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Patient Success Stories

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Surgical Treatment

Stenosis doesn't ground this former jet aviator

Bob enjoys his work. As a former Marine Corps aviator, Bob was accustomed to adventure. He learned to love flying fighter jets. So much so, that after a successful second career as a Detroit car executive, he purchased an old Russian jet fighter a great hobby for his recent retirement from the business world. Unfortunately, while he was looking forward to taking wings in retirement, a bad back had him grounded.bob success story

Bobs back pain soon included serious neurological symptoms such as numbness and radiating pain into a leg. Bob eventually had difficulty walking even short distances and now was sidelined from all his favorite activities hiking, flying his small jet and riding sports bikes. Bob began reading up about back pain, and especially the symptoms of stenosis low back pain and radiating pain into the buttock and thigh which were his symptoms. On his next visit, his physician confirmed Bobs suspicions and referred him to Dr. Jason Brodkey, a board-certified and fellowship-trained spine neurosurgeon at Ann Arbor Spine Center.

Dr. Brodkey reviewed Bobs existing diagnostic tests and then discussed the results and treatment options with Bob. Dr. Brodkey was straightforward with me, Bob remembers. He discussed my condition, all the possible treatment options, including my surgical options, what relief that may provide, and what recovery would be like for me afterward.

Dr. Brodkey explained to him that he was suffering from severe spinal stenosis at L2-5, a condition in which the entire spinal canal is narrowed, similar to a ring on a swollen finger, squeezing all of the nerve roots at that level of the spinal canal. The best treatment option for this condition would be a bob flight videolaminectomy.

Bob wanted to return to an active, full lifestyle and decided to move forward with surgery. Dr. Brodkey performed a L2-5 laminectomy in March 2009. Bob was up walking by the second day. Before his surgery, Dr. Brodkey explained to all the post-surgery instructions that Bob must follow to ensure a full recovery. That included no twisting or bending for about six weeks. After a week, Bob began walking. After three months he phased back into the gym for strengthening exercises with his personal trainer that were recommended by Ann Arbor Spine Center.

Today, Bob continues to increase his activity. He incorporates core strength training to restore muscle mass and balance so he can bridge fully back into his active lifestyle.

The rehab worked, and now its time for play. Four months after his spine surgery, Bob was airborne to Europe, so he could go hiking in the Swiss Alps. And hes strapping back up for his style of retirement, where he can enjoy the view from the cockpit of his fighter jet. Click here or click the image above right to view a video of Bob flying over Lake Michigan.

Click here or select the image above left to download a pdf of Bob's complete story.





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Our educational Internet site is like an online encyclopedia on spine care. We also have a 36-page Home Remedy Book that has symptom charts and customized stretches that relieve pain. Click here to learn more.

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