New FDA-approved procedure relieves back pain instantly

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by Sybil Hoffman

azfamily.com

Posted on March 21, 2013 at 8:12 AM

Updated Sunday, Mar 24 at 12:58 PM

CHANDLER, Ariz. -- More than 25 million Americans suffer with some form of back pain. What if you could relieve that pain in less than 24 hours? There is a revolutionary procedure helping two East Valley patients get back to normal.

Traci Foreman not only has an impressive high heel collection, she also has a grueling work
schedule. She travels to the East Coast weekly.

"I started having a numbness and tingling down from inside my neck, all the way down my right arm," Foreman said. That was last fall.

At first, Foreman thought her heels and constant heavy lifting were partly to blame.

"I'm short. I like to wear high heels, and so traveling with my roller bag, so that meant lifting my 30-pound  bag up on the conveyor belt, to get X-rayed, putting it in the overhead bin, as well, so I thought that kind of trauma might have caused it."

Dr. Steve Chang, a neurosurgeon at Barrow Associates Institute, doesn't  know exactly what caused Foreman's three herniated discs, he did have an answer. "

"This particular device is called the Secure-C and this was just FDA approved at the end of 2012," he said.

"I was really just looking for a cure, something to take that pain away," Foreman said.

In February, Foreman became the first person in Arizona to get the Secure-C.

Chang gained access to Foreman's spine through her throat, and then he took the herniated disc off of the spinal cord, allowing each nerve to decompress.

"If you think of the cervical spine as a joint, we're literally replacing that entire level," he explained.

Chang knew Chad Treuthart, 33, would also benefit from this new technology.

"When we can see their pain go away, their strength get better, and for them to get back to work, especially in this economy, so early, I really think that speaks volumes about how effective this
procedure has been," he said.

Foreman couldn't wait to be pain-free and while somewhat joking, she was curious, "Post surgery, will I be able to wear high heels?"

So far, so good. Foreman will soon be back at work and she's already back in her heels.

"It's amazing to actually have my arm and my hand back," she said.

Chang has offices in Chandler, 480-917-5600, and in Phoenix, 602-406-3505.

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