Jim Calhoun has been suffering for several months from spinal stenosis, a spinal condition that causes him severe pain and hampers mobility. And it’s not enough. Now the disease also forces the fame basketball coach to take leave from UConn bench.
In Friday, Calhoun let people know about his health and how it disturb his activity. “The bottom line is I’m going to need some work done. In January the shooting pains were getting worse, and after one plane ride I couldn’t even get up. I tried to hide it. I’m taking medicine right now for the pain. They are waiting for things to quiet down, and I’ll meet with the doctor next week.”
“I had back pain like never before last summer, thought it was back spasms,” he said. “I saw a neurologist and he told me about scoliosis, stenosis and other things and that there could be things like a bone spur and that I could probably need something done at some point. I went for the physical therapy and it worked, but it started to lock up sometimes recently and it was worse.”
Calhoun also told the university president Susan Herbst about his condition but he had hoped to gut out the final weeks of the season.
“But it’s just so bad, even getting through practice,” Calhoun said. “Now I’m going to see what the next step is. The bottom line is I’m hurting.”
About 1 million people with chronic back pain suffer from lumbar spinal stenosis, in which the lower spinal canal narrows, putting pressure on the nerves. Those nerves cause back or leg pain that grows more acute when a person moves or stands. Doctors start by treating a person with steroid injections to reduce inflammation. Over time, these may grow ineffective, and often the next step is surgery.
Now, a Community Health Network physician offers a treatment called “mild,” which stands for “minimally invasive lumbar decompression.” Dr. John Swofford, a pain management specialist and surgeon, discusses the procedure. The mild treatment is done through a tube, smaller than a straw and about 7 or 8 inches long. The doctor make a small nick in the skin so they can insert this tube. They advance it using X-ray guidance and place it on the back of the spine. They use that tube as an access port to place some small instruments down, and then you remove portions of the thickened ligament on the posterior of the spine.
You can subscribe to News And Infotainment Online by e-mail address to receive news and upates directly in your inbox. Simply enter your e-mail below and click Sign Up!