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How the Sonorex Sonocur saved my wife's leg.

Posted by Ed Davis, DPM on 3/18/04 at 21:35 (147255)

My wife, Ginni, two weeks ago developed severe leg pain apparently caused by a protruding L5, S1 disc. It developed seemingly suddenly. She was provided with pain meds and a prescription for rest but it kept getting worse. An MRI was ordered and it showed a disc bulging on the L5S1 level.
She was send for an epidural steroid injection last week which hit the target but she kept getting worse. By last weekend she could not walk as shoe could not tolerate any pressure on her right leg.

I called the man who I consider to be the best neurosurgeon in my state (WA). We got her in quickly since he appreciated my prior service to him and saw him yestersday morning. He is backed up many weeks for surgery but, in part, as a favor to me, placed her on his OR schedule for Wednesday evening, keeping his staff late. He was expecting to go in and find the disc pressing on the nerve. What he found instead was that the disc bulge was an indirect cause. The lamina (lateral projection) of L5 had developed stenosis (boney narrowing) of its foramen (opening allowing passage of spinal nerves). When the disc protruded, it lowered the closed foramen onto the S1 nerve with a guilloteen like effect, crushing the S1 nerve root. He performed a micro foraminolaminotomy (say that 5 times fast and you get a prize). Basically that involved drilling out the bone crushing the nerve creating a new canal (foramen) for the nerve. My wife was able to walk again with only mild pain within two hours of the procedure. It is not unlikely that if the surgery waited the nerve damage may have been more extendsive and difficult to reverse.

Why did this neurosurgeon re-arrange his schedule to accomodate us? He had longstanding achilles tendinitis and after years of struggling with it and after a recent full year of physical therapy without results he called me. I gave him references on ESWT and he reviwed them. After reviewing them, he expressed astonishment with the problems with third party coverage. He came to my office and I provided him with one round (3 sessions) of Sonorex Sonocur to his achilles and in 10 weeks he was back doing his favorite activity, cross country skiing. He was ecstatic in finally finding a cure for his 'intractable' achilles tendinitis. He is due for a second round--- this one is 'on the house' for saving my wife's leg!

Ed

Re: How the Sonorex Sonocur saved my wife's leg.

JudyB on 3/18/04 at 22:15 (147259)

That's great news!! So glad to hear that!

How is your wife doing now?

Re: How the Sonorex Sonocur saved my wife's leg.

Ed Davis, DPM on 3/18/04 at 22:23 (147260)

Judy:
Thanks. Much better. The relief of the severe leg pain was almost immediate. She just has to stay in bed and let the surgical site itself heal now.
Ed

Re: How the Sonorex Sonocur saved my wife's leg.

Dr. Z on 3/18/04 at 22:55 (147262)

Ed,

I wish your wife a speedy recovery. !!!

Re: How the Sonorex Sonocur saved my wife's leg.

Ed Davis, DPM on 3/18/04 at 23:05 (147265)

Thank you. And score one for the ESWT team!
Ed

Re: How the Sonorex Sonocur saved my wife's leg.

Dr. Z on 3/18/04 at 23:24 (147274)

Do you do any follow up survey on your patients. We have two year follow detailing results at eight weeks, twelve weeks and one year. I have sent my survey to a professional stat person to evaluate and improve our survey's to make sure that they are up to par for publication. We use a VAS score for both pain and activity and a R/M. When I am done with this even Elliot will be proud of Dr. Z

PS: Did you receive the ESWT CD lecture on the dornier yet?. We sent to you last week.

Re: How the Sonorex Sonocur saved my wife's leg.

Ed Davis, DPM on 3/18/04 at 23:37 (147278)

David:

Thank you. It has been a bit of a hectic week so I have not loaded it yet-- greatly appreciate your efforts.

I applaud you for the survey as it makes you a 'researcher' as well as a clinician. I have not done that yet but something that I should do, perhaps picking up on it in the next few months.

Ed

Re: How the Sonorex Sonocur saved my wife's leg.

Richard, C.Ped on 3/19/04 at 13:42 (147324)

Thats great ED. Tell her we are thinking about her.

Re: How the Sonorex Sonocur saved my wife's leg.

Pauline on 3/19/04 at 15:54 (147343)

Dr. Ed,
I'm glad your wife is ok after this ordeal. It's unfortunate but we never know when the services of a specialist will be needed. There is always that chance that they under diagnose and give you pain medication and send you home. If your lucky you might get a referral to see another doctor or told to come back if you need help. Patients in pain can end up waiting days for treatment sometimes.

In todays world, it makes me think about becomming an established patient with many speciality physicians. That way if I needed the services of one or find myself in the E.R. they would have someone to contact and you don't have to take 'whos on call'.

Something to think about. I know I've become an established patient at a few offices already. The ones with long waiting lists to get in the door. You just never know when your going to need help. In an emergency you'd like to think a doctor you know will take care of you. It's a comforting feeling.

Sure in the E.R. they'd call someone, but I take comfort knowing the physician being called knows what they are doing like in your wife's case.

Wishing your wife a continued and speedy recovery.

Re: How the Sonorex Sonocur saved my wife's leg.

David L on 3/19/04 at 20:31 (147354)

But the Sonocur is not FDA approved for achilles' tendinitis!!!

Re: How the Sonorex Sonocur saved my wife's leg.

Ed Davis, DPM on 3/19/04 at 21:31 (147358)

Pauline:
Thank you. The trend, due to managed care influences has been directed away from specialists. I think that getting people to the right doctor quickly for definitive treatment is, in the long run, the most cost effective form of medicine.
Ed

Re: How the Sonorex Sonocur saved my wife's leg.

Ed Davis, DPM on 3/19/04 at 21:33 (147359)

David:
Nor plantar fasciitis...
We simply cannot let the FDA get in the way of medical progress. So many drugs such as Neurontin have more 'off label' uses than on label uses. The FDA is a necessary agency but it has become overly politicized and is in need of major overhaul.
Ed

Re: How the Sonorex Sonocur saved my wife's leg.

Pam S. on 3/20/04 at 10:10 (147390)

Dr. Ed:
I just read this post about your wife. That is amazing how you were able to get that surgery so swiftly. I am very happy for you all. Here's my wish for her healing and recovery. Warmly, Pam

Re: How the Sonorex Sonocur saved my wife's leg.

Ed Davis, DPM on 3/20/04 at 14:31 (147407)

Pam:
Thank you.
Ed