Dr. Bernard Lee is one of the pioneer interventional pain specialists in Singapore and Director for Interventional Pain Management Services at Singapore Pain Care Center
Back pain is a common problem for most people. It comes and goes. For most people, back pain can be uncomfortable but not usually serious. But for some, when it hits, it can be so bad that one can’t even sit on the toilet seat or even get out of bed. Fortunately now there is an outpatient treatment that is highly effective in relieving your pain and getting you back to your life in no time.
Modern development of decompression traction equipment has led to a higher success rate of disc healing compared to previous treatment options. The Stryker disc decompression is a highly effective procedure that helps reduce pressure on the nerve root by removing disc nucleus while preserving disc strength and future treatment options, including surgery.
Dr Bernard Lee, founder and director of Singapore Pain Care Center, Singapore is one of the few pioneering pain specialists who perform this disc decompression procedure. Dr Lee calls the Stryker Disc Decompression, the ‘Magic Wand’. Patients who have undergone this procedure would most definitely concur.
Up to date, Dr Lee has performed the procedure successfully on more than 35 patients.
“The complications for this procedure are almost zero for patients who fit the criteria for it,” said Dr Lee.
“Not everybody can have this done,” added Dr Lee. “There must be a certain disc height, and not more than 50 percent of the disc should be prolapsed or slipped out.”
Stryker Disc Decompression is done while patients are awake but sedated. Using X-ray guidance, the ‘Magic Wand’ is inserted through the skin and into the nucleus (centre) of the disc. The wand is a high-frequency oscillation drill. When the penetration is in the right position, it drills through the centre of the disc. The herniated disc tissue is then removed and deposited into a chamber.
“People get slipped discs due to the high pressure within the disc and weakness in the outer layer of the disc capsule. We remove about 1cc of disc material. This creates a negative pressure or a vacuum, which then causes the disc to shrink inwards,” explained Dr Lee.
After the procedure, the patient is shown the disc material extracted from his spine. Once the disc is shrunk, it no longer touches the nerve roots of the spinal cord and the pain will go away.
Patients will be placed in a recovery room for a short period of time after the procedure. Normally, patients will be discharged within one to three hours of treatment.
In addition to significant pain relief, rapid recovery, low complication and morbidity rates, this procedure also incurs less scarring. The procedure could cost you around SGD12,000 (includes five physiotherapy sessions), depending on how serious your condition is. Dr Lee also performs many other minimal invasive procedures for spinal conditions. ©FlyFreeForHealth2009.