The Options to Open Back Spine Surgery

patient-after-spine-surgeryThere are safe and effective alternatives to alleviating back pain other than enduring the risks and long recovery rates associated with traditional open back surgery. Dr. Solomon Kamson, MD, PhD, at the Spine Institute Northwest, offers patients minimally invasive surgery and treatments to help you get back to the active life you led prior to your painful onset of symptoms.

Laser Spine Surgery Offers a Second Chance

Daniel Schmalzried lived a very physically active life. He is a US military veteran, and had toiled away in underground mining, ranch work, trucking, and logging jobs, all of which can wreak havoc on the spine over the years. A couple of years ago, Daniel found that he could no longer work at all due to intense back pain in addition to numbness and weakness in his left leg. His weakness had become so pervasive that he could barely lift a gallon of milk from the refrigerator. It turned out that he had degenerative disc disease that was causing two of his vertebrae to scrape against one another. He needed help, but the medical professionals he’d seen informed him that he was too old to have risky back surgery. He soon discovered they were referring to traditional open back surgery, not realizing the alternatives offered by minimally invasive techniques.

Dr. Kamson Offers a Solution

After Daniel met with Dr. Sol Kamson, he realized that, if he’d been given the choice of minimally invasive surgery from the beginning, he would have immediately gone for it and spared himself two years of pain.

The minimally invasive surgery needed to help this particular patient was a lumbar interbody fusion. This surgical procedure performed at the Spine Institute Northwest fuses together the two joints that are grinding against one another. This relieves the severe pain that was caused by the bone that was sitting on Daniel’s nerve. It also helped restore the strength in his left leg. The disc above this area was trimmed of extraneous matter or bone material and stem cells (regenerative therapy) were injected into the area to speed up healing.

The type of minimally invasive spine surgeries Dr. Kamson performs eliminates the need to cut through muscle, as traditional spinal surgery often requires. Recovery after this type of open back surgery also requires extensive post-surgical muscle strengthening, which can be painful and take a long time.

Contact Dr. Kamson at the Spine Institute Northwest in Bothell, WA, for more information about minimally invasive spine surgery and how certain procedures can help you have a second chance at the active life you want back. Call one of our patient advocates today at (208) 496-0630 to schedule an appointment.

Traveling for Treatment

The ability to relieve others from pain that they have been suffering from on a daily basis can be one of the greatest feelings in the world. When patients contact the Spine Institute Northwest after they have received a treatment to express how their day to day life and outlook has dramatically improved, that makes it all worthwhile. To be in a position to change the lives of others is what makes the entire staff anxious to get to work every morning. Although our travel to the facilities is not nearly as far as what most of our patients have to travel, they are just as anxious to get here and would travel around the world if it means they can once again live a pain free life. When it comes to patients who live with chronic neck and back pain, traveling isn’t the issue for them as much as finding a facility that can effectively treat them.

“I was one of the first patients that he had that we pushed through on L&I, and it worked. He did the surgery without any guarantee of payment. I fought L&I for three years to get the surgery I wanted instead of what they wanted me to get. I stumbled upon the type of surgery that worked for a man my age, and I was evaluated by Dr. Kamson. There was a German surgeon who did thousands of these surgeries; he sat in on the consultation.

They both agreed that the surgery L&I was suggesting would not work. All the while my ruptured disc was getting so bad I could hardly walk. L&I wouldn’t agree to approve what Dr. Kamson was recommending, so he said, ‘we’ll just do the surgery, back-bill, and hope they pay -– but you have to follow my instructions to a T or the treatment won’t work as it needs to.’

I did exactly as he recommended, for almost a year, three times a week traveling from Olympia. Now, I very seldom have pain when I walk, and at the worst all I have to do is go home and stretch for a while. He’s a great doctor, I have complete faith in him, and I’ve steered many friends and colleagues his direction as well.”
– Matthew Graham

Matthew’s story is just one of many success stories of those that have found the relief they were desperately needing at the Spine Institute Northwest. The entire staff understands that many patients have been living with chronic pain for several years and go above and beyond to do everything possible to see that your needs are met. With patients that come from all over the globe, they take pride in doing everything possible to make your trip as easy and stress-free as possible. Getting patients here as quickly as possible to effectively treat their chronic conditions is our number one concern. The amazing staff is extremely helpful in helping with making travel arrangements, hotel accommodations, transportation, places to eat, as well as things to do. Your only concern should be with getting better while the Spine Institute Northwest takes care of the rest.

Best Spine Surgeons for Alaskans

With a reputation for relieving chronic neck and back pain so life can once again be enjoyable and pain free, the Spine Institute Northwest continues to successfully treat patients from all over the world. As more and more people realize the effectiveness and convenience of minimally invasive procedures, they don’t think twice about traveling to our facilities just outside of Seattle. Most patients agree that they would travel around the world if it means they could once again live a pain free life. Sometimes it’s not the constant pain that’s the worst part, but the limits a lot of the patients are faced with on a daily basis. Over the years our number of Canadian patients continues to grow and has spread to Alaska, where many new patients happily take the trip south for treatments that have results.

“As a former healthcare provider, I have worked with numerous physicians, nurses, and administrative staff. I am a patient of Dr. Kamson and the Spine Institute Northwest. In over 35 years, I have never seen a more dedicated group of healthcare providers. They are truly committed to ‘fixing’ their patients, and have consistently performed well beyond what most would expect from their healthcare provider. The positive attitude, friendly environment, and knowledge is shared not only by the physicians, but also by the nursing and administrative staffs. As a patient, I have been amazed at the time, effort and compassion expressed by Dr. Kamson and his staff toward solving my problem. Although I live in a different city than their office, it has been well worth the effort to travel, in order to get the high-quality care that I needed. I have already recommended, and will continue to recommend to others that they should consider Spine Institute Northwest.”
-John Stouffer

The success of John’s treatment is just one of many, and he brings up a great point about our commitment to “fixing” the problem. Many physicians provide services that only help deal with the symptoms, but don’t actually treat what is causing the pain. There are also those who continue to prescribe medications that only mask the pain and can result in even more damage. The amazing surgeons and staff at the Spine Institute Northwest are completely focused on fixing patients’ pain as quickly and conveniently as possible, with early intervention and accurate diagnoses. Each patient gets the individual attention and time they deserve so at all times they know exactly what needs to be done, and the best way to achieve this.

Traveling out of town for any type of medical procedure can be stressful, as well as tiring, and scary. Our helpful staff is dedicated to making your whole trip and experience as easy and pain free as possible. They take the time to answer any questions and help with arrangements that need to be made so you don’t have to worry about it. This can include traveling, lodging, getting around the city, things to do, or anything else our patients need. You have already been through enough pain and headaches, traveling to receive treatment for a better life shouldn’t have to be one of them.