• ‘Go get it done’: After minimally invasive spine surgery, Mike feels like a new man

    Orthopedics

    May 29, 2018

    ARE you looking at options to alleviate back pain that hasn’t responded to conservative treatments? You might consider minimally invasive spine surgery. Mike Burgess, from Hartwick, is happy he did.

    “I used to pull myself up the bannister before the surgery,” he says. “Now I can trot up and down stairs with laundry baskets.”

    Not unfamiliar with spine pain, Burgess had neck fusion in 2005. He was fine for eight years and then experienced lower back pain for over a year and a half due to multiple de- generating disks and spinal stenosis. “Chiropractic care helped for two or three days, but then the pain would return,” Burgess says. He needed to use a cane to walk.

    “On my wife’s recommendation, I saw Dr. Knight. He asked me to give physical therapy a try, but when that also didn’t relieve the pain, he suggested a minimally invasive procedure,” Burgess says. “He showed me pictures and explained everything and told me, ‘You might not be 100 percent better, but I can guarantee you that you’ll feel better and you’ll be more active.’ I said, ‘Go for it.’”

    Burgess had the surgery on June 1, 2017, his 63rd birthday. He went in at 6:30 a.m. and left for home about five hours later. He recalls taking only one pill for the pain. After a week and a half, Burgess says he felt marvelous, like a new man. “My recovery was 99 percent! I feel just great,” he says. And the scar? Barely visible.

    “Mr. Burgess demonstrated symptoms of nerve compression not responsive to nonoperative care,” says Dr. Knight. “When patient his- tory and physical examination are confirmed by radiographic studies, surgical intervention stands a very good chance of improving their functional outcome. Minimally invasive techniques are less destructive, al- lowing for faster recovery and return to activity.”

    In addition to the laundry, Burgess is back to carpentry projects around the house, running around with his grandchildren and walking around town.

    Burgess has some friends with long-standing back pain not helped by nonsurgical measures. “I’ve already recommended the surgery to one of them,” he says. “I told him, ‘Go get it done, pal.’”