Nine million Americans suffer neck pain caused when the space around the spinal cord narrows. It’s a risk that increases as we grow older, but now one doctor is fighting back with a unique tool.
Sandra Lee can't play the piano like she used. She has severe spinal pain. Cervical stenosis in her neck has limited her coordination.
"I had no feeling whatsoever throughout my whole body," Lee said.
Orthopaedic surgeon Dr. Jeffrey Cantor uses a new device called a bone scalpel to perform a laminoplasty on Sandra's neck.
"It is an ultrasonic tool to essentially melt the bone. So, essentially what we are going to do is take the pinched area of the cord and open it so it is no longer compressed," Jeffrey B. Cantor, MD, Director at South Florida Spine Clinic said.
The BoneScalpel can help relieve numbness and pain without limiting mobility. It can break through an egg shell without damaging the membrane underneath.
"Our goal is to take this area and make it actually larger than this area down here," Dr. Cantor explained.
Just days after surgery Sandra's walking without a walker and she's hopeful the feeling will soon return to her limbs. The doctor says there's a 60 percent chance that will happen.
The devices causes less bleeding and less damage to surrounding tissue and muscle compared to the traditional technique.