David Swims Laps Around Back Pain
Following Minimally-Invasive Surgery


Minimally Invasive Spine Surgery

David K., 61, woke one morning with severe pain in his low back and down his leg. He wondered if it was a pinched nerve and thought swimming—his favorite exercise—might help. It did, but within the short time it took to walk from Galter LifeCenter to his office as Swedish Hospital’s director of supply chain, the pain had returned. As a 20-year staff veteran at Swedish Hospital, he knew where he should go to receive his treatment. 

David soldiered through two weeks of pain, during which his discomfort increased in frequency and intensity. Standing and walking became difficult, placing limitations on his mobility and significantly affecting his quality of life. He visited his physician for advice.

“It was unlike anything I had ever experienced,” David said. “My doctor recommended an MRI right away which showed that I had a collapsed disk in my back.” In fact, the disk had collapsed in two different directions, and there was little doubt that he would have to undergo a surgical procedure to reverse the injury. 

With even further bolstered confidence, David agreed to the treatment plan Dr. Laich proposed. As a specialist in neurological surgery with a strong clinical interest in minimally invasive spine surgery, Dr. Laich was certain that he could perform the procedure utilizing a minimally invasive technique. 

Using an extremely small point of entry, Dr. Laich inserted a tiny scope to clear out the broken parts of the spinal disk. The procedure took only two hours in outpatient surgery and allowed David to sleep in his own bed that same night. Best of all, he felt great. 

“As soon as I woke up, the pain was gone,” David said. “I had excellent care all the way through the whole experience, and my back is getting better every day. I walk regularly to keep myself limber, and I’m currently in physical therapy.”

Within a short time, David returned to Galter LifeCenter to continue swimming. Though the complete healing process would take some time, he remained optimistic. “I’m most looking forward to being able to lift my 2-year-old daughter again,” he said. “I’m confident that this experience will get me in better shape than before, and help me stay that way!”
Laich, Daniel 250x250Daniel T. Laich, D.O., has nearly 25 years of experience in spine care and neurological surgery. He specializes in therapeutic and minimally invasive spine treatments, including endoscopic and arthroplasty surgeries, as well as spine reconstruction. He was a fellow when he started a study on the Charite artificial disk, and with Rick Fessler, M.D., Ph.D., as he pioneered minimally invasive spine surgery. He continues his academic pursuits both in the U.S. and abroad. His athletic lifestyle provides extra interest in caring for the injured athlete. 

To schedule an appointment with the Chicago Brain & Spine Institute, please call 773-271-2225.

By David Modica | Published January 19, 2015
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