New Way To Fight Back Pain - KLTV.com - Tyler, Longview, Jacksonville |ETX News

4/26/05-Tyler

New Way To Fight Back Pain

33-year-old Mike Lopez lives in pain.

"I have two herniated discs in the back," he explains. The pain, caused by sports injuries in high school, has changed his life.

"It has gotten to the point where it is affecting my daily activities and hobbies," says Lopez. That's why Mike volunteered for a new back procedure being done for the first time in the U.S. at the Texas Spine and Joint Hospital in Tyler.

Its called Transdiscal Anuloplasty. It's not approved by the FDA and has only been done on one other person, in Australia, before today.

Dr. Kevin Pauza places probes in Mike's back to heat up his discs, which in theory will stop the pain.

"The disc is protein like an egg white, which means if we apply heat to an egg white, it goes from clear and runny to white and firm. We've learned when we apply heat to a disk, it does the same thing. The protein that makes the disc shrinks and it becomes firm and it relieves pain," says Dr. Pauza.

In about 30 minutes, the procedure is done. Mike is out of the hospital in about an hour and back home to Houston.

In a few days, his pain will be dramatically diminished. He's just excited to get back to his life.

"Me playing golf again with my golf buddies, coaching my kids soccer team, picking up my five month old daughter without having to sit down because it hurts to much," says Lopez.

Michelle Mortensen, reporting.

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