Spotlight on Swedish Covent Hospital: Bruce Instantly Recovers From Years of Back Pain With State-of-the-Art Procedure
by David Modica
It began with a collision with a bike messenger in downtown Chicago more than 20 years ago. Two ruptured disks were repaired by a surgeon, and he was soon pain free. But as he aged, Bruce’s repaired disks began to weigh on his nerves, causing a whole new set of debilitating symptoms.
For three years, he suffered 24 hours a day from extensive pain running down his left leg and burning in his feet due to nerve damage. He sought out the opinions of primary care physicians and specialists throughout Chicago, nine to be exact, but they all told him the same thing: there was nothing they could do to alleviate the pain.
Desperate for answers, one of the neurosurgeons he visited candidly told him that the only option for him would be a total spinal fusion, which would limit his mobility and still not entirely correct the problem. His doctor didn’t recommend it, and Bruce was not keen on the idea himself.
Bruce discussed his struggle with a friend, an award-winning Chicago nurse who told him about Dr. Daniel Laich at the Chicago Brain & Spine Institute, an internationally renowned neurosurgeon specializing in minimally invasive surgery. Bruce’s friend knew Dr. Laich as a medical resident at another hospital, where she had seen his skill and compassion firsthand. Bruce scheduled an appointment immediately.
After an initial consultation, Dr. Laich ordered a new CT scan and MRI to get a look at the whole picture. Bruce returned to the Chicago Brain & Spine Institute for his second visit. Using an iPad, Dr. Laich showed Bruce exactly what the problem was and illustrated how minimally invasive surgery could put it right again.
“I had all of these tests before, but no one was ever able to see the problem quite like Dr. Laich,” said Bruce. “He was able to show me exactly what was causing my pain and discomfort. He told me he had a newer procedure that could put me right in no time.”
Dr. Laich scheduled Bruce for an outpatient surgery. The minimally invasive procedure utilizes small tools inserted through keyhole-sized incisions, which allowed Dr. Laich to bypass important back muscles altogether. Bruce walked out of the hospital pain free that same day.
“I was suffering before meeting Dr. Laich,” said Bruce. “I was experiencing constant pain, and in one day all of that is gone. I have had no pain, not even from the incision or surgery at all. The difference is remarkable. Dr. Laich and his team gave me a new life.”
Following surgery, Dr. Laich prescribed physical therapy at Galter LifeCenter, Chicago’s only certified medical fitness center, to help him continue to recover, repair some of the nerve damage and point Bruce in the right direction in beginning an exercise routine to help him lose weight and further help his condition.
“I could not recommend Dr. Laich highly enough,” said Bruce. “I wish I had found this a few years earlier. Now I can start exercising, lose this weight and begin a whole new life. To anyone who is suffering from back pain and has not found the answer, I’d suggest they come to Swedish Covenant Hospital. What do you have to lose—a doctor’s visit?”
Daniel T. Laich, D.O., is a neurological surgeon and the Chief of Neurological Surgery with nearly twenty-five years of experience. He specializes in non-surgical, minimally invasive surgical (MIS), endoscopic and major reconstructive spine treatments. His pioneering work has helped gain approval for MIS techniques in the United States. He has ongoing interest in motion preservation technologies, including artificial disk replacement and posterior motion preserving instrumentation, and regenerative technologies. Dr. Laich continues to expand his national and international academic, instructional and surgical efforts with interest in closed head injury, nutrition and alternative therapies.
To learn more or make an appointment at the Chicago Brain & Spine Institute, please call 773-271-2225 or submit an appointment request form