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Blossoming Again

Carol Freil Naylor is really looking forward to spring. After suffering severe back and leg pain in early 2010, the North Wales woman sought help from Steven J. Barrer, MD, chief of Neurosurgery and medical director of the Neurosciences Institute at Abington Memorial Hospital.

“On a scale of 1-10, my pain was about 11,” she recalls. “I couldn’t garden or walk my dogs. And as a school bus driver for the past 19 years, it was so hard to sit for those long periods of time.”

Dr. Barrer explains, “Carol had a herniated disc in her lumbar spine. I felt she would benefit from a microdiscectomy, a minimally invasive procedure where we removed the diseased or ruptured disc and its fragments. We do this by widening the lamina (the bone which makes up the covering roof of the spinal column) to allow access to the disc space and give the nerves more room.”

Carol underwent the procedure with Dr. Barrer in April 2010. With the minimal incision and resulting faster recovery, Carol was back in the garden and behind the wheel of her bus before school ended for the year. “I know not to overdo it, but it’s great to be without pain, doing the things I love again.”