Hurley offers less invasive back pain relief

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When back pain becomes a way of life, sometimes surgery is the only option.

Hurley Medical Center now offers a less invasive option, that can get you back into action much faster than standard surgery.

Chris Dougherty has lived with miserable flare ups, caused by a back issue he's had all of this life, "Severe pain in my hip, nerves all the way from my hip down to my ankle are on fire. Limp half the time.

Over the last year, he says, the pain has gotten much worse, "I'd get it every once in a while, but then it would straighten up and it would be okay. This time, it didn't go away. "

It happens when two of Chris's vertebrae slide, putting pressure on his sciatic nerve. Pain medicine didn't help, so his doctor offered up another solution.

"He's going to do something to widen out the channel, the area where the nerve goes through, so when it does slide, it won't hit that nerve," Chris says.

It's an endoscopic procedure, Dr. Kevin Lawson now offers at Hurley.

He uses the a newer tool- the Joimax Tessys, "You're only making an incision big enough for the endoscopic scope to get into position, and then the tools that do the surgery go throught that scope. "

Endoscopes are not new in the surgical world, but since the technology first came out, it has improved , making more involved procedures, possible.

Case in point, the new tool Lawson is using, "As long as we're only removing material and not having to rebuild things, we can do discectomy, lamectomy, a lot of decompression procedures to free nerve roots up, with only a small incision, and really no damage to the muscle."

What that means for patients is much shorter recovery times- from months, to weeks, Lawson says, "And deal with herniated discs and spinal stenosis in a much less invasive way than was originally necessary."

The much smaller incisions available with this newest evolution also have added benefit for patients who need multiple procedures, or those who re-injure themselves.

"We're coming from at it from a completely different approach so all that scar and difficulty from before isn't relative to what you are doing," Lawson says.

Chris tells me there is always a chance he will still need a much more invasive procedure down the road, "Okay, I'll take that chance. I don't care. I'll take it now, because I may never have to have it, if it all works out good."

For more information about endoscopic back surgery options at Hurley, click here.

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