Connie had her surgical procedure this morning at the Laser Spine Institute. The easy name for the procedure is "Minimally Invasive Decompression", I will not try to spell the actual medical term for the surgery. We arrived at the institute around 7:30 AM and were taken up to the Pre-Op area. Connie had to go through another series of questions after which we spent a few minutes with Dr. Flood who would perform the procedure. Then we met with anesthesia and one of the operating room nurses and they explained the process that would get Connie ready for the procedure. IV's were started and a few minutes later Connie was off to surgery.
Connie was in surgery for about an hour. Dr. Flood found that there was a rubbery like mass that had formed in the area between her L4 and L5 that was compressing her nerve. The odd thing is that this mass did not show up on either of the MRI's that Connie had done over the last few months. Dr. Flood was able to clean this out and then did some smoothing of the bones. Once he was finished there was a clear channel for the nerve to pass out of the spinal column. From the operating room, Connie went into a recovery room for about 45 minutes. From the recovery room she then moved to the post-op area where I was able to join her. The post-op nurse went through all of Connie's medications and how they were to be taken along with reviewing the restrictions on her physical activities. Dr. Flood came out and reviewed the procedure with us. He had taken a series of pictures that showed the before and after area that he had worked on. It was amazing the difference in the first and last pictures that showed how the nerve was free of any compression one the procedure was completed. We are extremely grateful that Connie chose to have the less aggressive procedure performed rather than the more aggressive disk fusion. Dr. Flood also reported that even though there are some alignment issues with Connie's back, everything is stable and this procedure will give her the results she wanted.
After the surgery, Connie has no back pain, no hip pain and no pain in her foot. She has a slight sensation down her right thigh, but Dr. Flood told us this was expected and will disappear in a couple of days. It is the normal result of the compression being removed from the nerve (he described it as the nerve is beginning to wake up). We returned to the hotel and ate lunch after which Connie took a long nap. She was able to take a couple of 10 minute walks inside the hotel this afternoon and evening with no pain.
Connie has a follow-up appointment with the surgeon tomorrow and with a physical therapist to go over her recovery exercise program. The hardest part according to Dr. Flood is to not overdo things since she is now pain free. The body still needs time to heal. We are thankful to all of the personnel at LSI who have been wonderful and very supportive throughout Connie's workup and procedure. We are also grateful to all of our friends and family for their prayers, thoughts and support during this week.