New spinal surgery technique allowing patients to recover faster

Updated: Sep. 7, 2020 at 7:19 PM CDT
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JACKSON COUNTY, Miss. (WLOX) - A new approach to spine surgery is getting patients back on their feet faster than traditional surgery.

Singing River Health System and Bienville Orthopaedics are the first in Mississippi to offer the new minimally-invasive technique, and one Coast woman is happy to be the first patient to reap the benefits.

“I tried everything. He talked to me about the surgery and I said let’s do it,” said Faye Porterfield.

Porterfield, a Vancleave resident, said before the surgery, she had been living with severe, debilitating pain in her back since January.

“It was at a ten, constantly. I could hardly do anything before I had this surgery. Very limited,” Porterfield said.

She said her life has improved dramatically since early August when she had the first spine surgery using a prone transpsoas technique (PTP) in the state of Mississippi.

“It allows the surgeon to place a spacer between the vertebrae to improve space for the nerves,” said orthopedic surgeon Dr. Joseoph Cox.

Cox said having the patient in the prone, stomach-down position, gives him easier access than traditional surgery in which the patient is on their side. He said the minimally-invasive technique leads to less soft tissue damage and faster recovery.

“I think this approach gives me a really powerful tool to treat patients and get them back on their feet and back to their lives faster,” he said.

Cox said Porterfield had a breakdown at a disc that had deteriorated and collapsed.

“I placed a large spacer that gave her nerve roots a lot more room, and postoperatively, she told me there was minimal pain on the day after surgery,” he said.

“I feel fine now, I’m walking and getting around,” Porterfield added.

Cox said he expects to see more people choose this type of surgery in the future.

“I want to provide the best outcomes with the least pain,” he said.

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