Two for One Patient Success Stories
Patsy suffered from terrible back pain for years. Despite trying many different treatments, she was still in constant pain. She thought she would have to live with the pain until a chance encounter changed her fate.
Michael had successful peripheral nerve surgery to relieve constant, searing migraine headaches. In this post, you can read how Dr. Tollestrup treated his problem through peripheral nerve surgery.
In one of Michael’s follow up appointments, Patsy began discussing her back pain with Dr. Tollestrup. Both patient and doctor realized that peripheral nerve surgery might also be a solution for her.
Persistent Low Back Pain
Patsy’s low back pain was on the left side. The pain started about two weeks after the uncomplicated delivery of her fourth child in 2004. This pain became constant, although it would wax and wane in severity.
Patsy noted that if the pain on the left side became very severe, she would also start to feel some pain in the same location on the right side. Her usual low back pain was not centered over the spine but rather located to the left of the spine. Any type of activity involving sitting or standing for prolonged periods would make the low back pain worse. Bending or twisting at the waist would also tend to increase the level of her back pain.
What made the back pain even more of a mystery was that MRI imaging of her lumbar spine showed absolutely no evidence of any abnormality. For Dr. Tollestrup, this is a sure sign that the pain was caused by peripheral nerve damage.
Desperate for relief from the pain, Patsy finally agreed to her pain management doctor’s recommendation to have a spinal cord stimulator implanted. Although the trial stimulator seemed to work well, the permanent stimulator never really gave Patsy effective relief from her pain.
Disconnecting Nerves Offers Solution
After performing an exam focused on the peripheral nerves in the low back area, Dr. Tollestrup suspected that Patsy was suffering from entrapment of the superior cluneal nerves on the left side. The diagnosis was confirmed through a diagnostic block of the superior cluneal nerves. This involves injecting some local anesthetic around the nerves and putting them to sleep. This diagnostic procedure gave Patsy complete, temporary relief of her normally constant low back pain.
With the diagnosis confirmed, Dr. Tollestrup scheduled Patsy for surgery. Intraoperatively, Dr. Tollestrup, made an incision lateral to the spine and found the injured superior cluneal nerves. These nerves were then disconnected shutting off the constant pain signal to Patsy’s brain.
When Patsy came back to the office to see Dr. Tollestrup for the one week post-op wound check, she told him that her original, severe, left-sided low back pain was gone.
It has now been over two months since surgery and Patsy is in the process of arranging to have her spinal cord stimulator removed since she hasn’t needed it since surgery.
If you or someone you know has low back pain that doesn’t respond to standard treatment call Dr. Tollestrup’s office to schedule a consultation. His office number is 702-666-0463. He can help you and possibly your spouse if he/she has a mystifying pain problem too.