Spine Surgery for the Active Patient

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Advances in techniques for spinal surgery are helping patients to return to an active lifestyle--including sports--quickly and with excellent long-term results. In this podcast, Dr. Wellington Hsu, a spine surgeon at Northwestern Memorial Hospital, will discuss these approaches and a patient will share his story.

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Please remember the opinions expressed on Patient Power are not necessarily the views of Northwestern Memorial Hospital, its medical staff or Patient Power.   Our discussions are not a substitute for seeking medical advice or care from your own doctor.  That’s how you’ll get care that’s most appropriate for you.

Well, I like to be a pretty active guy and go to the gym and run and do things with my kids, and many of my friends do too, and that’s part of the enjoyment of life and of course [to] get a good night’s sleep as well.  Well, imagine if you develop back pain, spinal pain, and it was getting in the way of all that.  You’d feel like it was really ruining your quality of life.  What can be done?  Now, there are a variety of approaches, but one approach now that continues to advance, is the choice of having specialized surgery for you, and can that allow someone to be active once again?  We’re going to learn about that today.

Let’s discuss it first with someone who has experienced that.  That’s Roberto Valencia, who lives in the suburb of Kildeer northwest of Chicago.  He’s just, and I’ll say just because I’m older, just 50 years old, has two teenage boys and has a pretty active job as well, where he travels, but he likes to work in the yard, play tennis, play golf.  Let’s go back to the fall of 2010, Roberto.  I know you experienced some pain over the years with your back and had developed a condition, but you kind of kept going.  But what happened in the fall? 

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