THE HOLY GRAIL OF PAIN RELIEF? CBS SUNDAY MORNING CORRESPONDENT MARTHA TEICHNER REPORTS ON A NEW PROCEDURE TO TREAT THE MOST COMMON CAUSE OF BACK PAIN
More than 1.3 million Americans undergo spinal surgery each year — more than triple the number of coronary bypass surgeries and more than five times the number of hip replacements. Approximately 300,000 of those back surgeries were spinal fusions, in which vertebrae are joined surgically and held in place with metal screws or rods. For many patients, the surgery is salvation. For others, it can be a nightmare.
CBS SUNDAY MORNING correspondent Martha Teichner speaks with patients and doctors, including Dr. Kevin Pauza — founder of the Texas Spine and Joint Hospital in Tyler, Texas — who believes he’s found an alternative to surgery that uses two compounds produced by our own bodies that may heal and even regenerate injured discs.
Though the noninvasive procedure may cause some initial discomfort, Pauza tells Teichner that after several weeks, patients just turn a corner. “There will be one day where they have pain,” he says, “and the next day, it’ll just stop.”