Eric Ferguson is a well-known and highly acclaimed radio host in Chicago. He is the costar of the hit morning radio show Eric&Kathy on WTMX and has received many honors for his work. However, most people didn’t know that the 46 year old has been suffering from debilitating back pain for years. Ferguson recently underwent a spinal decompression procedure and disc fusion to relieve the painful symptoms of spinal stenosis. The radio star received a very high level of care in Chicago, a level that is also available through Spinal Stenosis Center of Excellence in Los Angeles.

What Is Spinal Stenosis?

Spinal stenosis is a narrowing of the spinal canal that puts pressure on the spinal cord or nerve roots. This can happen as the result of a tumor or injury, but is most commonly caused by age-related degenerative changes. Ferguson isn’t sure how his spinal stenosis developed, but he thinks it may be due to a previous fall or car accident that caused trauma to the spine.

Symptoms of Spinal Stenosis

The symptoms can include pain, numbness, stiffness, and loss of motor control. The decision to undergo the treatment for spinal stenosis came at a time when the symptoms were starting to interfere with his quality of life. Ferguson said that it had gotten to a point from a comfort level that it was time to get it done and over with. 

Treatment for Spinal Stenosis

Most spinal stenosis cases that involve a surgical procedure are elective. This means that, even though the doctor can strongly advise, the patient ultimately decides whether or not to undergo surgery. Conservative, non-surgical treatments are usually attempted before surgery is considered. These conservative treatments can include physical therapy, exercise, medication, and certain types of injections. In a lot of cases, non-surgical treatments are only a temporary fix and surgery may be required for full and lasting symptom relief. 

The procedure that Ferguson had is called a laminectomy and fusion. The laminectomy involves the removal of a portion of the vertebra known as the lamina. Once the lamina is removed, the tissue or bone that is causing the compression on the spinal cord or nerves can be accessed and cleared out. The fusion portion of the procedure comes at the end, after the restriction has been eliminated.

Fusion is required in a certain percent of spinal stenosis cases. Decompression procedures like the laminectomy may destabilize the spine, giving rise to the possibility of more issues later on. Fusion is a procedure of permanently bonding two or more vertebrae together with a bone graft in order to eliminate movement between them. When certain vertebrae are fused, that portion of the spine is immobilized and supported. The destabilization of the spine is corrected with the fusion procedure.

Eric Ferguson is on his way to making a full recovery and getting back to radio. When performed by skilled surgeons like those at Spinal Stenosis Center of Excellence, these decompression procedures have an extremely high success rate. Eric Ferguson did not want to have to suffer from the effects of spinal stenosis any longer and you don’t have to either. If you are interested in learning about our advanced treatment options, contact us today through our contact form. We are ready to help.