Friday, October 13, 2006
Medical Reports: HEALTHCAST: Back Pain
Anybody with a bad back knows how excruciating it can be. But if your doctor suggests having surgery, there may be another option for some patients. In tonight's Healthcast, 7's Craig Stevens introduces us to a new, less painful procedure.
WSVN -- It doesn't take long to figure out what gets Victor Bertrand's motor running. When he has free time, he's in the garage with his son.
But a few months ago, something unexpected put the brakes on his favorite hobby. A bad back prevented him from standing for more than a few minutes.
Victor Bertrand: "It was very uncomfortable. I couldn't do a lot of things that I liked to do all the time."
He suffered from a condition called spinal stenosis. That's when arthritis develops in the spine, causing the nerves to compress.
Victor Bertrand: "The thing is the only way to relieve it is to sit down. If I'm working in the garage, I have to look for a place to sit down for a little bit, and then I'd get back up, and it's good for a few minutes. Then it would come back."
In the past, the only real way to prevent the pain was by undergoing a risky surgery requiring a long hospital stay and eight weeks of recovery.
Victor Bertrand: "What do you think of that?"
But now, doctors have a new way of treating patients where they implant a small device called an X-stop. It creates a space between portions of the spine and stops it from extending.
Dr. Sohaib Kureshi: "The reason why it's called the X-stop is because it prevents extension."
The procedure takes less than an hour, requires only a small incision, and the recovery is quick. In most cases, patients are up and walking the same day.
Dr. Sohaib Kureshi: "We can give them a procedure that will change their lives signifigantly for the better."
It took away Victor's pain.
Dr. Sohaib Kureshi: "We put the X-stop in there, and it stopped instantly."
Now, he can once again enjoy his two favorite pastimes -- his family and his cars.
The X-stop is FDA approved.Studies show it is just as effective as standard surgery. But if it doesn't work for some reason, surgeons can simply remove it and perform the traditional procedure.
FOR MORE INFORMATION:
Scripps Mercy Hospital