After reading this please keep in mind that all treatment and outcome results are specific to the individual patient. Results may vary. Complications, such as infection, blood loss, or nerve damage are some of the potential adverse risks of spinal surgery. Please consult your physician for a complete list of indications, warnings, precautions, adverse events, clinical results, and other important medical information.

The materials on this website are for general educational purposes only. Information you read on this website cannot replace the relationship that you have with your healthcare professional. We do not practice medicine or provide medical services or advice as a part of this website. You should always talk to your healthcare professional for diagnosis and treatment.

Troy’s Decompression Story


"About seven years ago I was diagnosed with two slipped discs. I was working for a trucking company while I was in college, and I hurt my back. The slipped discs were at the L4-L5 level and the L5-S1 level. The L4-L5 was operated on while I was in college.

"The other slipped disc level was not causing me any pain. But about five years later, I was playing golf and the minute I felt that back pain, I knew what it was. It was the same pain that I felt before. So, I called Dr. Maurice Smith at Semmes-Murphey Clinic and scheduled an appointment. He prescribed some pain medication, and we tried some conservative treatments, such as physical therapy. Then about three weeks later he took an MRI and said that he would need to operate.

"Dr. Smith scheduled a different surgery than the one I had earlier. This minimally invasive spine surgery would be done through a small incision with the METRx® System. I went to the hospital around noon, the surgery started around three, and I was back at home at eight o'clock, with reduced pain. I took the next day off from work. I was back in the office Monday and that following Friday left for a 10-week trip in Europe.

"With the microscopic procedure using the METRx System, I only had to have an epidural after the surgery. The major difference between the two is instead of making a large incision and cutting through the large back muscle, the surgeon makes a small incision and uses tubes, gradually adding one on top of the other until he is able to do the surgery. There is no cutting of the back muscle."

There are some risks associated with minimally invasive spine surgery, including transitioning to a conventional open procedure, neurological damage, damage to the surrounding soft tissue, and where used, instrument malfunction. Most of these complications can be treated once they are detected, but sometimes they require a longer period of hospitalization or recovery, additional medications, and sometimes even additional surgery.

It is important that you discuss the potential risks, complications, and benefits of the METRx® System with your doctor prior to receiving treatment, and that you rely on your physician's judgment. Only your doctor can determine whether you are a suitable candidate for this treatment.

Learn more about the METRx System and other Medtronic innovations

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