A Low Back Disc Emergency in a Physical Therapist

POSTED ON 8/12/2012 IN Spine BY Christopher Centeno

low back surgery alternative

  CW is a local physical therapist to whom I have referred many patients to over the years. About a month ago I got a call from him that he was unable to move, stand, or walk. He had had a prior low back surgery many years ago and had treated himself for smoldering, but had mostly mild back pain since that time. While getting ready for a trip to Alaska with his family, he moved suddenly to catch a falling cooler and went down with severe back spasms. The morning he called me he was about 3-4 days out from that blow up and still hadn't made it back to work. Later that day he literally crawled into my office, barely able to walk upright. CW didn't want more surgery and was looking for a low back surgery alternative, so I offered him the Regenexx-PL Disc procedure. But could it work fast enough? He was leaving in two days for his trip which would involve a flight from Colorado to Alaska and then driving a motor home all over Alaska. I frankly couldn't be 100% sure, but I agreed to try. What was interesting was that on injection under x-ray guidance, his old surgical disc level wasn't painful. However, he causally mentioned that someone had since told him that he had a problem higher up at L2-L3 and his fluoroscopy image showed some spurring there-so we readjusted therapeutic strategy with him on the table. Sure enough the L2-L3 level caused severe reproduction of his pain and in 10 minutes, he was able to get up and walk off the table. How did he do? Did he make his vacation? He's allowed me to post the picture above of him holding a very big fish (halibut) that looks like it weighs a lot (man that's a big fish!). This is literally a week after the injection-so in this case a picture tells more about the result than I ever could!

NOTE:  The Regenexx-PL Disc procedure is a medical procedure and like all medical procedures has a success and failure rate.  Not all Regenexx-PL Disc patients will experience the same result and be able to go from not being able to walk to traveling to Alaska and catching a giant fish within the same week.  

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