Limber lumbar

Southwest Life

Limber lumbar

Doctors test devices to treat failing discs in lower spine
Dr. Jim Youssef, left, and Dr. Douglas Orndorff of Durango Orthopedic Associates/Spine Colorado have been chosen to participate in nationwide clinical trials of two new devices to treat lower spine problems.
The XL TDR is a metallic replica of a disc that is inserted between vertebrae when a disc has degenerated.
The Superion Interspinous Spacer is implanted into the spine and then cranked open like a vehicle jack to separate vertebrae.
Dr. Jim Youssef looks over X-rays with Amy Moreno on Sept. 2 at Durango Orthopedic Associates/Spine Colorado. Moreno had the XL TDR, which is a metallic replica of a disc, implanted in her spine to replace a failing disc in her lower back.
Disc replacement allows 35-year-old woman to return to activity

The hard knocks she received from 20 years of outdoor sports – skiing, snowboarding, rock climbing, kayaking, soccer and roller skating at the old rink on Roosa Avenue – left Amy Moreno with meniscus surgery on her left knee, a reconstructed right knee and a bad back.
Still, Moreno, 35, wasn’t ready to throw in the towel. She wanted to join a roller derby team early this year, a goal she was denied two years ago when she became pregnant. But by this spring, lower-back pain was killing her.
“If I bent over to tie my shoes, I couldn’t straighten up,” said Moreno, who started skiing when she was 5 years old. “I did physical therapy and steroid injections, but nothing worked.”
But what a difference a few months make. On June 7, she got a total disc replacement from Dr. Jim Youssef, an orthopedic surgeon at Durango Orthopedic Associates/Spine Colorado, who is conducting clinical trials on two artificial devices that are inserted in the spine to ease the pain, tingling or numbness caused by a dysfunctional spine. The devices are used in the lumbar region, the lower five vertabrae of the spine.
“He gave me the choice of fusion, hormone growth injections or either of the two devices he is testing,” Moreno said. “I did some research and chose the XL TDR.”
Youssef replaced the natural disc between joints L4 and L5 with a metallic device of the same dimensions. The artificial disc replaces the natural one, restoring normal distance between vertebrae to allow room for the spinal cord and nerves.
“The next day I went home because I was able to walk a mile,” Moreno said. “I went back to work in three weeks. I’m still a little sore in my side where they cut muscles, but it’s rare now.”
Moreno earned a degree in psychology at Fort Lewis College and worked for the La Plata County Department of Human Services for several years. She and her husband, Edi, have four children. She’s been working part time since enrolling in nursing school this fall.
“The hardest part of all this was missing roller derby competition this summer, but last week, I started working out with my team for next season,” Moreno said. “I’m too active and too young to be laid up.”
daler@durangoherald.com

Limber lumbar

Dr. Jim Youssef, left, and Dr. Douglas Orndorff of Durango Orthopedic Associates/Spine Colorado have been chosen to participate in nationwide clinical trials of two new devices to treat lower spine problems.
The XL TDR is a metallic replica of a disc that is inserted between vertebrae when a disc has degenerated.
The Superion Interspinous Spacer is implanted into the spine and then cranked open like a vehicle jack to separate vertebrae.
Dr. Jim Youssef looks over X-rays with Amy Moreno on Sept. 2 at Durango Orthopedic Associates/Spine Colorado. Moreno had the XL TDR, which is a metallic replica of a disc, implanted in her spine to replace a failing disc in her lower back.
Reader Comments
click here to add your event
Durango ~ Events
click here to add your event
Durango ~ Events