Christina Overcomes Years of Back Pain
With Revolutionary Procedure
by David Modica | March 25, 2015
Eight out of ten people will suffer from lower back pain at some point in their life. For many of these individuals, the pain comes and goes like the weather. For Christina K., the pain never left—until she visited the Chicago Brain & Spine Institute.
Christina works in the Environmental Services Department at Swedish Covenant Hospital—a job that requires a great deal of mobility and physical endurance. For a while, the pain she experienced didn’t take away from her ability to perform in her position, but as time went on, she realized that the pain was growing into more than just a nuisance. She needed to seek a long-term solution.
She visited Stanislaw Bryjak, M.D.
, a primary care physician with Swedish Covenant Medical Group. After an initial examination, he referred her to rehabilitation
and pain management
specialists to assist her in managing and reducing her pain.
“Nothing seemed to help,” she said. “I still had pain every day. Dr. Xie
[a board-certified pain management physician on staff at Swedish Covenant Hospital] determined that I needed an MRI to discover the source of the problem.”
The MRI showed the physicians that the pain stemmed from a spinal injury, and not the muscles surrounding it. Her condition would require surgery.
Christina’s time as an employee of Swedish Covenant Hospital made her knowledgeable about Daniel Laich, D.O.
, a world-renown, board-certified neurological surgeon with Chicago Brain & Spine Institute
. He saw her right away, and scheduled a minimally invasive surgery soon after.
The surgery was a tremendous success. “Twenty-one days after surgery I visited Dr. Bryjak again,” Christina said. “He couldn’t believe it. I was walking without any aid, and I had almost no pain.”
But the healing experience impacted her on a deeper level than just her physical recovery. In addition to the expert care she received, Christina had been overwhelmingly impressed by the compassion by which it was delivered.
“It was extremely good experience,” said Christina. “The nurses and the doctors—everyone—treated me incredibly well. I couldn’t ask for a more caring team.”
Christina’s follow-up visit with Dr. Laich offered her the opportunity to thank him firsthand for relieving her of her pain, drastically improving her quality of life and allowing her to return to work in a timely manner.
“I couldn’t help but kiss his hands when I saw him,” she said. “I was crying, and he was so happy to see that I was already walking without assistance. It was an incredible moment. Dr. Laich is a very good doctor, and I’m the proof. I’m 65 years old and I recovered in less than a month. They gave me a walker and I never even used it. I’m going to take it back. Maybe someone else can use it.”
Daniel T. Laich, D.O.
, has nearly 25 years of experience in spine care and neurological surgery. He specializes in therapeutic and minimally invasive spine treatments, including endoscopic and arthroplasty surgeries, as well as spine reconstruction. He was a fellow when he started a study on the Charite artificial disk, and with Rick Fessler, M.D., Ph.D., as he pioneered minimally invasive spine surgery. He continues his academic pursuits both in the U.S. and abroad. His athletic lifestyle provides extra interest in caring for the injured athlete.
Stanislaw Bryjak, M.D.
, is a board-certified family medicine physician with Swedish Covenant Medical Group. His clinical interests include comprehensive care for the whole family, inpatient care and treatment and preventive medicine. He has over 11 years of experience.
Xiaoyuan Xie, M.D.
, is a board certified anesthesiologist and pain management physician and a member of medical staff at Swedish Covenant Hospital. Her clinical interests include back pain and pain management.
To schedule an appointment with the Chicago Brain & Spine Institute
, please call 773-271-2225
To schedule an appointment with Dr. Bryjak or Dr. Xia, please call 773-878-6888