On a plain in Africa while on a photo safari, Lisa Oatman’s right foot went numb. Once again, she was experiencing the painful side effects of spinal stenosis, this time far away from her home near Waco, Texas.
“I was surprised to have back pain at my age, 50. I always had a back issue but three years ago, it really became a problem with my left leg,” Lisa said. “I compensated by the way I stood and would lean on things. I couldn’t walk long distances, and I was fidgety because I couldn’t sit still for a long time.”
After putting up with the pain for several months, she went back to her family doctor who referred her to the Texas Back Institute. Rather than having a laminectomy (which is one of the more common surgical procedures for stenosis) Dr. Scott Blumenthal informed Lisa she was qualified to participate in an investigational study of the Superion Inspinous Spacer, a minimally invasive procedure.
Despite concerns over her responsibility to throw a party for 400 students at her son’s school in a mere four weeks, she readily accepted. Dr. Scott Blumenthal performed the minimally invasive procedure in April 2010 and within hours, Lisa was walking and the pain was gone. In just over 24 hours, she was discharged with instructions to avoid certain activities for two weeks.
Three months after surgery, Lisa was once again far way from home, this time on a trail deep in the Andes. Although not able to carry a pack, she hiked for 10 days to see the ancient ruins of Machu Picchu then went on to snorkel off the shores of the Galápagos Islands. Lisa was far from home and even further away from pain.
Do you have spinal stenosis? Let us know. We’d be happy to help you put your pain in the past.
For more information on this trial please call 972-608-5006.