Police identify tree worker killed in Chesterfield

How new surgeries are helping people with debilitating spine conditions

CHESTERFIELD COUNTY, Va. -- Degenerative spinal problems can affect almost every structure of the spine, causing pain, numbness and discomfort. Most patients complain of pain in their neck, arm, back or leg.

Dr. Richard Singleton, a neurosurgeon at Johnston Willis Medical Center, said degenerative conditions such as herniated discs, degenerative disc disease and spinal stenosis can impact almost anyone, but patients ranging in age from 50 to 80 tend to be most at risk.

"That's usually when folks who have degenerative problems start to develop enough of a problem where they're developing pinched nerves, or narrowing in the spine, or scoliosis and other problems that result in the development of the problems that bring them to our attention," Singleton said.

With medical advancements, surgeons like Dr. Singleton are now able to perform minimally invasive procedures that reduce risks and significantly decrease recovery time for patients.

"Some of the surgeries that would result in people being in the hospital for a day or multiple days -- people can have surgery and go home the same day," Singleton said. "Other surgeries are ones where we can make a series of smaller incisions that result in less pain, less bleeding, less trauma to the muscles which can sometimes help with long-term pain."

While physical therapy, medications or steroid injections are usually recommended before surgery is an option, patients with debilitating spine conditions are finding hope in medical procedures that have them back on their feet again and feeling good.

Working For Your Health is a partnership with HCA Healthcare. Serving the greater Richmond area, Chippenham, Henrico Doctors’, Johnston-Willis, Parham Doctors’, and Retreat Doctors’ Hospital are part of HCA Virginia. Watch for Working For Your Health reports Tuesdays on CBS 6 News at 7 p.m.

Watch for Working For Your Health reports on CBS 6.

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