Saturday, September 1, 2012

Spinal Fusion: San Francisco Surgeon Reports On Patient Results With Fusion Reversal Procedure

Dr. Kenneth Light says a failed back or neck surgery can leave a person in pain and consigned to years of reliance on pain medications, immobility and depression.

San Francisco spine surgeon Kenneth Light, M.D.
San Francisco, CA - Two years after undergoing a novel spinal fusion reversal procedure, Bobbie Jo Ramirez, 41, says she is off all pain medications and is doing very well. Bobbie Jo suffered a severe neck injury in 2001. “The doctors said that my neck had been compressed, which crushed one disc and herniated two other discs. It was a very painful and debilitating injury, especially for me because I had always been very physically active,” says Bobbie Jo. “I had a fusion procedure done in July of 2001, and although I did pretty well for the next two years, I was still in pain and required pain medication to function. My condition gradually deteriorated and I was having lots of muscle problems which were causing my head to be pulled forward, I had limited range of motion in my neck and nothing the doctors were doing helped me to get any better. After nine years of being in constant pain I realized that I just couldn’t live like this much longer. I knew I was heading toward self-destruction if I couldn’t find a way to recover.”

Bobbie Jo says that she decided to search for a specialist who might be able to help her, or at least offer another opinion on her condition. That’s when she contacted renowned San Francisco spine surgeon Dr. Kenneth Light, who specializes in reconstructive surgery for patients who have had failed back surgery. Dr. Light reviewed Bobbie Jo’s medical records and described her options, which included a new approach he developed which he calls “spinal fusion reversal”.

In a novel procedure, Dr. Light removed the fusion hardware from a previous procedure done by a different surgeon. He then performed an artificial disc replacement procedure to relieve Bobbie Jo’s pain and to improve the range of motion in her neck.

Now, two years later, Bobbie Jo just had one of her follow-up visits with Dr. Light and she reports that her progress has been remarkable. “After years of having a poor appetite because of all the pain medications I had been on before my fusion reversal procedure, I can finally eat well. I now work full-time as an internet sales consultant. I’m completely off pain medication and I only occasionally experience some muscle spasms. My activity level is great and I’ve gained ten pounds of healthy weight. I volunteer as a kindergarten teacher’s assistant, and soon I will be coaching basketball.”

Bobbie Jo says that her injury and her successful treatment have been life-changing experiences. “I lost ten years of my life to this injury. The biggest struggle has been the emotional impact of being away from the pain medications that clouded my memory, and adjusting to being healthy once again.” Dr. Light says that Bobbie Jo is now in good condition and she can participate in most normal activities. Bobbie Jo’s story was covered by ABC News and a number of television news programs across the country.

For more information, visit Dr. Kenneth Light's website: or call 415.673.4500.
About Dr. Light:
Dr. Kenneth Light graduated from the Cornell University College of Medicine in New York City. He completed his residency in Orhopaedic Surgery at the University of California in San Francisco., and completed a fellowship in spinal surgery under the guidance of Edward H. Simmons at the State University of New York in Buffalo. Dr. Light was director of the spine clinic at San Francisco General Hospital, and was founder and medical director of the San Francisco Spine Center at Saint Francis Memorial Hospital.

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