The Doctor Patient
Doctor Solomon Kamson of the Spine Institute Northwest recently operated on Dr. Steven Levine, who is himself an anesthesiologist, pain management specialist, and minimally invasive surgery physician who practices in Carmel, Indiana.
Dr. Levine, who had a bout of back problems, placed his trust in Dr. Kamson, whom he asserts is “one of the few doctors in the US who can do what needs to be done in a less invasive manner.”
While not discounting the excellent work of orthopedic surgeons and neurosurgeons in treating back pain, Dr. Levine wanted a long term solution that would require the least amount of surgery in the least invasive manner which would result in the quickest recovery time.
You can’t fix back pain with surgery. The goal is to avoid surgery.
While having surgery is at times unavoidable, Dr. Levine believes that in treating back pain, less is always more. The least amount of surgery performed on his spine would avoid destabilizing his spine and causing a myriad of complications such as spinal stenosis or disc degeneration which would mean he would have to have another round of surgeries in the future.
“Open back surgery would work but within five to seven years degeneration of spine segments would occur, then requiring a fusion.”
Lack of Physicians in the United States
“As a doctor in the US, it is hard to find providers when we get sick and need care.” Specialists who do this type of work are not in the United States. They are in Asia and Europe. Doctor Kamson is one of the few physicians with the knowledge and expertise to successfully treat back pain in a less invasive manner by surgical decompression.
Thanks to the short downtime involved in minimally invasive surgery, Dr. Levine was able to freely move about on the same day as his procedure with just a small incision in his back covered by a band-aid.
To complete Dr. Levine’s treatment, Dr. Kamson also used stem cells to help regenerate cartilage and heal the damaged disc.
Officer Garrett Baxter of Washington had always had back problems. “For years my back would go out once in a while,” Garrett says. “I’d physical therapy exercises and would get better again,”he continues. But ‘better’ did not mean that the pain was completely gone. It only meant that his pain was only temporarily managed, with the underlying cause not addressed at all.
A visit to a specialist informed Garrett that the underlying cause of his problem was that he had degenerative disc disease which meant that he had herniated discs. That particular specialist urged Garrett that surgery “was to be avoided” and that continuing physical therapy was the best option for managing the pain.
Then things turned quite bad on Valentine’s Day 2016. Garrett experienced such debilitating pain that he could barely walk, no matter what exercise or physical therapy he did. Knowing that traditional surgery was not for him, Garrett did some research on minimally invasive surgery. His research led him to Spine Institute Northwest and to Dr. Kamson. Dr. Solomon Kamson, an advocate of ‘less is more’ when it comes to surgery, took a look at Garrett’s MRI’s and decided on a course of action. Given the pain levels Garrett was experiencing, Dr. Kamson was astounded that he was even walking.
Garrett had no real expectations for the outcome of his surgery at Spine Institute Northwest, he only knew that given the pain he was in, he needed something major to address it.
After his procedure, he immediately felt better. “I’m better than I’ve been in years,” Garrett explains. “My pain level is zero compared to what I was experiencing before the surgery which was probably a 10.” Being a Deputy Sheriff in a police department, Garrett rides mountain bikes, necessitating that he be extremely fit and able to move around. Officer Garrett honestly states that “he would have lost his job” if he did not proceed with the surgery. “Having the surgery has changed my life.”
To read other stories of other patient successes from Dr. Kamson at Spine Institute Northwest, click here.
Dr. Solomon Kamson was recently in San Diego as part of the invited faculty who spoke at Boston BioLife’s Hands-On workshops for the clinical applications of Pain Management in Regenerative Medicine. Dr. Kamson, who specializes in interventional pain management and minimally invasive back surgery, is founder of Spine Institute Northwest, which is a primary exponent of regenerative medicine and stem cell research for treating back pain and injuries.
Boston BioLife, a Cambridge Massachusetts-based training organization that provides educational conferences to doctors and scientists in the field of regenerative medicine. Boston BioLife’s past courses were held in Boston, MA, Chicago, IL, and Dallas, TX in 2016; with the latest latest event held in San Diego, CA on January 21 and 22.
Click on the link below for more information.
Should our soldiers continue to suffer after they have returned home from their tour of duty? That’s a resounding, “No.” Our troops have been forced to tolerate pain long enough to finish their assignments. Let’s not allow them to continue to suffer after the battle. According to the Department of Veterans Affairs, approximately half of our returning vets experience on-going back pain – which is unfortunate!
Unlike civilians, who may suffer back pain due to too much sitting, our soldiers experience physical distress upon their bodies from being on the battle field – especially their back. Though there are certainly troops who have desk jobs, those whose assignments involve carrying lots of equipment or wearing heavy protective gear for long periods of time are prone to wear-and-tear injuries. Veterans may also experience back pain as a result of injury, which can complicate the treatment process.
Our troops shouldn’t have to suffer chronic back pain. For anyone experiencing chronic pain, there is the risk of developing feelings of frustration, despair, and depression. This risk can be even greater for veterans, even those returning from non-combat missions. Back pain and back injuries can limit your ability to work. For those who have made serving their country their career, back pain can seriously inhibit successfully performing their duties.
Our soldiers have laid their life on the line just to serve and protect our country. They shouldn’t have to wait to receive the treatment they need to reduce their physical pain. Beginning in 1998, the Veterans’ Administration has used a protocol for handling veterans’ pain issues known as the National Pain Management Strategy. However, the lengthy wait times and inefficiencies of the VA system have been well documented. Returning troops are faced with bureaucratic hurdles and frustrating lags, especially for seeing specialists. Though efforts are being made to overhaul the VA, chronic pain can make each day feel like an eternity.
Doctor Kamson wants to contribute to the healing of our nation by helping our soldiers get past the physical pain. Rather than waiting for a referral, there are other options. The Spine Institute Northwest offers a comprehensive array of treatment options, and we make every effort to make sure you don’t need to wait to come see us.
Patient with Sciatica: Melissa Drewery
Told by no less than 5 different doctors that nothing could be done for her back pain, Melissa Drewery was beginning to lose any hope for leading a normal, pain-free life in the future. After Melissa hurt her back in 2009, her pain got progressively worse, promoting her to seek treatment from traditional doctors.
Read Doctor Kamson’s patient testimonials on their experiences during their operations at Spine Institute Northwest.
Jim Perri’s Lumbar Disc Surgery
Jim was operated on by Dr. Kamson at Spine Institute NW for a ruptured L5 disc on his spine. After about 2 months post surgery, he is free from back pain, leg pain, and sciatic pain.
“A 100% change in my life…I have no more back pain, no more leg pain. My right leg, the sciatic nerve on it was the one that developed the pain on it. That pain has disappeared and gone away.”
Chronic Back Pain: Randall Huff’s Experience at Spine Institute Northwest
Intense back pain meant that Randall Huff could no longer play his favorite sport, softball, which bothered him greatly. After speaking with Dr. Kamson at Spine Institute Northwest, he was convinced that minimally invasive surgery was the way to go. Afraid of undergoing surgery at first but finally deciding to have it done, Randall says:
“My nerve was wrapped in there pretty bad between one of my discs causing a lot of pain…I needed it done, I knew I couldn’t go on working if I didn’t.”
Randall was also concerned about the possible outcome of his procedure:
“The only thing I was skeptical about was is it gonna be like what I’ve heard from other people that they got messed up and it’s worse or they had to have another back surgery ’cause it didn’t take or whatever the case is, you know. I haven’t had that experience at all. I actually felt great.”
Read all our 2016 new testimonials on this page.
Here are some updates from Spine Institute Northwest patients from 2015.
“I couldn’t have worked thirty minutes before, it was wonderful.”
-Irma Stennes, Dr. Kamson’s 90-year young patient talking of her lumbar fusion procedure
Sissy Falcon Johnson – Back Surgery for Herniated Disc
“I had a blown disc..I lost feeling in my legs, I couldn’t even do dishes anymore…It felt so good to have folks like yourself and the staff that were just phenomenal…Coming from the pain that I was in to today, I’d say it was a good miracle.”
John Wieler Talks of His Lumbar Decompression Procedure Performed by Dr. Kamson
“I’ve had leg and back pain for the past four and a half years…I wasn’t able to lift very much or exercise or anything, it was bothering me more and more…I found this place (Spine Institute Northwest)…the immediate difference after surgery was that I did not have leg or ankle pain and my heel had feeling again which I haven’t had for a long time.”
Michael Shaffer – Slipped Disc Treatment
Six months after his successful operation, Michael Shaffer had this to say:
“My recovery is going really well, I have very little pain. Before I had surgery I couldn’t even walk, I was on the floor for days.”
Lori Kuzior – Fusion
After her spinal fusion procedure, Lori had this to say:
“It is such a relief to be normal again… it was just fantastic.”
Hear Lori’s testimonial about her procedure below:
Read the rest of the testimonials here.