Low Back Pain Slowing You Down?

Woman With Back PainAre you unable to enjoy life fully due ongoing back pain? If so, you are not alone. According to the National Institute of Neurological Disorders and Stroke (NIH), millions of Americans suffer from chronic back pain that persists for more than a few months. Back pain symptoms can range from a muscle ache to a stabbing pain, limited flexibility and range of motion, or an inability to stand straight. If you are experiencing these symptoms of back pain, learn the causes and treatments at a free program hosted by Silver Cross Hospital.

Join Dr. Thomas Hurley, neurosurgeon, with the Silver Cross Neuroscience Institute, for a discussion on the causes of low back pain and discuss conservative treatment options to help you feel better Tuesday, March 31. The free Aches & Pains: Low Back Painprogram will be held from 6:30 to 7:30 p.m. in the Silver Cross Hospital Conference Center, 1890 Silver Cross Blvd., New Lenox. This talk is part of an Aches & Pains Lecture Series and all participants will receive a gift bag that includes a complimentary carpal tunnel or low back screening performed by a physician with Rehabilitation Institute of Chicago at Silver Cross Hospital, and other items to help you stay active. Register to attend online or call 1-888-660-HEAL (4325).

“Most low back pain can be treated without surgery,” said Dr. Thomas Hurley, neurosurgeon, who is on staff at Silver Cross Hospital. “The best way to develop a treatment plan is to diagnose the severity of the back pain. With so many innovative treatments available today, patients can learn the best options with a physician visit. So to avoid the pain from getting worse, patients need to seek medical attention.”

Dr. Tom Hurley, neurosurgeon

Dr. Tom Hurley, neurosurgeon

Treating Back Pain

Treatment of back pain can involve using over-the-counter pain relievers to reduce discomfort and anti-inflammatory drugs to reduce inflammation.

“The goal of treating back pain is to return proper mobility and strength to the back, and prevent future injuries,” said Dr. Hurley.

Medications are often used to treat acute and chronic low back pain. Effective pain relief may involve a combination of prescription drugs and over-the-counter remedies. Bed rest is only recommended for 1 to 2 days. Individuals should resume activities as soon as possible. Exercise may be the most effective way to speed recovery from low back pain and help

Wipe Out Wrist Pain for Good

Posted on : 02-16-2015 | By : tsimons | In : Aches & Pains, Bone Health, Events, Health Tips, Interview, Rehabilitation, screening

wrist-pain1According to the National Institute of Neurological Disorders and Stroke (NINDS), symptoms of carpal tunnel syndrome usually start gradually, with frequent tingling or itching numbness in the palm of the hand and the fingers, especially the thumb, index and middle fingers. These symptoms often first appear in one or both hands during the night, and you may wake up feeling the need to “shake out” the hand or wrist. As symptoms worsen, you might feel tingling during the day and have a decreased grip strength that may make it difficult to form a fist or grasp small objects. If you are experiencing any of these symptoms, find out if you are suffering from carpal tunnel syndrome by attending an upcoming lecture discussing the condition or schedule a free screening offered by Silver Cross Hospital.

Free Lecture – Aches & Pains: Wrist & Hand Pain

Join an Occupational Therapist with the Rehabilitation Institute of Chicago at Silver Cross Hospital for a discussion on how carpal tunnel syndrome can lead to arthritis and share simple exercises to help prevent and relieve the pain. The program will occur on Monday, March 2 from 6:30 to 7:30 p.m. in the Silver Cross Hospital Conference Center, 1890 Silver Cross Blvd., New Lenox. This free Aches & Pains: Wrist & Hand Pain program is part of an Aches & Pains Lecture Series which also includes seminars on sinus pressure and low back pain. Register to attend online or call 1-888-660-HEAL (4325). All participants will receive a gift bag that includes a complimentary carpal tunnel or low back screening performed by a physician with The Rehabilitation Institute of Chicago at Silver Cross, and other items to help you stay active.

Free Carpal Tunnel Screening

Occupational therapists will evaluate and discuss therapy options for individuals experiencing pain, numbness, or tingling in the wrist or fingers.  Occupational therapists with RIC at Silver Cross will offer free carpal tunnel screenings on Tuesday, March 3 and Thursday, March 5 at The Rehabilitation Institute of Chicago at Silver Cross Hospital-Pavilion A-New Lenox and on Wednesday, March 11 at The Rehabilitation Institute of Chicago at Silver Cross, 1051 Essington Rd, Joliet.  Call 815-300-7110 (Pavilion A) or 815-300-6580 (West Joliet) to schedule an appointment.

“Carpal tunnel syndrome occurs when the median nerve, which runs from the forearm into the palm of the hand, becomes squeezed at the wrist,” says Linda Brunner, occupational therapist with The Rehabilitation Institute of Chicago (RIC) at Silver Cross Hospital.   “The median nerve controls sensations to the palm side of the thumb and fingers as well as impulses to some small muscles in the hand that allow the fingers and thumb to move. The carpal tunnel, which is a narrow, rigid passageway of ligament and bones at the base of the hand, houses the median nerve and tendons. Sometimes, thickening from irritated tendons narrows the tunnel and causes the median nerve to be compressed. The result may be pain, weakness, or numbness in the hand and wrist, radiating up the arm.”

Treatments for Relief

Rest: Initial treatment for carpal tunnel syndrome generally involves resting the affected hand and wrist for at least 2 weeks, avoiding activities that may worsen symptoms, and immobilizing the wrist in a splint to avoid further damage from twisting or bending. If there is inflammation, applying cool packs can help reduce swelling.

Drugs: In special circumstances, various drugs can ease the pain and swelling associated with carpal tunnel syndrome. Nonsteroidal anti-inflammatory drugs, such as aspirin, ibuprofen, and other nonprescription pain relievers, may ease symptoms that have been present for a short time or have been caused by strenuous activity.

Therapy: Rehabilitation can be helpful for people whose symptoms have escalated. Therapy is supervised by a physical or occupational therapist, who are trained to use exercises to treat physical impairments, and teach people skills to improve their health.

Recurrence of carpal tunnel syndrome following treatment is rare. “If treated early, carpal tunnel symptoms usually go away with nonsurgical treatment,” said Linda.

Frankfort Fire Chief on the Job after Back Surgery

Posted on : 12-02-2014 | By : tsimons | In : Bone Health, News, Rehabilitation, Silver Cross Neuroscience Institute
Dr. Thomas Hurley, neurosurgeon at Silver Cross Hospital, shows Frankfort Fire Chief Jim Grady where exactly he relieved the pressure on Jim’s herniated disc and spinal cord.

Dr. Thomas Hurley, neurosurgeon at Silver Cross Hospital, shows Frankfort Fire Chief Jim Grady where exactly he relieved the pressure on Jim’s herniated disc and spinal cord.

Jim Grady has spent 38 years as a volunteer and career firefighter.  He has experienced it all—from flashovers to extrications to vehicle, structure, fuel, and large field fires.  But over time, the job had taken a toll on his body to the point where he was in constant pain, specifically in his legs.  Jim suffered lumbar degenerative disc disease and lumbar spinal stenosis—both normal wear-and-tear effects of aging.  He also had a herniated disc. 

“I tried just about everything including spinal injections with very little relief,” said the 61-year-old Frankfort Fire Protection District Chief.  “I finally decided it was time to take the next step and consider a permanent solution to stop the pain once and for all.” 

Jim had a MRI performed at nearby Silver Cross Hospital in New Lenox.  After consulting with the fire department’s physician, he took the results and went to see Thomas Hurley, M.D., neurosurgeon with Cadence Physician Group now part of Northwestern Medicine at Silver Cross Hospital. With over 20 years of experience, Dr. Hurley specializes in traumatic spine disorders, fusion, and minimally invasive procedures.  He has been consistently recognized as a “Top Doc” at Silver Cross Hospital for outstanding patient satisfaction and is a past president of the Will-Grundy Medical Society.

“I had heard good things about Dr. Hurley from my doctor and co-workers.  And they were all true,” said the 61-year old.  “He spent nearly two hours with my wife, Bobbi, and I talking through my medical history and explaining the entire surgical process until we felt confident in how everything would go.  My biggest concern was how long it would take to heal. I wanted to get back on my feet as soon as possible.”

“Interestingly, most of Jim’s pain was on the left side of his body, specifically his left leg; however the tests showed that his herniated disc was on the right side of his spine,” said Dr. Hurley.  “I try to spend as much time as possible with my patients gathering the facts so we can rule out all conservative treatments before considering surgery.  In Jim’s case, surgery was really the only option.”

Complex Low Back Surgery with No Complications

On Aug. 4, 2014, Dr. Hurley performed a laminotomy to relieve the pressure on Jim’s spinal cord and to treat his herniated disc.  He followed that with a laminectomy to alleviate Jim’s leg pain caused by the lumbar spinal stenosis. Also known as decompression surgery, the laminectomy enlarged Jim’s spinal canal to relieve pressure on the spinal cord and nerves by removing the lamina, which is the back part of the vertebra (bone) that covers the spinal canal.  Laminectomy is generally used only when more-conservative treatments such as medication, physical therapy or injections have failed to relieve symptoms.

Dr. Hurley visited Jim frequently during the three days he spent in Silver Cross’ surgical patient care unit, which is ranked in the Top 1% in the nation for patient satisfaction according to Press Ganey.

“Everyone was so friendly from my first office visit, through pre-op, through discharge,” Jim said.  “Dr. Hurley and the entire staff—from the nurses to the (Rehabilitation Institute of Chicago at Silver Cross) physical therapists who took good care of me while in the hospital, were extremely helpful, enthusiastic and upbeat.  They made sure that everything was set when I went home and that I had no complications.”

Back to Work with a Positive Outlook

After a short recuperation at home and a few weeks of physical therapy, Jim was able to able to return to some of his administrative duties with the Frankfort Fire Department just 4 weeks after his back surgery.

“I give Jim a lot of credit,” said Dr. Hurley.  “He is proactive when it comes to his health, very active and physically fit, which goes a long way when you are undergoing such a complex procedure.  Plus having a positive attitude always helps in the recovery process. Jim truly is a hero in every sense.”

“It will take some time to rebuild muscle, but overall I am feeling great,” comments Jim.  “Oohrah to Team Silver Cross!” 

For more information on back pain treatment options or to schedule an appointment with Dr. Thomas Hurley, call (815) 723-4387.

Therapy Helps Court Reporter to Walk & Work Pain-Free after Multiple Surgeries

Posted on : 11-03-2014 | By : tsimons | In : Aches & Pains, Bone Health, Interview, News, Rehabilitation, screening
Elizabeth LaFollette can now walk pain-free with the help of therapy she received from Bryniarski, physical therapist with the Rehabilitation Institute of Chicago at Silver Cross Hospital in Homer Glen.

Elizabeth LaFollette can now walk pain-free with the help of therapy she received from Bryniarski, physical therapist with the Rehabilitation Institute of Chicago at Silver Cross Hospital in Homer Glen.

For over 14 years, Lockport resident Elizabeth “Liz” LaFollette suffered from severe back pain. She had multiple surgeries and was doing well until last September when she started experiencing foot pain. By December she was unable to walk. It was determined that Liz suffered from a failed Lumbar fusion surgery  and SI (Sacroiliac) Joint Dysfunction which was causing pressure on her sciatic nerve leading to severe left leg pain, weakness and gait instability.  After enduring yet another surgery, Liz was depressed because she was not able to work for eight months and was facing months of physical therapy.

“My therapist, Rich, gave me the hope that I desperately needed,” Liz said. “If it wasn’t for him, I wouldn’t have my life back.  He saved my health and my career.”

Dr. Anthony Rinella performed a revision surgery to correct a failed spine fusion to alleviate her painHe then referred her to the Rehabilitation Institute of Chicago (RIC) at Silver Cross Hospital in Homer Glen for physical therapy. RIC has been ranked the #1 Rehabilitation Hospital in America by U.S. News & World Report every year since 1991. The same specialized care that has earned RIC its pre-eminent reputation is available at four Silver Cross locations in Homer Glen, New Lenox, West Joliet and at the Hospital.

“Since Liz’s condition was unique, I knew she would receive high quality therapy at RIC,” said Dr. Rinella, board certified spine specialist with the Illinois Spine & Scoliosis.

When Liz’s physical therapy started in March, she was doubtful that she would ever work again. However, through the encouragement and tools she received from her therapist, Rich Bryniarski, she conquered her fears and was working and walking pain-free by August.

“At 41 years old, even after four surgeries, I was not ready to be considered disabled for the rest of my life.  Rich was as invested as I was in getting me to work again,” said Liz. “Through his vast knowledge, he showed me how to do exercises that would relieve my pain.”

Key to Success: Personalized Treatment Plan

Liz believes the specialized treatment plan that Rich designed specifically for her was the key to her success.

“Not only did Rich teach me stretch exercises to do at home, he taught me how to align my SI joint and condition my body so my back won’t take the hit from all the pressure from my body movements,” she said. “Rich also goes the extra mile to help his patients. He actually had me bring my court reporting machine to therapy to simulate my work day, so he knew what my body was going to experience daily. He customized my exercises so I could do them throughout my work day.”

“Liz’s case was more challenging than a regular fusion case due to the fact that it was a revision of a previous spinal fusion. This had caused her to be in a great deal of pain for a long time,” Rich said.   “Her spine was unstable prior to her surgery, so she couldn’t exercise. Fortunately, with the specialized therapy and equipment we offer here at RIC in Silver Cross’ Homer Glen facility, we were able to arrive at a functional level that allowed her to move pain-free at home and at work. Part of her success is contributed to that fact that Liz was an excellent patient. She always followed through with her home exercises and practiced what was taught to her.”

Seamless Care

“By coming to Silver Cross, patients have access to specialized care plans similar to those that are offered at RIC’s downtown Chicago location,” said Valerie Paluszak, Manager of Outpatient Rehabilitation for The Rehabilitation Institute of Chicago at Silver Cross Hospital. “We are fortunate to have such highly trained and experienced physical, occupational, and speech therapists working at Silver Cross who truly make patients’ treatment successful enabling them to thrive so they can return to their daily routines.”

For more information about RIC at Silver Cross or to schedule a free low back screening at the Homer Glen facility located at 143rd St. and Bell Road, call (815) 300-6288.

Find Relief for Cervical Spinal Stenosis

Posted on : 10-27-2014 | By : tsimons | In : Aches & Pains, Bone Health, Events, Health Tips, News

Cervical-Stenosis (1)Have you been suffering for years from a nagging pain in either your neck, shoulders or legs? You may be suffering from a condition known as cervical spinal stenosis. To help understand the causes and treatments of this type of pain, Silver Cross Hospital is offering a free program on Tuesday, Nov. 4, 2014.

Join Dr. Thomas Hurley, neurosurgeon, for a discussion on minimally invasive treatments available for cervical spinal stenosis—a common problem in people over age 50. This free lecture – Cervical Spinal Stenosis - will be held in the Silver Cross Hospital Conference Center, 1890 Silver Cross Blvd., Pavilion A, New Lenox at 6:30 p.m. Register to attend online or call 1-888-660-HEAL (4325).

“Spinal stenosis is a narrowing of the spinal canal causing pressure on the spinal cord and/or nerves,” said Dr.  Hurley. These changes might create minor aches in some patients, although in more severe cases, the pain can significantly impact a person’s quality of life. So to avoid the pain from getting worse, patients need to seek medical attention.”

Symptoms of Cervical Spinal Stenosis

Many people older than 50 years of age have some narrowing of the spinal canal but do not have symptoms. Cervical spinal stenosis does not cause symptoms unless the spinal cord or nerves becomes squeezed. Symptoms usually develop slowly over a long period of time and may include:

  • Stiffness, pain, numbness, or weakness in the neck, shoulders, legs, arms, or hands.
  • Balance and coordination problems, such as shuffling or tripping while walking.
  • Loss of bowel or bladder control (incontinence).

How is Spinal Stenosis Treated?

Spinal stenosis can be treated several ways. Treatment options include:

Changes in posture. People with spinal stenosis may find that flexing the spine by leaning forward while walking relieves their symptoms.

Medications. Nonsteroidal anti-inflammatory medications such as aspirin or ibuprofen may help relieve symptoms.

Surgery. If other treatments do not ease the pain, surgery may be recommended to relieve the pressure on affected nerves.

“The best way to develop a treatment plan is to diagnose the severity of Spinal Stenosis. With so many innovative treatments available today, patients can learn the best options with a physician visit,” says Dr. Hurley.

 

Using your own Stem Cells to treat Osteoarthritis of the Knee

Posted on : 09-08-2014 | By : tsimons | In : Bone Health, Events, News

Depositphotos_1429163_S3According to the Arthritis Foundation, about 27 million people in America have osteoarthritis. As we age, our joints often develop osteoarthritis—a destruction of the cartilage or protective tissue of the joint. Dr. Robert Daley, orthopedic surgeon who is on staff at Silver Cross Hospital, is among a select group of physicians around the country to offer stem cell treatment to relieve knee osteoarthritis pain and chronic tendonitis. Silver Cross Hospital in conjunction with Hinsdale Orthopaedics Group is offering a lecture that will educate area residents on how they can find relief with this new innovative treatment.  This free program—Using Your Own Stem Cells to Treat Osteoarthritis of the Knee, will be heldTuesday, September 30, from 6:30 to 8:30 p.m. in the Silver Cross Hospital Conference Center, Pavilion A, 1890 Silver Cross Blvd., New Lenox. Learn about this unique, nonsurgical procedure, which uses your own stem cells to promote healing. Register to attend this program online or call 1-888-660-HEAL (4325).

Do you suffer from Osteoarthritis Pain?

Osteoarthritis is the most common type of arthritis that affects the knee. Osteoarthritis is a process where the cartilage in the joint gradually wears away. Ostearthritis may be caused by excess stress on the joint such as repeated injury or being overweight.

Osteoarthritis symptoms usually develop gradually. Common symptoms include:

  • Sore joints – in the hips, knees, and lower back — after inactivity or overuse
  • Stiffness after resting that disappears after movement
  • Pain that is worse after activity or at the end of the day.

Traditionally, treating osteoarthritis consisted of a series of steps – weight loss, pain medications, anti-inflammatory medications, injections and if necessary surgery. However a new innovative treatment exists using a patient’s own stem cells to regenerate the lost cartilage and strengthen the supporting structure of the joint.

“Through this minimally invasive technology, pain can be reduced in a patient who suffers from mild to moderate arthritis of the knee when trying to avoid a total knee replacement,” said Dr. Robert Daley, orthopedic surgeon on staff at Silver Cross Hospital. “During the outpatient procedure, stem cells are removed from the patient’s hip area and implanted into the knee. Then the cells regenerate tissue that resembles natural cartilage that replaces worn out areas in joints.”

“There are many benefits of Stem Cell Therapy. Through this new technology, many patients are able to find relief from stiffness and pain caused by osteoarthritis without undergoing surgery or a long recovery,” said Dr. Daley.  “In addition, they can have reduced knee pain and their quality of life may be improved.”

Living with Osteoporosis?

Posted on : 06-30-2014 | By : tsimons | In : Bone Health, Events, Health Tips, screening

According to the National Osteoporosis Foundation (NOF), about 54 million Americans have osteoporosis and low bone mass, placing them at increased risk for osteoporosis. Studies suggest that approximately one in two women and up to one in four men age 50 and older will break a bone due to osteoporosis.  To help understand the causes and treatments of osteoporosis, Silver Cross Hospital is offering a free program in July.

Girl Talk: Stop Osteoporosis

Find out if you maybe at risk for osteoporosis. Join Dr. Latha Arla, internal medicine physician, on Wednesday, July 16 for a discussion on the risks, signs, testing and treatments for this crippling disease. Complimentary osteoporosis heel screenings will be offered to participants beginning at 5:30 p.m. This free program will be held from 6:30 to 7:30 p.m. in the Silver Cross Hospital Conference Center, Pavilion A, 1890 Silver Cross Blvd., New Lenox.  Call 1-888-660-HEAL (4325) or visit www.silvercross.org to register.

“Even though there is no cure for osteoporosis, there are steps you can take to prevent or slow the progression of the disease,” said Dr. Latha Arla, internal medicine physician who is on-staff at Silver Cross Hospital. “In fact, you may even be able to improve bone density. During this program, all of these treatment options will be discussed.”

What causes Osteoporosis?

According to the NOF, osteoporosis is a disease of the bones. It happens when you lose too much bone, make too little bone or both. As a result, your bones become weak and may crack from a minor fall or, in serious cases, even from simple actions, like bumping into furniture.

Osteoporosis means “porous bone.” If you look at healthy bone under a microscope, you will see that parts of it look like a honeycomb. If you have osteoporosis, the holes and spaces in the honeycomb are much bigger than they are in healthy bone. This means your bones have lost density or mass and that the structure of your bone tissue has become abnormal. As your bones become less dense, they also become weaker and more likely to break. If you’re age 50 or older and have broken a bone, talk to your doctor and ask if you should have a bone density test.

Texting & Tweeting Giving you Thumb Pain?

Posted on : 05-15-2014 | By : tsimons | In : Bone Health, Events, Health Tips, News, Rehabilitation

RIC at Silver Cross offers free treatment strategies for sore thumbs on May 19

Is all of that texting and tweeting causing pain in your thumb?  The health of your thumb is important as it is the only digit we can oppose with when grasping items. Rarely do we handle items with the four fingers alone. Whether it is DeQuervain’s Tenosynovitis, Basal Joint Arthritis, or Trigger Thumb, it deserves special attention.

“Generally the first joint in the hand to become arthritic is a joint at the base of the thumb,” reports Barbara Shoemaker, occupational therapist and certified hand Therapist with The Rehabilitation Institute of Chicago (RIC) at Silver Cross Hospital. “In a normal thumb joint, cartilage covers the ends of the bones and acts as a shock absorber to allow smooth, pain free movements. When this cartilage wears out, the bones rub against one another and may result in pain.”

Join Barbara Shoemaker and Ashlie Broadhurst, occupational therapists with RIC at Silver Cross,  on Monday, May 19 at 6:30 in the Silver Cross Hospital Conference Center, 1890 Silver Cross Blvd., Pavilion A, New Lenox, to learn about the common causes of thumb pain and strategies to enhance function.

To register to attend, click here or call 1-888-660-HEAL (4325)

Causes and Treatments of Thumb Pain

The overuse, arthritic conditions and joint instability can cause soreness in your thumb.  Previous injury and disease can also be a part of this painful problem. Thumb pain can be aggravated by activities that require pinching such as turning a key, opening jars and writing. Treating a sore thumb initially starts with rest. Wearing a splint to rest the thumb is ideal because it keeps the thumb from constantly being used and potentially worsening it. For the swelling that may accompany your thumb, cooling packs and anti-inflammatory medications can reduce swelling. Remember, cooling packs should be used for 10 to 15 minutes at a time and if reapplication is needed, you should wait until the affected area reaches room temperature again before reapplying. If treated early, very specific, gentle exercises supervised by an occupational therapist can help reduce the pain. Cortisone shots applied directly to the joint can also relieve pain for a short while.

Stop Limping and Start Living!

Posted on : 05-14-2014 | By : tsimons | In : Bone Health, Events, Health Tips, News, Rehabilitation, screening

Silver Cross Hospital Hosts free program on relief from knee pain on June 4

Are you tired of walking with a limp due to severe knee pain? If so, you are not alone because more than one-third of Americans report being affected by knee pain. Sometimes knee pain may be the result of an injury, too much weight on the knee joint, or arthritis.

If you are experiencing severe knee pain, join Dr. Paul Trksak, orthopedic surgeon, to learn how to put your knees back in commission by reducing pain and restoring function! Learn about the latest options for the treatment of knee pain and partial knee replacement. This free Knee Pain lecture will be held on Wednesday, June 4 in the Silver Cross Hospital Conference Center, 1890 Silver Cross Blvd., Pavilion A, New Lenox at 6:30 p.m.  All participants will receive a GIFT BAG which includes a complimentary joint and back screening performed by a physical medicine and rehabilitation physician from The Rehabilitation Institute of Chicago at Silver Cross, and other items to help you stay active ($125 Value).

Register to attend online or call 1-888-660-HEAL (4325).

“Arthritis is one of the most common causes of knee pain. And, many patients only have severe arthritis on one side of their knee,” said Dr. Paul Trksak, orthopedic surgeon on staff at Silver Cross Hospital. “One treatment for the relief of this pain is a partial knee replacement, which addresses the problem by removing only the bad tissue on one side, and saving the healthy joint tissue on the other side.”

What is Partial Knee Replacement?

Unlike a total knee replacement, partial knee replacement surgery only replaces one side of the joint, and not the entire joint.  This method is less invasive and allows the physician to make a smaller incision.  There is less bone loss, and the procedure preserves all of the ligaments and the cartilage on the opposite side of the knee.

Dr. Paul Trksak, orthopedic surgeon

There are many benefits to partial knee replacement surgery.  “This procedure allows for a more normal feeling knee and a higher level of function, and most patients can quickly resume regular activities,” said Dr. Trksak.  “Most importantly, after partial knee replacement surgery, patients experience significant pain relief.”

Trksak suggests various treatment options to his patients based on their lifestyle and needs, however he doesn’t push them because he wants them to be comfortable with their choice.

To be successful, patients need to incorporate exercise to improve their range of motion and strength.  With this surgery, patients can generally achieve greater range of motion, and their recovery is often half the time compared to total knee replacement.

Find relief for Back and Leg Pain

Posted on : 04-30-2014 | By : tsimons | In : Bone Health, Events, Health Tips, News, Rehabilitation

According to the National Institute of Health Statistics, Americans most commonly suffer from chronic back pain. Unfortunately chronic back pain not only is felt in the lower back, but can also extend into the legs. A number of injuries or spinal conditions like, lumbar spinal stenosis, can trigger chronic back and leg pain. To help understand the causes and treatments of this type of pain, Silver Cross Hospital is offering a free program in May.

Join Dr. Thomas Hurley, neurosurgeon, to learn about new non-surgical and minimally invasive treatments available to relieve back and leg pain and treat lumbar spinal stenosis. This free lecture – Leg & Back Pain - will be held on Tuesday, May 13 in the Silver Cross Hospital Conference Center, 1890 Silver Cross Blvd., Pavilion A, New Lenox at 6:30 p.m.  All participants will receive a GIFT BAG which includes a complimentary joint and back screening performed by a physical medicine and rehabilitation physician from the Rehabilitation Institute of Chicago at Silver Cross, and other items to help you stay active ($125 Value). Register to attend here or call 1-888-660-HEAL (4325).

Symptoms of Back and Leg Pain

Symptoms of chronic back and leg pain can range from mildly uncomfortable to totally disabling.  You may have chronic pain if your pain has lasted more than 6 months. When you suffer from back and leg pain, you may feel a sharp pain, or a dull ache; and affected areas may feel tender and the pain may increase with movement.

“A common cause of back and leg pain is a condition known as spinal stenosis,” said Dr. Thomas Hurley, neurosurgeon, who is on staff at Silver Cross Hospital. “Spinal stenosis is a narrowing of the spinal canal causing pressure on the spinal cord and/or nerves. These changes might create minor aches in some patients, although in more severe cases, the pain can significantly impact a person’s quality of life. So to avoid the pain from getting worse, patients need to seek medical attention.”

How Spinal Stenosis is Treated

Spinal stenosis can be treated several ways. Treatment options include:

  • Changes in posture. People with spinal stenosis may find that flexing the spine by leaning forward while walking relieves their symptoms.
  • Medications. Nonsteroidal anti-inflammatory medications such as aspirin or ibuprofen may help relieve symptoms.
  • Rest. Rest, followed by a gradual resumption of activity, can help. Aerobic activity such as bicycling is often recommended.
  • Surgery. If other treatments do not ease the pain, surgery may be recommended to relieve the pressure on affected nerves.

“The best way to develop a treatment plan is to diagnose the severity of Spinal Stenosis. With so many innovative treatments available today, patients can learn the best options with a physician visit,” says Dr. Hurley.