Bringing Hope to Back Pain Sufferers
Orthopedic spine surgeon Dr. Peter Derman is revolutionizing the way people confront back pain. By utilizing minimally invasive procedures, he is helping folks get back to living their lives faster than ever before. When patients visit Texas Back Institute, he carefully takes into account the patient’s history, overall physique and conversation before recommending a course of action.
“Every patient is a unique puzzle,” Dr. Derman said. “In addition to the information the patient gives and any imaging studies, the real key is to also integrate what the patient is telling you so that you can get them back to doing the things they specifically want to do.”
Oftentimes, back issues can be addressed through physical therapy. When surgery is required, Dr. Derman strives to be as minimally invasive as possible. Traditional spine surgery involves cutting through muscle, resulting in greater tissue damage and longer recovery times. Modern techniques allow Dr. Derman to make small incisions and temporarily move the muscles. When he completes the procedure, muscles return to their original location practically undamaged.
“We do lots of surgeries now on an outpatient basis,” he said. “There is much less pain, earlier recovery and less narcotic consumption.”
According to Dr. Derman, the most important things people can do to prevent back issues are to stay active and maintain a healthy weight. As more weight is distributed through the spine and disks, the likelihood of disc degeneration and arthritis increases. Smoking has also been linked to disc problems. And for those who exercise or perform physical labor, he advises maintaining proper body mechanics. It’s surprising how many people end up at the doctor because they didn’t bend with the knees or lift with the legs.
There is much less pain, earlier recovery and less narcotic consumption.
Before going into medicine, Dr. Derman was an all-conference gymnast at Stanford University. During his 17-year athletic career, he excelled by employing mental rehearsals to perfect his routines. Through meticulous preparation and execution he was able to succeed in the gym. Those same skills have proven invaluable in the operating room.
“I get exactly the same exhilaration with every single surgery and positive outcome that I get,” he said. “That exhilaration is even more rewarding with a patient than a perfect gymnastics routine.”Texas Back Institute >
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