41 years experience
Yes: With age, a curve can occur denovo or new typically in post menopausal females in the lumbar spine due to degeneration &/or osteoporosis . Sometimes ... Read More
Created for people with ongoing healthcare needs but benefits everyone.
A 45-year-old member asked:
Dr. Thomas Dowling
Orthopedic Spine Surgery 41 years experience
It may suggest a : Gastrointestinal problem relatedcto both symptoms such as ulcerative colitis or may even be unrelated qnd just coincidental.
Created for people with ongoing healthcare needs but benefits everyone.
A 44-year-old member asked:
Dr. Thomas Dowling
Orthopedic Spine Surgery 41 years experience
Same indications as : The indications for any spine surgery are the same. However, for most things laser spine surgery is indicated tend to get better with non operative ... Read More
Created for people with ongoing healthcare needs but benefits everyone.
A 25-year-old member asked:
Dr. Thomas Dowling
Orthopedic Spine Surgery 41 years experience
A laminectomy : This is called a cauda equina syndrome and is due to compression of the nerve tissue that can be from the disc herniation. The surgery is a decompress... Read More
Created for people with ongoing healthcare needs but benefits everyone.
A 27-year-old member asked:
Dr. Thomas Dowling
Orthopedic Spine Surgery 41 years experience
No as most get : Better with no surgery if due to a disc herniation. Even if due to spinal stenosis , only 15% get worse with 15% getting better & the rest remaining ... Read More
Created for people with ongoing healthcare needs but benefits everyone.
A 52-year-old member asked:
Dr. Thomas Dowling
Orthopedic Spine Surgery 41 years experience
No if idiopathic or : No, not if it is an idiopathic or congenital scoliosis curve. Curves related to neuromuscular disorders can also fit into this group. A scoliosis ca... Read More
Created for people with ongoing healthcare needs but benefits everyone.
A 31-year-old member asked:
Dr. Thomas Dowling
Orthopedic Spine Surgery 41 years experience
All surgery has risk: Just that the risks are relative and related to one's age, underlying health & condition, habits like drug, alcohol & cigarette use, weight, ability t... Read More
Created for people with ongoing healthcare needs but benefits everyone.
A 34-year-old member asked:
Dr. Thomas Dowling
Orthopedic Spine Surgery 41 years experience
It's fast: Depending on patient's age & health status as well as whether it is single or 2 stage procedure, usually by the next day after surgery one will try at... Read More
Created for people with ongoing healthcare needs but benefits everyone.
A 38-year-old member asked:
Dr. Thomas Dowling
Orthopedic Spine Surgery 41 years experience
In the USA, the : Incidence is about 12, 000 new cases in the total us population a year with most in young people from ages 15 to 30 years of age.
Created for people with ongoing healthcare needs but benefits everyone.
A 54-year-old member asked:
Dr. Thomas Dowling
Orthopedic Spine Surgery 41 years experience
Only if the symptoms: Really affect you. If so, you need to see your surgeon & assess if you are still in the healing stage postop & if not, then a further workup is warr... Read More
Created for people with ongoing healthcare needs but benefits everyone.
A 41-year-old member asked:
Dr. Thomas Dowling
Orthopedic Spine Surgery 41 years experience
There is no bearing: On life expectancy and the presence or absence of degenerative disc disease.
Created for people with ongoing healthcare needs but benefits everyone.
A 30-year-old member asked:
Dr. Thomas Dowling
Orthopedic Spine Surgery 41 years experience
It doe not matter : But a 2 piece loose outfit with no metal pieces would be easiest like a cotton shirt and gym shorts or sweat pants and sweat shirt like dressing comfo... Read More
Created for people with ongoing healthcare needs but benefits everyone.
A 41-year-old member asked:
Dr. Thomas Dowling
Orthopedic Spine Surgery 41 years experience
Muscular v disc: This could be muscular pain or related to underlying degenerative discs or even a herniated disc or other spine based conditions. Other issues coul... Read More
Created for people with ongoing healthcare needs but benefits everyone.
A 24-year-old member asked:
Dr. Thomas Dowling
Orthopedic Spine Surgery 41 years experience
The same as with a : Patient without such an injury except one has to keep the area of injury that may be unstable, protected. As CPR is done with a patient lying on back... Read More
Created for people with ongoing healthcare needs but benefits everyone.
A 21-year-old member asked:
Dr. Thomas Dowling
Orthopedic Spine Surgery 41 years experience
There is a chance : There is a genetic component with this deformity higher with both parents having it and tending to be more severe if.From dad rather than mom. Just ... Read More
Created for people with ongoing healthcare needs but benefits everyone.
A 44-year-old member asked:
Dr. Thomas Dowling
Orthopedic Spine Surgery 41 years experience
No: But there is no contraindications for taking it but there have been no studies that reflect any benefit from its use for degenerative disc disease.
Created for people with ongoing healthcare needs but benefits everyone.
A 21-year-old member asked:
Dr. Thomas Dowling
Orthopedic Spine Surgery 41 years experience
Exercise in general: Is beneficial for a healthy back regardless of the diagnosis with yoga an excellent way to maintain flexibility and core strength and stability. Cert... Read More
Created for people with ongoing healthcare needs but benefits everyone.
A 40-year-old member asked:
Dr. Thomas Dowling
Orthopedic Spine Surgery 41 years experience
Worse than mild: Usually not much- by only imaging it just means the spinal canal has become smaller and it may or may not create more or worse symptoms--in the cervic... Read More
Created for people with ongoing healthcare needs but benefits everyone.
A 21-year-old member asked:
Dr. Thomas Dowling
Orthopedic Spine Surgery 41 years experience
Risk of progression : Generally curves will not progress once skeletally mature unless the curve is 50 degrees or more with a 75% risk of progression of 1 degree per year... Read More
Created for people with ongoing healthcare needs but benefits everyone.
A 41-year-old member asked:
Dr. Thomas Dowling
Orthopedic Spine Surgery 41 years experience
Possible : There are herbal supplements that contain analgesic or pain relieving effects as ones with anti inflammatory effects. The problem is that these herba... Read More
Created for people with ongoing healthcare needs but benefits everyone.
A 25-year-old male asked:
Dr. Thomas Dowling
Orthopedic Spine Surgery 41 years experience
Unlikely: Not likely but tight muscles at the hamstring level and/or hips can be a sign of a spondylolysis/spondylolisthesis and flexibility maintenance makes ... Read More
Created for people with ongoing healthcare needs but benefits everyone.
A 25-year-old member asked:
Dr. Thomas Dowling
Orthopedic Spine Surgery 41 years experience
Several: You can learn some exercises at physical therapy aimed at opening up your spinal canal like williams flexion exercises while bike riding, rowing and w... Read More
Created for people with ongoing healthcare needs but benefits everyone.
A 32-year-old member asked:
Dr. Thomas Dowling
Orthopedic Spine Surgery 41 years experience
No but secondary : Issues that can result from these aging related symptoms can be managed usually with nonoperative means and when indicated, surgery. Cervical spondyl... Read More
Created for people with ongoing healthcare needs but benefits everyone.
A 22-year-old member asked:
Dr. Thomas Dowling
Orthopedic Spine Surgery 41 years experience
Whatever you find : Most comfortable and enjoyable with cross training recommended to avoid overuse injuries. Swimming, biking, walking, jogging along with the use of va... Read More
Created for people with ongoing healthcare needs but benefits everyone.
A 21-year-old member asked:
Dr. Thomas Dowling
Orthopedic Spine Surgery 41 years experience
Not if you have : No issues with your back but if you start to develop back symptoms correct posture will help to minimize the loads through the affected areas. Being ... Read More
Created for people with ongoing healthcare needs but benefits everyone.
A 40-year-old member asked:
Dr. Thomas Dowling
Orthopedic Spine Surgery 41 years experience
Simple - it isn't: It is most lijely unrelated unless you have modified how you were moving and lifting or being more sedentary as a result of the surgery. It is unlike... Read More
Created for people with ongoing healthcare needs but benefits everyone.
A 44-year-old member asked:
Dr. Thomas Dowling
Orthopedic Spine Surgery 41 years experience
If one is in pain : For 6 months or more, one can become depressed.
Created for people with ongoing healthcare needs but benefits everyone.
A 23-year-old member asked:
Dr. Thomas Dowling
Orthopedic Spine Surgery 41 years experience
Usually last one: Unless you have a tumor, infection, an unstable fracture or one with neurologic issues, a myleopathy, or a progressive neurologic dysfunction caused b... Read More
Created for people with ongoing healthcare needs but benefits everyone.
A 21-year-old member asked:
Dr. Thomas Dowling
Orthopedic Spine Surgery 41 years experience
Yes: It can occur in either group but symptoms are usually not noted in the pediatric group. The imaging findings may reveal it. There are congenital for... Read More
Created for people with ongoing healthcare needs but benefits everyone.
A 27-year-old member asked:
Dr. Thomas Dowling
Orthopedic Spine Surgery 41 years experience
If it is an epidural: If this was an epidural steroid injection, there is a 2% risk of what is called a spinsl headache due to an incidental puncture of the dural sac leadi... Read More
Created for people with ongoing healthcare needs but benefits everyone.
A 29-year-old member asked:
Dr. Thomas Dowling
Orthopedic Spine Surgery 41 years experience
First, bulging discs: Are not abnormal findings but exercise is great to control back pain with flexibility, core strengthening and cardiovascular conditioning as the basis... Read More
Created for people with ongoing healthcare needs but benefits everyone.
A 29-year-old member asked:
Dr. Thomas Dowling
Orthopedic Spine Surgery 41 years experience
The spinal cord is : The main cable of nerve tracts to connect the brain to the nerves of the rest of the body except for the cranial nerves. An injury to the spinal cord... Read More
Created for people with ongoing healthcare needs but benefits everyone.
A 42-year-old member asked:
Dr. Thomas Dowling
Orthopedic Spine Surgery 41 years experience
The purpose of the : Test is to find the source of your pain by recreating it over the same location with the same quality as the disc is injected. If it is a normal disc... Read More
Created for people with ongoing healthcare needs but benefits everyone.
A 21-year-old member asked:
Dr. Thomas Dowling
Orthopedic Spine Surgery 41 years experience
As long as you have : A valid license and you are not taking any medication that may impair you for your symptoms related to the disc herniation. Sitting and driving may a... Read More
Created for people with ongoing healthcare needs but benefits everyone.
A 31-year-old member asked:
Dr. Thomas Dowling
Orthopedic Spine Surgery 41 years experience
Depends: If it is done as a minimally invasive procedure or not. The limitations should be discussed with your surgeon as this is dependent on your diagnosis, ... Read More
Created for people with ongoing healthcare needs but benefits everyone.
A 36-year-old member asked:
Dr. Thomas Dowling
Orthopedic Spine Surgery 41 years experience
It depends on what : Is it are the underlying causes of these symptoms. Do you have a back &/or hip problem or even an si joint issue as well. You need an evaluation to ... Read More
Created for people with ongoing healthcare needs but benefits everyone.
A 41-year-old member asked:
Dr. Thomas Dowling
Orthopedic Spine Surgery 41 years experience
It usually as if you: Never had surgery because you barely did! basically, it is the same day.
Created for people with ongoing healthcare needs but benefits everyone.
A 33-year-old member asked:
Dr. Thomas Dowling
Orthopedic Spine Surgery 41 years experience
Myleogram ia about : 15 to 30 minute followed usually by a ct scan of 5-10 minutes length and you should take it easy for a day.
Created for people with ongoing healthcare needs but benefits everyone.
A 35-year-old member asked:
Dr. Thomas Dowling
Orthopedic Spine Surgery 41 years experience
Depends on the : Patient and history of allergies and other habits and history of alcohol or drug abuse. If no allergy and no history of substance abuse, it is an opt... Read More
Created for people with ongoing healthcare needs but benefits everyone.
A 42-year-old member asked:
Dr. Thomas Dowling
Orthopedic Spine Surgery 41 years experience
Call 911 and do not: Try to move the injured person or allow anyone else allowing first responders to handle all care.
Created for people with ongoing healthcare needs but benefits everyone.
A 23-year-old member asked:
Dr. Thomas Dowling
Orthopedic Spine Surgery 41 years experience
Yes: Spinal stenosis has several causes. Most people have no or minimal aymptoms and rarely findings of any neurologic deficits. When deficits are presen... Read More
Created for people with ongoing healthcare needs but benefits everyone.
A 23-year-old member asked:
Dr. Thomas Dowling
Orthopedic Spine Surgery 41 years experience
Yes : Pregnancy will not affect the stenosis but may or may not aggravate symptoms if you tend to extend your lower back as you progress in size with your p... Read More
Created for people with ongoing healthcare needs but benefits everyone.

Testimonials
Recommendations and Thank you notes are endorsements given from patients or other doctors.

18
Recommendations
2.8K
Thank you notes
Mar 23, 2013
Dr Dowling provides an exceptional public service through Health Tap. His response are universally suberb. He provides indepth yet concise, acurate and understandable information. I recommend Dr. Dowl...Read More
Aug 5, 2014
Very knowlegible and conservative about when to do surgery thats good
Dec 28, 2012
Commack is lucky to have such a top doc!
HealthTap member
This was very helpful. Thanks! Thanks this is helpful for me. I've been experiencing a small popping noise from my upper back. It doesn't hurt but is super annoying. I will continue to stretch it. Hop...Read More
HealthTap member
This was very helpful. Thanks! thank you for taking ur time to answer these questions. I feel better knowing that its more than likely just a pinched nerve. I was worrying could be lung cancer
HealthTap member
Thank you. This has been helpful and a positive exchange. When you say "rigorous in exercise" I assume you mean continuing to strengthen my core/back and increase flexibility and mobility.

Education & Training

Medical/Graduate school

Boston University
Graduated 1981MD

Residency

State University of NY at Stony Brook

Residency

NORTH SHORE UNIVERSITY HOSPITAL

Awards

Top Doctor Orthopaedic Surgery Castle Connolly Guide
Assistant Clinical Professor Hofstra North Shore-LIJ School of Medicine
Most Influential, Third Place, East Long Island, NY - Winter
2013

Affiliations

Long Island Spine Specialists, PC
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