Quicker Spinal Surgery Leads to Quicker Recovery
X-ray imaging and state-of-the-art instrumentation give today’s surgeons the tools to repair the spine with only an inch-long incision. Combine this technology with the skill of a spinal surgeon, like Jason Montone, DO, and you get minimally invasive spinal surgery. A long name for something that’s very simple: patients experience less muscle injury, blood loss, post-operative pain, a shorter hospital stay and most importantly, a quicker return to daily living.
Dr. Montone explains there is still a place for traditional open spine surgery as not all patients are appropriate for the less invasive technique. “Individuals with poor bone quality aren’t candidates.” He recommends a consultation to further discuss the appropriate options.
Typically when a patient sees Dr. Montone with a complaint of back or neck pain, he recommends other treatment methods first, like physical therapy and pain management. He says, “Our goal is to improve function and decrease pain to give that person back his or her life. Sometimes that requires surgery but not in all situations.”
Kassie Collins started with other treatment methods before she visited Dr. Montone last year. Her problems began in 2007 when she started waking up with lower back discomfort and shooting pain down her leg. A young woman at age 36, Kassie lived an active lifestyle playing softball, volleyball, exercising and being a mom to two young daughters. She didn’t remember any type of injury to her back.
Tests revealed a ruptured disc in the L4 and L5 area of her lower back. Treatments, like physical therapy, helped for about six months until her other side ruptured. Physical therapy turned into cortisone shots in her back along with high doses of pain medication. She remembers taking eight Percocets (Oxycodone) a day, (typical dose is one to two) just to function.
“I tried these different methods for three years just to see if there were other options besides surgery,” says Kassie. “During that time, the pain horribly impacted my life. It was a constant, raw pain. It hurt to stand or lie down.”
By the time Kassie consulted with Dr. Montone, the disc, which acts as a shock absorber for the spine, was totally gone and all that remained was bone on bone.
Dr. Montone performed surgery a year ago and Kassie says her life is like night and day. “I am back to playing softball and doing what I want to do.”