Eliminating back pain with TLIF - KPLC 7 News, Lake Charles, Louisiana

Eliminating back pain with TLIF

By Britney Glaser - bio | email

LAKE CHARLES, LA (KPLC) - Back pain is one of the most common health problems and reasons for missed work. Traditional surgeries involved weeks of downtime and frequently resulted in complications later on. That's changed now, thanks to innovations in science and technology.

It's been five years since Roger Tyler suffered a debilitating injury.  "I was throwing a sheet of plywood on the roof of a house," says Roger, "and when I twisted to throw it, my back popped.  It sounded like a shotgun and I immediately went down."

After hearing horror stories of back surgeries, Roger opted to live with the pain.  He says, "I've been through everything to try to relieve the pain. Physical therapy, injections, drugs...massive drugs, until four weeks ago I had surgery."

It was the disconnect Roger felt because of the prescription pain killers that finally pushed him to consult CHRISTUS St. Patrick Hospital Dr. Bryant George for surgery.  "We customize the treatment to target the surgical area that is producing the symptoms," says Dr. George, "and do minimally-invasive approaches to get there to accomplish our goal."

Dr. George told Roger that he was the perfect candidate for a TLIF procedure - a minimally invasive fusion surgery.  "We do not expose anything that is not going to be involved in the actual surgical procedure," says Dr. George, "that way we reduce the amount of tissue disruption, resulting in a quicker recovery with the patient out of bed sooner the day of surgery and usually home the day after."

A small incision is made and dilators are used to spread the tissue. Then, a stabilizing device is inserted.  "Screws are implanted into the bone," says Dr. George, "the rod is placed for the stabilizing effect."

A tough, thermoplastic Peek is used to restore what's broken down in the disk space.  Dr. George says, "This device is then implanted in the vertebral disk space to maintain this disk space height."

Roger says he still can't believe how great he's feeling since the TLIF procedure last month.  "Just great," says Roger, "I didn't believe that anybody would be able to fix it and I had heard all of these horror stories, but it was fantastic!"

Since Roger's TLIF procedure four weeks ago, he's lost 20 pounds. He says becoming active again has transformed his life.

*If you suffer from back or neck pain, join Dr. George on Thursday, July 23rd, for a free seminar at Garber Auditorium on Dr. Michael DeBakey Drive in Lake Charles.  To reserve your seat, call 491-7577.

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