In September 2018, my ENT doctor sent me to see Dr. Taghva; as a result of the MRI taken after my ears were tested for possible hearing loss. It turned out that I had a brain tumor the size of a golf ball that needed to be removed; which most likely was the cause of some hearing loss. Both doctors thought it was benign, but due to its size I would need brain surgery to remove it.
When I first started my neurosurgery practice roughly a decade ago, many of my first patients were those who had essentially been discarded by other surgeons in the area. Most of those patients were told “there was nothing more that could be done” for them. The typical story was that a patient had gone in with a complaint of back pain and maybe some sciatica, and 3 or 4 invasive fusion surgeries later, had ended up worse off than they started. Often times, these patients would have intractable back pain, leg pain, or worse yet, neurological deficits such as foot drop, weakness, or numbness in their legs, inability to walk, or urinary, bowel, or bladder dysfunction. Many times these patients were also told that their imaging studies such as X-rays or MRIs “looked fine.”
This gave rise to the term “failed back surgery syndrome, or FBSS,” which is a Medicare-recognized diagnosis. It gave spine surgery in general a bad name, but also opened the door to innovative therapies and new approaches to spine surgery. This innovation forked in two directions, neuromodulation and complex spine surgery.
Neuromodulation in the setting of failed back surgery syndrome (also called failed laminectomy syndrome) most commonly refers to spinal cord stimulation (SCS). In spinal cord stimulation, electrical signals are delivered in the epidural space to modulate pain signals traveling through the spinal cord before they reach the brain and are experienced by a patient. For patients with low back and leg pain, these devices are placed in the thoracic spine. There is a trial, or test drive, with a temporary device before a permanent implant. These surgeries are performed on an outpatient basis and are covered by most insurances and Medicare. Originally, the devices were indicated for the treatment of leg pain associated with FBSS, but new data suggests these can also be effective for back pain as well (see the Nevro HF10 Senza trial). Roughly 70–80 percent of patients achieve at least 50 percent pain relief with this intervention.
Read the full article on Medium.com: The era of minimally-disruptive spine surgery. Part 1: Failed Back Surgery Syndrome
I recently had major surgery on my cervical spine. Work was done from C3 to T1. I was suffering from severe stenosis and losing the ability to use my left arm and hand.
Dr. Taghva performed the surgery and was assisted by his nurse practitioner Vanessa Stroessner. It’s been a few months since the surgery and I have full use of my arm and hand. I had always heard Dr. Taghva was an extraordinary surgeon and after being living proof I whole heartedly agree.
I had a trial stimulator put in two weeks ago since I have scoliosis and spinal stenosis and helped with my pain 100%. Yesterday he inserted permanent stimulator inside me. I am so happy and love Dr Tagvha. I highly recommend him and has a wonderful bedside manner. Best neurosurgeon. Dr. Alexander Tagvha is my hero.
Dr. Taghva is my hero. I had a herniated disc and spinal stenosis with pressure on the upper spine area. After 3 hours of surgery I was up and walking pain free right away. My recovery in just 2-3 weeks had me walking without any walker or back brace and I am feeling terrific.
Thank you so much Dr. Taghva.
5 years ago I was sent to Dr. Taghva by my pain management specialist. He had very thorough tests done. He told me that it was his opinion that I had RSD aka CRPS. After much discussion with my pain specialist, I had a spinal cord stimulator implanted. I loved the relief it gave me.
A few years later, I was back in Dr. Taghva’s office with excruciating pain that had spread. I was in so much pain that all I wanted was to not feel pain. Yes, I was ready to end my pain any way possible. Before doing anything drastic, I sought out help from Dr. Taghva, not really believing anything could help. I was so wrong.