Minor Incision for Major Surgery and a Life Without Limits

Ryan is a forklift driver who works hard and often moves equipment by hand. When he injured his back — resulting in a herniated disc — he had back and leg pain that made him miserable, and limited his ability to work. Traditional therapies didn’t provide enough relief, so he turned to the doctors at the Allegheny Health Network (AHN) Neuroscience Institute’s Spine Center.

His surgeon performed a lumbar microdisectomy — a minimally invasive procedure that took less than an hour and provided instant relief.  And he headed home the same day.

With significant pain relief, Ryan is preparing to get back to work and the activities he loves. He’s living proof that patients can live without a chronic disability and the pain that comes with it.

A small incision brings big results

A microdiscectomy is a surgical procedure that removes the portion of a herniated disc that irritates a nerve, often the cause of the pain.

Patients who get this surgery at AHN Neuroscience Institute’s Spine Center have:

  • A very small incision, causing less stress on their body
  • Rapid relief from leg and lower back pain and numbness
  • Often, a same-day discharge after surgery
  • Usually experienced a faster return to exercise and normal routines

Innovative treatments to restore movement and relieve pain

The doctors and nurses at AHN Neuroscience Institute’s Spine Center provide state-of-the-art, innovative treatments and therapies for a wide array of spinal conditions, including:

  • Aging spine
  • Arthritis of the neck
  • Back injuries and chronic back pain
  • Degenerative disc disease
  • Fibromyalgia
  • Herniated disc
  • Neck pain
  • Osteoarthritis and osteoporosis
  • Rheumatoid arthritis

A neurology expert’s perspective

Donald M. Whiting, MD, MS, FACS, is one of the country’s preeminent neurosurgeons, serving as the chairman for the Department of Neurological Surgery at AHN. He has helped place Allegheny General Hospital at the forefront of advanced techniques for imaging and treatment of the spine, back and neck.

“Ryan tried all of the usual, traditional medical therapies before coming to us for help,” said Dr. Whiting. “And he wasn’t getting any better. So for him, microdiscectomy was the right procedure to help give him his life back — so he can return to supporting his family and smiling that great big smile of his.”

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