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posted: 1/24/2013 12:01 AM

New device for back pain relief equal less recovery for spine patients

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Advocate Good Shepherd Hospital

Barrington, Ill. -- Approximately 80% of Americans have reported back pain at one time in their lives. If you are part of that 80%, you know it hurts! The type and severity of the back pain depends on what's causing the pain. Various causes of back pain may produce similar symptoms, so if you aren't getting relief from over the counter pain relievers, you should see a doctor for an evaluation and diagnosis.

Jonathan Citow, MD, a neurosurgeon on staff at Advocate Good Shepherd Hospital recently designed a device used in surgery for patients diagnosed with spinal tumors including meningioma, schwanoma, and neurofibromas.

Meningioma is a tumor that stems from the meninges, which are membranes that surround the brain and spinal cord. Usually there are symptoms associated with spinal meniniomas, including headaches that may worsen over time, seizures, and arm or leg weakness, loss of hearing or vision, and vision changes.

this minimally-invasive technology also is used to treat stenosis and herniated disks as outpatients.

the incisions are only 1 inch-- not longer.

Because of the location of the meningiomas, the traditional surgical process can be complicated. The patient can expect a hospital stay of 5 -- 10 days and up to a 3 month recovery period.

"The traditional way of removing spinal tumors is through a relatively large open incision, which can make for a longer, more painful recovery," said Dr. Citow. "That's why I developed this minimally invasive device. The incisions are smaller, generally about 1" and no longer, which allows for less muscle dissection and a quicker recovery period. This minimally-invasive technology also is used to treat stenosis and herniated disks as outpatients."

Dr. Citow's patients who have gone through the minimally invasive surgery (MIS) have been pleased with results. They are home the same day of surgery, can drive a car the next day and return to work after just a couple of days - moving on with their lives quicker than ever before. However, please remember that not every patientis a candidate for a minimally invasive approach to spine surgery.

About Advocate Good Shepherd Hospital

Advocate Good Shepherd in Barrington, Illinois is a 169-bed acute care hospital with more than 700 physicians representing 50 medical specialties. It is part of Advocate Health Care, named one of the Top Ten hospital systems in the U.S. by Thomson-Reuters. Advocate Good Shepherd Hospital is ranked highest in Illinois for quality and patient safety according to Blue Cross Blue Shield's 2011 Blue Star Report™. Advocate is a faith-based organization that exists to serve its communities. In 2010, Advocate provided more than $474,000,000 in charity care and services to its communities. For more about Advocate Good Shepherd Hospital: