The Enid News and Eagle, Enid, OK

Local and State News

September 21, 2012

Minimally-invasive surgery helping patients find lower-back-pain relief

ENID, Okla. — Eighty percent of Americans will suffer from lower back pain at some point in their lives, according to the American Academy of Physical Medicine and Rehabilitation.

For many of these people, (approximately 25 percent) the problem may be in their sacroiliac joint, (SI joint) the joint that connects the back and hip. Now, a new minimally-invasive surgery can help patients find relief.

Margaret Bridgman, who suffered from back pain for years, had been receiving regular injections to help deal with the pain, but the injections had become less effective over time.

“It had become so bad that I was having trouble concentrating at work,” she said.

Dr. Bruce Pendleton, Integris Bass Baptist Health Center neurosurgeon, offered Bridg-man hope when he explained a new surgical procedure that could help alleviate her pain. He is one of the first surgeons in the state to perform the procedure that uses three, plasma-coated, titanium implants placed into the pelvis to stabilize the joint.

Pendleton said the SI joint often has been overlooked in diagnoses of lower back pain, because pain is not always easy for patients or physicians to pinpoint. Additionally, in the past, physicians who identified the SI joint as the origin of a patient’s pain did not feel there was an effective treatment.

Once the SI joint has been identified as a source of pain, stabilizing the joint is the primary treatment option. There are methods for treating SI joint pain, including physical therapy, medications and injections. If these treatments do not fully address the pain and it continues for a longer period of time, this new procedure may be an option.

Pendleton said many patients experience immediate pain relief following the surgery. For others the pain gradually subsides over several days or weeks. Most patients go home the day after surgery.

Bridgman went home the day after her surgery and said she immediately felt relief.

“I noticed right away that the pain was gone and only the incision was a little sore,” she said.

For information about this procedure, call (580) 616-7605.

Pendleton, M.D., has practiced neurosurgery in northwest Oklahoma for more than 20 years. He is a graduate of the University of Oklahoma, where he earned his bachelor of science in microbiology. After receiving his doctor of medicine from the OU School of Medicine, he completed his residency in neurological surgery in 1986 at OU Health Sciences Center. He completed a fellowship at the University of Western Ontario in London, Ontario Canada.

He is board certified by American Board of Neurological Surgery. He is a member of Oklahoma Medical Association, Oklahoma Neurological Society and American Association of Neurological Surgeons.

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