Spine – Patient Video
Reclaiming Active Lives
Spine surgeons in Boston Medical Center’s Department of Orthopedic Surgery are distinguished leaders in advanced minimally invasive surgical treatments for a full range of spine disorders. From an accurate diagnosis to the development of a specialized treatment plan, spine surgeons at BMC draw on surgical expertise and state-of-the-art technology to provide the best possible outcomes for these and many other patients.
Robert was in excruciating pain. He had hurt himself lifting equipment at work and had tried everything to find relief, from physical therapy to traction. But, he remembers, “The pain just wouldn’t go away. I was literally curled up in bed. ”
For Robert, and many patients like him, surgery was the final option, and he ultimately found his way to Tony Tannoury, MD, an orthopedic spine surgeon at Boston Medical Center. Dr. Tannoury has spent his entire professional life developing innovative, life-changing minimally invasive procedures for back surgery to help return patients to healthy, active lives.
“Minimally invasive surgery allows you to target where the problems are,” Dr. Tannoury says, “fix them and connect everything underneath with a bridge, as opposed to traditional surgery, in which we open the patient from point A to point B.”
With minimally invasive procedures, patients have less pain, a faster recovery and a much lower risk of developing infections. “Minimally invasive surgery takes care of the problem without violating other normal structures,” says Dr. Tannoury.
Chris, a Somerville police officer who injured his back in an altercation with a suspect and was out of work for 15 months, also found Dr. Tannoury. “I was very impressed that the doctor who was going to operate on my back designed the device he would use to repair it,” he remembers.
Physical therapy is always an important part of recovery. Patients who undergo minimally invasive surgery typically have less pain, can start therapy sooner and progress more quickly through the course of treatment.
Robert recalls Dr. Tannoury reminding him that minimally invasive wouldn’t mean easy, however. “He told me ‘you’re not going to like me for the first three or four weeks,’ he said, but ‘after that, you’ll like me again.’
“I went home and it was difficult moving at first, but every day got a little better,” Robert continues. “Dr. Tannoury told me to get out of the house and just go for a little walk. Every day I tried to walk a little more. Before I knew it, I was walking in the woods with my dog for an hour and a half.”
Maureen, also a patient of Dr. Tannoury, loves yoga but was afraid that physical exertion might disrupt the hardware on her spine. “He told me ‘you cannot hurt my surgery,’ ” she says. “That was reassuring.”
Chris, the Somerville police officer, is very happy he had surgery with Dr. Tannoury. “My limitations are zero, my back feels brand new. It’s as though I never had surgery―was never hurt. I am so thankful for what Dr. Tannoury has done for me.”
Dr. Tannoury believes BMC is a leader in minimally invasive surgery. “The conditions we address at BMC and scope of surgeries we do surpass what is being done at the vast majority of hospitals in this country,” he says.
Jerry, another satisfied former patient, has one wish: that it was more widely known how high the quality of medical care is at BMC.