Imagine going through the Louvre Museum while a burning pains rip through you lower back. This is exactly the scenario that Dave Bullock, a veteran of the United States Army and former National Park Service employee, was caught in during a trip to Paris in the year 2018. Each 10 to 15 to 15 minutes, or more was forced to locate a spot to sit down to relieve his back pain. Dave along with his partner Laura loved traveling around Europe together however, after about five to six years uncomfortable back problems and back pain, he had to put his plans for future travel put on hold.

In the years following in the years that followed, in the years that followed, Hyde Park, New York resident noticed his life quality disappearing. The back began to ache, so that even going towards the post office at the bottom of the driveway was an extreme discomfort. At times, he would feel a sharp attack that caused him to stoop while walking. Sometimes the pain would radiate through the back of his legs. Tramadol is an opioid prescribed by the primary doctor was not able to provide the necessary relief from the back pain. Dave knew something had to be done and, when COVID-19 restrictions were lifted Dave reached out to Jeffrey A. Goldstein, MD An orthopaedic spine doctor who works at the NYU Langone Spine Center.

In June 2021 In June 2021, in June of 2021 Dr. Goldstein evaluated Dave and requested X-rays as well as an MRI. The scans showed high-grade spinal stenosis, which is a shrinking spinal canal. This condition caused pinched nerves. “You could pinpoint precisely what was the cause of the issue,” said Dave. The scans also revealed an instability in his spine also known as spondylolisthesis. It occurs when one or more bones within the lower spine are displaced out of their position. The doctor Dr. Goldstein determined that Dave could be a perfect potential candidate to undergo spine surgery.

An innovative robotic surgery solution

Dave was worried about having surgery for his spine however, he was looking for an ongoing solution, not a quick fix. The fears of his were quelled when the doctor. Goldstein, clinical professor of the Department of Orthopedic Surgery, discussed the method he will adopt and the results he has had in treating similar cases.

“We were of the opinion that less invasive robotic spine surgery is the best choice for relieving Dave’s back discomfort,” said Dr. Goldstein. “Robotic surgery can improve patient treatment by allowing me to insert the screws I needed to support his spine by making smaller incisions which can result in faster recovery.”

The two-part procedure that took place in NYU Langone’s Kimmel Pavilion in September 2021 and addressed Dave’s dual diagnosis. The first step was when the doctor. Goldstein performed a lateral interbody fusion of the lumbar region procedure that stabilizes the spine by using rods and screws. The lateral approach permits surgeons to access injured bones of the spine by removing the spine from the opposite side of the body instead of cutting an incision through the patients back.

Following the doctor. Goldstein performed decompression surgery to relieve pressure on the nerve roots of Dave’s back. Particularly, he utilized an approach known as microscopic laminectomy, which is the taking off the bony “roof” that surrounds the spinal canal to make space.

A Fast Recovery

After the surgery the day after surgery, a physical therapist stopped by to determine whether Dave was able to move around. Surprised, he was able to walk all the way to the finish of the hallway and back with the help of the walker, but not with the discomfort that had been in his back for a long time.

“I could discern the difference right away,” recalled Dave, at 66, he said. “I was able to stand straight and straight without pain from the knife in my back and I knew then that I would be completely fine.” The only thing that was left was a little post-surgical discomfort. It was the Spine Center arranged for a physical therapist and a nurse from Dave’s neighborhood come to his home, so that he could continue his recovery. “A two and a half months after the surgery I felt like an entirely fresh person” He said. Six months later it was clear that his body had fully recovery.

Just over an year after their an operation Dave along with Laura were back in France. With no limitations from back discomfort The couple walked 41 miles on foot in 21 days. “I am a huge credit for the Dr. Goldstein and the robotic procedure he underwent,” said Dave, who is now retired and enjoying things such as gardening and travel. “I enjoy my active lifestyle back with no limitations. It’s like getting a fresh outlook for life.”