by Kathleen Jacob Friday, November 8th 2019
NASHVILLE, Tenn. (WZTV) — Doctors say 95% of Americans will experience back problems in their lifetime. Experts say these type of injuries often lead to lots of pain and a dependence on opioids.
Dr. Brandon Tolman is one of just 15 people in the entire country performing a new kind of procedure called the Discseel procedure.
Rachel Sloan knows a thing or two about back pain.
“The first time that I broke my back was on stage for a gymnastics recital,” Sloan said.
You read that right. That was just the first time breaking her back, when she was just eight years old. Years later, she’d break it again falling from a tree.
“At age 8 and for the rest of my adulthood I had pain. I would regularly have to go to the doctor and get injections in my back small prescriptions to pain pills,” Sloan said.
She says she would go through that process about every six months. Then, last May, a car crash sent her over the edge.
“They slid and cracked open my already deteriorating discs,” Sloan said.
She’s talking about the discs in between her vertebrae. When they start to deteriorate or tear, those discs start to leak and cause intense pain and back issues.
“Around Christmas, I was almost bedridden. I could barely go to the bathroom, I could barely move, I could barely do anything,” Sloan said.
Doctors prescribed her pain killers but she decided not to take them when they affected her memory.
“I had a conversation with my roommate at the time that I did not remember, and I immediately quit the pills that day,” Sloan said.
Dr. Brandon Tolman is one of just 15 doctors nationwide who’s been chosen to perform what’s called the Discseel Proceedure. He injects the discs with a natural sealant called fibrin that essentially works like “fix a flat.” This promotes the regeneration of cells and new disc tissue, without a painful spinal surgery and recovery.
“We’ve had patients that have completely come off opioids, and stopped anti-inflammatory medications all together,” Tolman said.
That’s exactly the position Sloan is in now.
“I immediately felt better than I have felt, really in my entire life,” Sloan said.
The Discseel procedure is still very new, and it’s not covered by insurance yet, however, Sloan tells us the cost is still less than what she’d have to pay for back surgery with insurance. If you’re interested in learning more about the procedure click here.