Monday, September 10, 2007

Cervical spinal decompression

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I was emailed a question from a person yesterday in regards to our first lady, she recently underwent a surgery for pinched nerves in her neck. The person wanted to know what was the procedure and why she didn't try cervical decompression first.
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T
he 2 1/2 -hour procedure at George Washington University Hospital enlarged the passageway where the nerves sit near the spinal column, removing pressure from the nerves, said Sally McDonough, Mrs. Bush's press secretary.

Mrs. Bush returned to the White House in the afternoon and was said to be resting comfortably. She has no public events scheduled through tomorrow. It was not immediately clear how much time she would need to recuperate.

"Every patient is different, so there's no kind of set time frame. She will certainly ease back into her schedule," McDonough said.

Mrs. Bush injured a nerve in her neck and shoulder earlier this year while hiking and has been undergoing physical therapy since.

While en route from Sydney to Hawaii, President Bush telephoned his wife at the hospital, and they spoke for two to three minutes, White House spokeswoman Dana Perino said.
Mrs. Bush told the president that the operation was a success.
"He said she sounded very well," Perino said. "He looks forward to getting back to help her in the recovery."
My take on this article from the Washington Post is that she underwent traditional Physical therapy. I work with Physical therapist's and therapy is not going to change the fact that the nerves are pinched. I am glad that the surgery was a success.
My opinion is try the most non-invasive therapies first and then if they don't work then do surgery. I have referred patients to surgeons for pinched nerves but most patients can respond without surgery. Cervical spinal decompression can help relieve chronic neck pain and pinched nerves in the cervical spine. In my Manhattan practice I utilize cervical decompression combined with cold laser therapy.
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