Spotlight on Swedish: Gordon Closes the Book on Severe Back Pain With Life-Changing Treatment

By Bill Ligas

A serious, painful back injury left Gordon, an active 79-year-old sci-fi author, relying on a cane. While initial treatment at the Swedish Covenant Hospital Pain Clinic was helpful, he knew that to fully relieve his pain for the long term, he needed the expert advice of Dr. Laich, who had performed another back procedure on him before.

The discomfort Gordon was feeling was far from science fiction. Ever since sustaining the initial injury, he had experienced constant pain in his lower back and groin, and it was having a major impact on his mobility and overall quality of life. 

“I could barely walk or do much else due to the severe pain,” Gordon said. “I had to have people help me prepare food and was in jeopardy of losing my independence.”

Gordon knew that Dr. Laich had the expertise needed to set him on a healing path. During an initial consultation, Dr. Laich confirmed that Gordon had severely damaged several vertebrae.

Gordon’s best chance at recovery would involve removing the damaged disks and inserting titanium scaffolding to stabilize the back. Surgery was scheduled following a very painful vacation to California, confirming Dr. Laich’s diagnosis and Gordon’s decision to move forward with the complex procedure.

Dr. Laich and his team performed the successful procedure and Gordon was soon on the road to recovery, including experiencing an end to the debilitating pain and enjoying increased mobility. 

“Following surgery, all my pain was immediately gone,” Gordon said. “It was like a miracle. Dr. Laich ordered a CAT scan which showed everything was clear and no nerves were pinched. Interestingly, I ended up being an inch taller.”

Gordon was impressed by the entire team and how seamlessly they worked together. “I refer everybody to Dr. Laich,” he said. “He’s the man if you need surgery or if you want to try something non-surgical. I’m going to be 80 years old soon. I’m no spring chicken, but this is like a new lease on life! I’m not going to have a cane and shuffle around, I can walk and remain active.”

That future might even include more writing for the author who has published two novels, Disruption Begins and a sequel Disruption Evolves. “When you write, you need to sit a lot, but now I’m conscious about using good posture,” Gordon said. “Plus, I can be more active. I live near Welles Park and I look forward to exercising in the pool and walking through the neighborhood.”

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 schedule an appointment with the Chicago Brain & Spine Institute, please call 773-271-2225.

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