Minimally Invasive Spine Surgery Helps Dianne Get Back to Active Life

Dianne at bridgeUntil the spring of 2014, 65-year-old retired medical secretary Dianne Charter had always been healthy and active, working in her yard, playing tennis and taking two-mile walks. Then she started experiencing debilitating pain in her lower back. It continued down her right leg to her knee.

“I could hardly walk, not even down the driveway to my mailbox. I couldn’t bend over to tie my shoes or stand up straight,” said Charter. “I was in a lot of pain.” She tried physical therapy, but it wasn’t enough. An MRI revealed she had severe degenerative scoliosis, a curvature in the normally straight vertical line of the spine caused by deterioration of the joints between the vertebrae. She also had two collapsed discs that were impinging on a nerve. 

Dianne met with spine specialist and neurosurgeon Adam Brown, MD, where she learned about a minimally invasive procedure to correct scoliosis using the Mazor Robotics Renaissance™ surgical guidance system. The Mazor system is a robotics-assisted precision and planning tool that helps guide the surgeon’s tools and implants in both open and minimally invasive surgery to help improve accuracy. For some patients, this means better clinical outcomes with less pain and fewer complications, enabling a faster recovery and return to daily activities.

“The Mazor Robotics Renaissance™ system is a great tool to use with patients who suffer from a wide variety of spine conditions,” said Dr. Brown. “It is extremely accurate, allowing me to create a detailed blueprint of how I want to perform the surgery ahead of time. This ensures the safest trajectory is selected, which can be a major advantage to patients, especially those who have had previous surgery or those with traumatic fractures. In Ms. Charter’s case, the precise preoperative planning meant we were able to perform a successful procedure that corrected the scoliosis and the disc issue.” 

Dianne had surgery on September 29 and went home two days later. “When I woke up the pain was gone,” she said. “I started walking again normally while I was still in the hospital.”

“My quality of life has improved so much. I can bend, walk, tie my shoes, stand up straight, and work in my yard – all pain-free,” she said. “It was like someone had given me my life back again.”