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EvergreenHealth is first in Washington to use DTRAX technology for minimally invasive spine surgery

The following is a release from EvergreenHealth:

Dr. Jeffrey Roh at EvergreenHealth hospital has completed the first posterior cervical spine stabilization procedure using DTRAX technology in the state of Washington. Cervical fusion with DTRAX is a minimally invasive procedure used to alleviate spinal pressure and discomfort caused by degenerative disc disease.

“Dr. Roh’s adoption of this new technology is just one example of the many ways our providers are constantly innovating and providing the newest and most advanced treatment options that help patients to live an active life and at their healthiest best,” EvergreenHealth CEO Bob Malte said.

The DTRAX system involves a minimally invasive approach in which a surgeon implants a small cage between a patient’s vertebrae to relieve pressure and discomfort. For patients like 45-year-old Jennifer Jones, this means she can focus on playing with her grandkids, instead of the pain.

Jones, an accountant, was experiencing twinges and numbness down her left arm, just as tax season was approaching. A slew of appointments – with a chiropractor, massage therapist and sports medicine specialist – provided little relief for the Lynnwood resident.

“The pain affected everything I did, from answering the phone to playing with my grandkids,” Jones said. “I couldn’t get away from the twinges; everything I did triggered them. I was afraid to go into tax season feeling like this.”

Jones was referred to Roh, who discovered that bone growth was rubbing on the nerve endings in Jones’s neck, causing the numbness and tingling sensation. The solution, Roh said, was a technology called DTRAX.

Through the DTRAX system, small implants relieve pressure on the patient’s spinal nerve by opening and stabilizing the joints, which enables fusion of the joints for more rapid healing and long-term relief from spinal pain and discomfort.

“With DTRAX, our patients are able to experience more rapid improvement and less recovery time than with previous options,” said Roh. “We work closely with patients to coordinate care plans that balance rehabilitation, pain management, physical therapy and sometimes surgery, and are thrilled to have a new minimally invasive option available to help patients like Jennifer get back to what’s important in their lives.”

For Jones, this meant getting back to playing with her two grandchildren right away.

“The relief was immediate and the recovery was simple,” Jones said. “The moment I was out of surgery I could move around, and was back to playing with my grandkids – swimming, reading and dancing – within 30 days.”

The DTRAX system allows surgeons to access the spine without the removal of bone, soft tissue or stabilizing ligaments, which is common in more traditional spine surgery. Patients who elect for this minimally invasive procedure generally experience shorter recovery times than other treatments.

“EvergreenHealth and Dr. Roh have exhibited great leadership in bringing this new technology to the Puget Sound region and we are pleased to be working with a forward-thinking and patient-centered health care organization,” said David Schummers, vice president of marketing for Providence Medical Technologies, which manufactures the device and specializes in minimally invasive solutions addressing cervical spine surgical needs.

Dr. Jeffery Roh specializes in spine surgery and orthopedic surgery at EvergreenHealth. For more information about Roh and spine surgery options, visit www.evergreenhealth.com or call (425) 899-3000.

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