I would really like to know, do any of the experts know of the Laser Spine Institute in Tampa, Florida?
If so, do you know if their techniques are as successful as they advertise? Are these techniques widely used in the US?
I have been disabled by pain due to combination of conditions in my lower back. I had a 2 surgeries on my back (not fusions) when I was a teenager. The scar tissue from these surgeries and other surgeries has become a contributing factor to my back pain, herniated discs (mild to moderate) and a foraminal narrowing.
I injured my piriformis muscle on June 4, 2006 and have had sciatic pain, spasms and swelling in my lower back, hips and legs. The right side is much more severe. I have disc degeneration in other areas too.
I sent my MRI's to the Laser Spine Institute and have gone through the physician's interview by phone. They say that I am a good candidate for their procedure (a 5 day process) to remove scar tissue and trim the 3 hernias by laser and to remove the bone spur (this may not be the correct medical term) by endoscopic techniques.
I live in Canada. Laser spine surgery is not available here.
The reason why this is a good idea for me is because of the minimal invasiveness of the laser and endoscope. The cost for me would be approximately $30,000.00 plus. With the currency exchange it would be about $40,000.00 Canadian. I just can't afford it, yet it seems to be my only hope for improvement.
I realize this will not stop further disc degeneration or osteoarthritis future events but if the success rate of this surgery is as good as they say and the doctors and clinic are reputable, isn't my quality of life worth more than my house?
All my doctors here do not want me to undergo back surgery because I create a lot of scar tissue which might worsen the situation. They are supportive of the procedure at the laser spine institute.
What can I do? I am very frustrated that there is something out there that might improve the pain yet I can't have the treatment do to cost. I have lost a semblance of my prior active life. Now my big goals are to be able to sit comfortably to watch TV, stay out of bed for 5 hours and not use my cane around the house. The exhausting pain never goes, it may be reduced with medication but it is always there, invisible and devastating.
What can I do? Does the Laser Spine Institute have a good reputation?
Thank you for reading my rather long question.