If you suffer from chronic back pain and the only option for relief is surgery, you need to look into a relatively new procedure called Lumbar Disk Replacement.It is truly amazing.
I suffered debilitating back pain for over ten years. I went to several orthopedic doctors were unable to diagnose me or alleviate my pain. I tried exercising more and pain medications, but nothing worked. At an extremely active thirty-nine years old, something had to change and it sure wasn’t going to be my softball or bowling hobbies.
I finally went to Dr. Steven Mather, a spine surgeon with M&M Orthopedics in Chicagoland. It took only one x-ray for him to identify the problem. I had Degenerative Disk Disease in the L5 area of my spine. Basically, the disk wore away.
The available treatments were: physical therapy, pain medications or surgery. We ruled out physical therapy because my back muscles were already very strong. Long-term use of painkillers to me was not an answer. I was left with surgery.
Dr. Mather then introduced me to a new procedure called Lumbar Disk Replacement. An incision is made along the spine in the back. The worn away disk is removed and replaced with a plastic cage device. The cage is filled with bone scraped from the hipbone. Two rods and four screws are inserted into the spine, to support it during the healing process. The success rate was ninety-percent, meaning only ten percent had some kind of returning pain or discomfort.
The average healing time was over a year, but a full recovery is expected. Although the healing process and physical therapy are agonizing, the positive results far outweighed the negatives. The process included: home rest for eight weeks; wearing a special brace for three months; eight to twelve weeks of physical therapy. The therapy is intense, but if done with dedication could have resounding results. It depends patient’s desire and pain tolerance.
He left me with this unforgettable quote. “This is a profound quality of life decision that only you can make. I will not tell you to have the surgery. I will tell you I recommend it for someone your age who is as active as you are.”
This was right around the start of softball season, so I decided to wait it out, which turned out to be a painful decision. The straw that broke the camel’s back came on a trip to Las Vegas with my wife in September. Twice, the spasms were so intense I fell to my knees. I decided right there that I could no longer live life this way. I called Dr. Mather and scheduled the surgery.