Health Check: Minimally Invasive Spine Surgery

Surgery is usually the last resort for people who suffer from serious back pain. Doctors at the Fremont Area Medical Center say advances in technology now mean procedures are less risky for patients. Serese Cole explains in this month's Health Check report.

Samantha Randall doesn't take these moments for granted. Since she was 12 - she has had back pain so intense - she could feel it in her legs.

"There are tons of things I would miss - family things or things with friends because I couldn't move - even get out of bed, " said Randall.

She tried everything - from physical therapy to medication - and nothing helped. Two years ago, her back gave out.

Samantha Randall, "I ended up collapsing on the ground and couldn't move until the ambulance came to pick me up."

That's when she turned to Dr. John Hain for help. He told her about a Minimally Invasive Spine Procedure to remove her ruptured disk. It's done by making a small incision in the skin. Instead of pulling or detaching the muscle like in traditional surgery - doctors insert a tube through the muscle to access the spine - and the herniated disk is removed. When the tube is taken out - the muscle goes back in place.

The result: less muscle damage, less bleeding, less risk of infection, less scaring and less pain.

"Recovery is shortened by several weeks, patients almost always go home the same day," added Dr. Hain.

Serese Cole: "Dr. Hain has been performing this spine procedure for about 10 years. He says 95 percent of his patients have good results."

Two years later -

"I feel a thousand times better," said Randall.

Reflecting back, Samantha says the surgery changed her life.

"I'm going to Europe next year," Randall added.

Now she's finally living and enjoying life - without pain.

Samantha had the Lumbar Discectomy surgical procedure, but that's just one of the many minimally invasive surgeries used to alleviate severe back pain. She says after surgery her pain was gone - instantly.

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