It's hard to go about your daily activities if you are in constant pain with every movement. Nancy Naeve Brown was in Marshall and met up with a well known man in town who is back to business as the High School A.D. thanks to the Avera Marshall Pain Management Clinic.
For those of you in the Marshall region you probably recognize this patient, Bruce Remme. He is the Marshall High School athletic director but when he hurt his lower back in the fall of 2011 it nearly sidelined him from the Tiger's football season.
"I had a herniated disk that was really restricting my ability to function. The pain that was there gave me problems doing everyday tasks like walking, getting out of bed, those sorts of things," Bruce said
This went on for about a month, but when Bruce started having trouble getting in and out of a chair and his right leg started going numb he made an appointment at the Avera Marshall Pain Management Clinic. Certified Registered Nurse Anesthetist Jason Klein shows where Bruce's disc was bulging.
"L4-5 and L5 S-I is a common area when people have these problems because it's supporting a lot of the weight of the back. This particular model actually shows a bulging disk right at that spot, "Jason said.
Jason treated Bruce with an epidural steroid injection which is a conservative approach compared to back surgery.
"So by putting the steroid into the epidural space it allows that inflammation that goes along with some of those injuries to subside. It's usually the inflammation that's putting pressure on the nerves not the actual ruptured disc itself, "CRNA Jason Klein said.
For the procedure the patient lies on their stomach while the Anesthetist uses this fluoroscope; a high tech mobile real time digital X-Ray to pin-point where the needle goes.
"It allows us to look at the depth so it's less guessing on how far that needle goes in before we feel that loss of resistance when we are in the epidural space," Jason said.
"(It worked) extremely well. I felt pain relief almost immediately. The day after I had the injection the pain had subsided substantially. I was able to function normally. It didn't cure the herniated disk but it allowed me to do my everyday tasks without pain while I continued to rehab through the process. I do a lot of stretching and I'm back to running and exercising again," Bruce said.
Amazing what a shot in the back can do to get you back to normal.
Bruce is feeling so great he is running a 5-K in June 2012 in the Avera Marshall Race Against Breast Cancer.