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A Journey of Cervical Spine Nerve Decompression

Hong Kong, a bustling city where many suffer from various spinal disorders due to prolonged office work. Mr. Chan, an accountant in his 50s, is one such patient, diagnosed with degenerative lumbar scoliosis, a condition that worsens with age.

Mr. Chan experienced persistent lower back and sciatic pain, severely limiting his ability to sit or walk for extended periods. Over time, he began to feel paralysis and weakness in his legs accompanied by neuropathic pain, symptoms that gradually worsened. Most critically, his bladder and bowel functions were affected, starting with frequent urination and constipation and eventually leading to occasional incontinence.

The root causes of his symptoms were spinal instability, coupled with bone spurs, herniated discs, and ligament hypertrophy, which severely compressed the lumbar nerves and cauda equina. After several unsuccessful conservative treatments, supported by his family, Mr. Chan decided to seek a more definitive solution.

Following a thorough medical evaluation, his spine neurosurgeon recommended minimally invasive lumbar spine neurosurgery. The objective was to correct the spinal deformities caused by joint dislocation and/or degenerative scoliosis, improve spinal stability, and alleviate back pain, while decompressing the compressed spinal nerves. The surgery involved a transforaminal lumbar interbody fusion (TLIF) at the L2/3, L3/4, and L4/5 levels.

The surgery lasted 9.5 hours. Mr. Chan only needed to stay in the hospital for 24 hours post-operation. Upon discharge, he noticed significant relief from his back and sciatic pain, and the symptoms of leg paralysis, weakness, and neuropathic pain were markedly improved. Over time, his walking gait gradually normalised, significantly enhancing his quality of life.

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