This health video focuses on the medical advances being made to help people with spinal tumors.
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Jennifer Matthews: By all accounts, Stacy Hall shouldn't be here today, never mind working out at the gym. She had spinal tumors, and they were taking a serious and painful toll. Stacy Hall: It felt like a really, really bad, bad sunburn that someone had taken sandpaper to. Jennifer Matthews: And it was getting worse. Stacy Hall: My legs were starting to collapse under me. Jennifer Matthews: Most surgeons won't touch the type of tumors Stacy had because the surgery can cause as much harm as the tumor. Dr. Christopher Ames: Paralysis, permanent weakness, permanent loss of function, an arm or a leg. Jennifer Matthews: But Dr. Christopher Ames has developed a technique to remove the spinal tumors. Dr. Christopher Ames: All this white stuff is tumor. Jennifer Matthews: He drills away lots of bone, so he can get to the tumor without moving the spinal cord or nerves and risking damage. Dr. Christopher Ames: No retraction at all is applying to the spinal cord itself. Jennifer Matthews: Then Doctor Ames rebuilds the spine with artificial material and special screws. Christopher Ames: We developed the screw that actually goes all the way through. It crosses the mid-line and actually comes out the other side. Stacy Hall: There was no pain. That was the first thing I noticed when I woke up. Christopher Ames: That's really a great feeling, particularly to see them post-operatively and be able to tell them that their tumor is completely gone. Jennifer Matthews: As was the case for Stacy. She didn't find out just how lucky she was until after her recovery. Stacy Hall: If I didn't have it, I would not be here now. Jennifer Matthews: Today, Stacy has a bit of a stiff neck, but she says it's a small price to pay to be able to spend time with her family. Stacy Hall: It's definitely worth it to still be here. Jennifer Matthews: This is Jennifer Matthews reporting.