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Back surgery made easier

Tenet Health Central Coast Sierra Vista Regional Medical Center

SAN LUIS OBISPO, Calif. - A breakthrough in spinal surgery is now available on the Central Coast through Tenet Health.

"This is an advancement of decades of surgical procedures," Orthopedic Spine Surgeon, Dr. James Carr said.

Back surgery no longer requires a 6 to 10 inch incision and a long hospital stay, according to Carr. He is the first surgeon in San Luis Obispo County to perform an Oblique Lumbar Inter-body Fusion. With this new minimally invasive procedure, people can get back home and on with their lives.

"If you're able to have a major spine surgery and go home that day or the next day!" Carr said, "It's definitely the future."

About 8 in 10 Americans have some back pain. Dr. Carr says 99 percent of the patients he sees every day say they absolutely do not want surgery, but for those who get it, this targeted approach is a game changer. Carr has performed the OLIF surgery three times.

"We're not going to fix your entire spine, or try to correct 75 years of being on this earth," Carr said. "But what we could do is target an area we could actually go in and improve your pain."

With COVID-19 concerns leading a push for more outpatient operations, this break through fits the times.

"This procedure translates to increased improved outcomes, decreased hospitalizations, and decrease in pain," Carr said.

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Scott Hennessee

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