Linda is a season pass holder at Mt. Rose Ski Tahoe resort in Reno. She enjoys many of the outdoor activities that are native to the Tahoe area. Linda began having spine problems after a car accident. The pain was a mild, dull ache in her back at first, but soon it began radiating down her leg. She noticed that certain activities such as twisting, bending, lifting and turning would make her symptoms worse.
Linda tried conservative treatment for her symptoms and visited a chiropractor; and while the treatment offered some temporary relief, her pain symptoms would return. Linda also tried physical therapy but did not notice lasting pain relief. Soon, in addition to increased pain she began hearing a clicking sound in her low back when she walked. Linda is a bank manager and her condition was making work difficult because standing or sitting too long would aggravate the pain.
She knew she wanted to get back to her active lifestyle and made an appointment with a local physician to seek some relief from the pain. After examining Linda, the doctor referred her to fellowship-trained spine surgeon, Dr. James Lynch at SpineNevada. Dr. Lynch evaluated Linda’s medical history including the details involving her car accident. After reviewing her diagnostic MRI films, he explained to Linda the spine condition that was causing her symptoms. She was suffering from a lumbar disc herniation and loss of disc space at L5/S1. Dr. Lynch discussed with Linda her treatment options. She could continue to try non-surgical care, such as physical therapy or epidural injections, but because of the complexity of her condition and symptoms, it was not likely to bring lasting results. Dr. Lynch recommended an anterior lumbar interbody fusion surgery (ALIF) to resolve her spine problem. Linda took some time to research her options, both non-surgical and surgical, and then decided to move foward with surgery.
Dr. Lynch performed the ALIF procedure with a minimum 2-inch incision in the low abdomen. The surgery was a success. Linda knew it was important to follow the post surgery instructions and wore a back brace as instructed. She was back to work within three weeks and back to walking for enjoyment within six weeks. Linda incorporated into her lifestyle some of the stretching and core strengthening exercises suggested by the physical therapists at SpineNevada. “One of the best things about my recovery was that I didn’t miss a season of skiing at Mt. Rose,” Linda remembers.
Using the ALIF procedure, Dr. Lynch was able to make smaller incisions and insert special surgical instruments and probes in order to access the damaged disc in the spine. Today, Linda is fully recovered and back to activity, including hiking and skiing moguls.