Minimally Invasive Procedure Can Ease Back Pain With Little Down Time

In one study, reported by the CDC, lower back pain was the most common type of pain reported by patients. A new procedure may help.

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Severe lower back pain can affect a person's quality of life in a big way, but a new, minimally-invasive procedure may be able to help.

In one study reported by the CDC, it was the most common type of pain reported by patients, with 25% of U.S. adults reporting lower back pain in the prior 3 months.

The procedure is called the "minuteman" procedure and it's designed to correct spondylolisthesis and degenerative disc disease.

Chad Stephens, D.O., of Noble Pain Management and Sports Medicine said until now, most patients would have required major back surgery if they qualified for surgery at all.

Some patients are too old, or too sick and have to take strong painkillers to relieve their pain.

In this new procedure, doctors go in through a small incision in the side of the lower back to place a device that will stabilize the spine.

"For years, we really needed something to help our patients that have an instability of their lumbar spine and now we have this very simple outpatient procedure that can be done in a few minutes that the patients can recover extremely quickly," Stephens said.

Janice Meloon of Fort Worth had the procedure done after years of relying on over-the-counter and prescription pain medications for her back pain.

"Any housework or exercise, it hurt my back a lot. Especially at night, it hurt really bad. Sometimes I couldn't get out of bed," Meloon said.

She said after a short recovery, she was able to return to activity she once loved.

Stephens said the procedure is covered by most health insurance plans.

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