Sidelined by Spine Pain? How to Get Back in the Game

December 01, 2014
spine pain

Back and leg pain, trouble walking and frequent falls are just some of the symptoms of spinal stenosis, a debilitating condition that can leave patients sitting on the bench. But a visit to a board certified orthopaedic specialist at Henry Ford Wyandotte Hospital (HFWH) can help these patients get back in the game.

"Spinal stenosis is an encroachment into the spinal canal resulting in the pinching of the nerves or spinal cord," explains Dr. Lance Chaldecott, an orthopaedic surgeon at HFWH. "It can affect a person at any age, for various reasons. Spinal stenosis is most commonly seen in the aging spine and can result in pain in the back and legs and contribute to standing and walking intolerance."

Other symptoms can include:

  • Numbness
  • Tingling
  • Clumsiness
  • Leg weakness or a heavy, tired feeling in the lower limbs
  • Hot or cold sensations in the legs

Personalized treatment

Patients who notice any of these symptoms should see a HFWH physician right away. There are a variety of surgical and nonsurgical treatment options that can help improve mobility and significantly reduce pain.

"We tailor our treatment procedures based on a patient's symptoms, bone quality and age," says Dr. Glenn Minster, an orthopaedic surgeon at HFWH.

Center of Excellence in Spine Surgery

In some cases, surgery may be the best treatment. HFWH is a nationally recognized Center of Excellence in Spine Surgery. Experts use advanced research and technology to offer patients the best chance for a full recovery.

"Treatment begins with nonsurgical modalities, such as exercise, injections and medication. But some patients whose symptoms are intolerable or fail to respond to nonsurgical treatments are candidates for surgery," says Dr. Chaldecott.

When appropriate, doctors use minimally invasive surgical techniques, known as Minimal Access Spine Technology (MAST). Instead of large incisions, these techniques involve keyhole-sized entry points for surgical tools, video cameras or microscopes. This leads to:

  • Reduced surgical trauma
  • A shorter recovery time
  • Reduced pain
  • Less scarring
  • Fewer postsurgical complications

The Henry Ford Wyandotte Hospital Orthopaedic Surgery - Joint Replacement and Spine Programs have been named a Blue Distinction Center for Spine Surgery® as well as a Blue Distinction Center for Knee and Hip Replacement®. These designations are awarded by the Blue Cross and Blue Shield companies to medical facilities that have demonstrated expertise in delivering quality health care.

Could our Center of Excellence in Spine Surgery help you? To learn more or find a surgeon, call 1-800-WYAN-DOC (1-800-992-6362) or visit our Provider Search.