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Dancing After Spinal Fusion Surgery

Fayetteville, Ga. (April 24, 2017) Prior to spinal fusion surgery at Piedmont Fayette Hospital, Fayetteville resident Richard Johnston had increasing numbness and weakness in his feet, legs and hips. He could barely walk 100 yards without having to sit down. After the surgery, performed by Dr. Kevin Park, Johnston was walking around the hospital that same day and dancing at his wedding two weeks later.

“I recovered very quickly. There was no pain and no physical rehabilitation afterwards,” said Johnston. “I didn’t even have to take pain medication. I just took it easy, walked my dog and built up my strength.”

Richard Johnston dancingSpinal stenosis causes the spinal canal to narrow and bones to press on nerves. The pressure built over a period of six months and led to increasing pain, numbness and weakness. Johnston tried to address the issue with physical therapy,
but opted for the surgery as the symptoms increased. The surgical procedure, a laminectomy and spinal fusion, only required two small incisions. Removing the lamina created more room for the nerve roots and decompressed the spinal canal, while the spinal fusion is required to stabilize the spine.

“This type of surgery typically leads to an improved quality of life and that is one of the reasons I became a spine surgeon” said Dr. Park. “With minimally invasive procedures like this, patients recover much faster and can get back to the things they love doing.”

Johnston said his friends and family were shocked at the dramatic improvement when they saw him at the wedding. He too was thrilled to be able to stand, walk and slow dance with his bride.

Find out more about Dr. Park at piedmont.org.

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