Spine Surgery Specialist

Pawel Jankowski, MD -  - Neurosurgeon

Pawel Jankowski, MD

Neurosurgeon & Spine Specialist located in Irvine, CA & Newport Beach, CA

Spine surgery is a highly skilled procedure that requires surgeons who are at the peak of their profession. Fellowship-trained Dr. Pawel Jankowski provides the most advanced forms of spine surgery to people living in Irvine and Newport Beach, California. Dr. Jankowski has considerable expertise and experience in minimally invasive and robot-assisted spine surgery. To find out more, call Dr. Jankowski today or book an appointment online.

Spine Surgery Q & A

Why might I need spine surgery?

If you have a back injury or a degenerative disease that’s not improving with less invasive treatments, you might benefit from spine surgery. 

In most cases, back problems respond well to a combination of treatments that could include physical therapy, massage, traction, acupuncture, and steroid injections. If you’ve been following a conservative treatment program for some months without any significant reduction in your symptoms, spine surgery could be the best option. 

You might also need spine surgery if you’ve already had surgery elsewhere that hasn’t worked. If you’re experiencing ongoing pain after spine surgery, you might have failed back surgery syndrome (FBSS), which requires further surgery. Please refer to the Revision Spine Surgery section for further information regarding FBSS. 

Prior to recommending any surgical procedure, the appropriate diagnostic testing needs to be performed. This can include computer tomography (CT), magnetic resonance imaging (MRI), x-rays, dynamic films, electromyographic and nerve conduction studies, or whole-body bone scans. New advancements in diagnostic testing have enabled the ability to provide highly individualized treatments based on each patient’s spine condition. These include operative simulations (see below) that are utilized to determine what the alignment of a patient’s spine would be after performing a particular procedure. The latest technology involves augmented reality (see film below) that allows us to navigate inside and out of the patient’s spine to see very precisely the extent of the pathology that is causing the symptoms and then use this during the operative planning to ensure a safe and effective procedure.  The combination of virtual reality planning and augmented reality guidance during surgery helps to ensure the best possible approach and procedure is selected and performed for each patient.

Image to the left shows pre-operative x-rays of a patient’s spine where the spinal column is not in the correct alignment and therefore resulting in pain symptoms and a decrease in global function.  The turquoise line represents the proper alignment the patient’s spine should be in. The image to the right shows an operative simulation what type of surgery would be needed to restore the proper alignment of the spine and alleviate the patient’s symptoms.




This film demonstrates a fly through the patient’s spinal column. 


Depending on the particular spine disease process you have there are different procedures you may benefit from. Below are explanations of some common procedures that are performed to treat various spine pathologies and performed at our clinic. This is not an exhaustive list of procedures and does not represent the full spectrum of surgeries we perform. If there is a procedure that you do not see listed here please feel free to call us or come in for a consultation should you have any questions.

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