Wednesday, October 29, 2014 4:15 pm
By Denelle Dunn, TODAY STAFF
Garrett Long has had more than 50 procedures and surgeries in his life and one of them made history.
Long, a 41-year-old Surprise resident, is the first Arizona patient to receive a two-level disc replacement.
LDR’s Mobi-C-cervical disc replaced two of the discs in Long’s neck.
“I used to not be able to move my neck without pain before the surgery. I can move my neck now,” said Long.
Long has had a long road with the number of problems with his health. He was denied disability and is in the current appeal process. Long has neuropathy in both of his legs making it hard to walk.
Long has been advised by doctors to lose weight which has been complicated by neuropathy, which makes walking difficult.
He has been advised not to lift more than 50 pounds.
“I can’t get the exercise I need. I used to walk my dog every day. Now my family has to walk my dog. You got to stay positive as possible,” Long said.
Long also has trouble driving, and his mother Kathy says she drives him to all his appointments.
“He had a lot of surgeons on this (two-level disc replacement) surgery and is in a lot less pain. He can function a lot better. It was his decision to make on whether we were going to go through with the two-level disc replacement,” said Kathy.
The Banner CORE Center for Orthopedics gave Long the option of a spinal fusion of the two herniated discs or the procedure that he ultimately chose.
“The surgery removes damaged or diseased spinal disc pads, which act as cushions between the bones of the spinal column, and are replaced with new, artificial discs,” according to the CORE Center.
“It’s invigorating to be on the cutting edge in spinal surgeries,” said Dr. Ali Araghi of the Core Institute.
“There was excitement (in regards to Long being the first patient in Arizona). The size of his neck was challenging. I was in the FDA study for this two disc-replacement and had done many of the operations before.”
According to Araghi, there are many factors that go into qualifying for the two-disc replacement surgery, including age.
The two-disc study was approved by the FDA in January, and Long had his surgery in June.
For more information on The Banner CORE Center you can go to www.bannercorecenter.com.
Long now is continuing therapy to fully recover from the surgery.