Computer-Assisted Back Surgery Video

This health video focuses on how technology is helping with back recovery.
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Jennifer Mathews: Managing a busy office means Steven Girod spends a lot of his day walking, sitting and bending. Easy tasks now, but they weren't a few months ago. Steven Girod: I had tremors in my legs and hands, and it was just really difficult to even sit at the computer for a period of time. Jennifer Mathews: And by the end of the day. Steven Girod: I couldn't feel my feet and I was driving at that time 55 miles to work and definitely couldn't feel the pedals of the car. Jennifer Mathews: Steven had a thoracic herniated disc. It happens when parts of the spine bulge or rupture. Dr. J. Patrick Johnson says, surgery to remove the problem spot can be risky. Dr. J. Patrick Johnson: We don't know whether we're a millimeter or a centimeter away from the spinal cord. Jennifer Mathews: And just one false move can cause paralysis, but now Dr. Johnson is the only surgeon in the U.S to use computer-image guidance and endoscopic technology in the operating room. Dr. J. Patrick Johnson: It allows us precision, accuracy and speed. Jennifer Mathews: The computer program creates 3-D pictures that allow Dr. Johnson to see exactly where he needs to drill to remove the bulge. It's accurate within 2 millimeters of the right spot. Before this technology, surgeons had to make an educated guess about where to place their instruments. Dr. J. Patrick Johnson: I can't imagine not using it, the way that we had to before it. Jennifer Mathews: Steven had the procedure six months ago. Steven Girod: I can bend over. I have no tremors anymore. Jennifer Mathews: And he's able to do all the little things he once took for granted. This is Jennifer Mathews reporting.

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