Veteran Major League Ballplayer Undergoes Microdiscectomy

Advances in surgical techniques mean that those who had previously endured significant pain are able to feel better quickly and return to normal activities in a far shorter period time. Though this is a significant improvement for all of us, it has made a critical difference for those who rely on being in peak physical condition for their success. An excellent example of this can be found in Pittsburgh Pirates outfielder Daniel Nava. Nava is a 35-year-old veteran player who went into this season’s spring training camp with a positive outlook and a strong chance for locking down a spot as a starter in the team’s outfield, but shortly after his arrival, the back pain that he had experienced last season returned with a vengeance, and he was diagnosed with a disc that had fallen out of alignment. Last week he underwent a surgical procedure known as a microdiscectomy, which cleans up the problem and eliminates pain.

A microdiscectomy is a procedure that we perform at our New Jersey lumbar spine practice to treat lumbar disc herniation. During the minimally invasive procedure, we remove the section of the disc that is damaged and irritating the nerve. The surgery requires minimal cutting or stripping away of the muscles and is accomplished via a very small incision near the damaged disc. Most patients are able to return home the same day and recovery time is generally from one to four weeks dependent upon the patient’s initial health and the level of normal activity they pursue. One way or another, pain is almost immediately relieved.

As for Daniel Nava, he had hoped that he would be able to return to play after the off season and this his previous back pain would have resolved, but as soon as he began working out with the team it became apparent that it wasn’t going to happen. “It wasn’t until, unfortunately, the first day that I got out – we were doing a lot more movement, a lot more running – that I said, ‘This is just flat-out wrong. I can’t do what I need to do.’” He went for an MRI that diagnosed his problem and his surgery took place in Arizona on February 27th. His microdiscectomy was extremely successful and his pain has subsided. He says that his physicians were able to find the source of the problems he had been having. “They went in, found the problem that was there, and now the problems not there,” he said. “So it’s just recovery and getting better.” It is expected that he will be able to recovery and return to playing in 10 to 12 weeks’ time.

Anybody who has experienced back pain can understand the need for quick relief. Today’s minimally invasive surgical procedures mean that there is no reason to continue suffering. To see how we can help you, contact us to set up an appointment.

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