Modern Medicine: Spine Surgery Advancements - WMBB News 13 - The Panhandle's News Leader

Modern Medicine: Spine Surgery Advancements

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Panama City, Fla. -

Spinal problems cause pain in the back and neck that can then radiate to the legs or arms.

Treatments such as physical therapy and injections are sometimes used, but when that doesn't work, spinal surgery can.

My pain was very much diminished. I was much more comfortable, much more able to get up and do things without the cramping, the leg pain or the burning...it just all disappeared.

Adana Ward had surgery on her spine six weeks ago to correct her spinal cord compression and to correct the alignment in her spine.

Ward says, "My pain was very much diminished.  I was much more comfortable, much more able to get up and do things without the cramping, the leg pain or the burning...it just all disappeared."

Neurosurgeon Dr. Cyril DeSilva explains, "When the spine is compressed, it's difficult for blood and oxygen to go to the spine, and so the nerve cells aren't getting enough oxygen or enough food.  They stop working properly and they cause pain, they cause weakness, and they cause numbness."

Dr. DeSilva says spine surgery is a lot more advanced now.  He says at one time, only x-rays were used to view the spine issues.

"We now have at Bay Medical Center two intraoperative imaging systems, which are CT scanners present in the operating room, with a computer.  So we can operate in 3 dimensions," Dr. DeSilva tells News 13. 

He says that makes surgery safer.

Ward says the pain "was nowhere near what I anticipated or expected...Even the day after surgery, I was up on my own."

Dr. DeSilva says some spinal issues can be corrected with a minimally invasive surgery and smaller incisions.  Ward's problem was so severe, she did have to have what's known as an open surgery with a larger incision.