Spine surgery alleviates back pain

Glen Fowler, a retired maintenance engineer from Goodyear Tire & Rubber Company in Union City, found himself in increasing pain, particularly after long car rides.

For three or four months, the pain in his back came and went until he eventually had to walk with a cane. Fowler, 76, was diagnosed with spinal stenosis as his fourth and fifth lumbar vertebrae began to degenerate.

The condition occurs when the bone channel occupied by the spinal cord or nerves narrows, and the spinal nerve roots in the lower back become compressed. Symptoms include tingling, numbness and pain.

“It effects your mobility,” Fowler said. “I didn’t have good control of my feet. I could trip over a throw rug.”

He went through two different therapy sessions to resolve the pain, but he didn’t want to rely on addictive pain medication.

And then he learned that Dr. Kyle Stephens, who performs spine surgery as part of his orthopedic surgery practice, was joining West Tennessee Bone & Joint Clinic’s office in Paris.

When Fowler first visited Dr. Stephens, he received a new round of X-rays and an MRI. “He looked at the MRI, identified where the problem was and came up with a solution.”

On November 3, Fowler went in for surgery. Dr. Stephens inserted two small rods and four screws in Fowler’s spine to pull the discs back to their natural position.

“When I walked out of the hospital, I felt great,” Fowler said. “The thing that was causing my pain and hurting my mobility, he fixed it.”

He said his recovery has been smooth – “everything healed up just the way it was supposed to be” – but he was directed not to lift heavy objects for a year.

His experience at West Tennessee Bone & Joint was good, he said, and he highly recommends his physician. “If a family member needed surgery like me, I would insist that they go to Dr. Stephens.”