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Becky Blake – Lumbar Laminectomy Patient Success Story

We’ve got your back

How the Methodist Brain and Spine Institute can restore lives

Becky Blake Becky Blake (center) had tried everything to relieve
her leg, back, and hip pain. Then minimally invasive
spine surgery at Methodist Mansfield resolved her pain.
Now it’s easier to be active with her daughters,
Marlisa (left) and Tavia, and her grandson.

“It was getting hard to focus on my life,” says Becky, operations manager for a logistics company. “The pain was so severe that I could hardly walk.Becky Blake doesn’t like to let anything slow her down. But for years, the busy 57-year-old grandmother found that unrelenting pain in her back, hips, and legs was doing just that.

“I visited a chiropractor, went to an orthopedist, got steroid injections, and even tried acupuncture,” she says. “Nothing was working. I was at my wit’s end.”

Things began to look up for Becky last fall when her family medicine doctor referred her to Nimesh Patel, MD, neurosurgeon at Methodist Mansfield Medical Center.

“I knew immediately Dr. Patel was going to help me,” Becky remembers. “He made time in his schedule to see me sooner rather than later, and he listened to everything I had to say. He was so compassionate.”

A life-changing treatment option

Dr. Patel diagnosed Becky with lumbar stenosis, a condition that occurs when the nerves in the lower spine become compressed. It usually results from arthritis or normal wear and tear as you age.

“Sometimes physical therapy or steroid injections can reduce the pain to a manageable level,” Dr. Patel says. “In Becky’s case, those options didn’t get the results she needed, so we recommended a procedure called a lumbar laminectomy.”

During a laminectomy, a small portion of bone or spinal disk material is removed in order to give the compressed nerves more space.

“The relief that laminectomies bring is almost immediate,” Dr. Patel says. “Additionally, at Methodist Mansfield, we have the technology and skill set to perform minimally invasive laminectomies in day surgery. That means that patients can go home the same day and resume normal activities in as little as 72 hours.”

Becky says that the decision to have surgery was made easier by the support she received from Methodist Mansfield team members.

“Dr. Patel gave me literature and a website to review, and the hospital staff members showed me where I’d be having surgery ahead of time,” she explains. “Everyone made sure I got answers to all of my questions.”

‘Amazed and thankful’

Over the course of two laminectomy procedures in different areas of Becky’s spine, she experienced almost immediate relief in her legs, back, and hip. The pain all but disappeared.

“It was a huge improvement,” she says.

“I’m riding my recumbent bike, I can get in and out of a car normally, and I can lift my grandson. I’m constantly amazed — and thankful — at how much better I feel.”

Let Us Help

Is back pain bringing you down? The Methodist Mansfield Spine Academy can help.