Sticks & Stones & Non-fusion Bones

About six weeks ago my wife decided a “girl’s weekend” was in order. Such outings help to maintain a reasonable level of mom sanity, which is never a bad thing. Unfortunately for my four small boys, a “girl’s weekend” typically translates into a modified reenactment of Lord of the Flies back at home. Forget about “food groups” or “bedtimes” and say sayonara to “safe practices.” When Mom’s away it’s pure survival of the foolish and I’m both honored and ashamed to admit I rule supreme in such an environment.

With mere hours before Mom was to return, you can thus imagine my surprise when all four of my boys seemed healthy and happy. What better time to go sledding, I figured. Best-case scenario, I’m the hero of the day at the dinner table; carried off the hill on the figurative shoulders of my four little men. Worst-case, I simply maintain a consistent track record of being fast to act and slow to reason.

So the next day Mom is at the pediatrician looking at x-rays of her son’s broken collarbone and wondering about potential healing complications when the doctor says: “As long as the two pieces of bone are in the same room, his body will put them back together.” Turns out our boy’s internal workings are as talented at putting collarbones back together as his external limbs are at breaking household items apart.

Unfortunately that’s not always the case with all our bodies. Some breakdowns are worse than others, some healing doesn’t happen overnight. Spinal injuries, specifically, can require complex medical care that affects an individual for the rest of their life, especially in instances where spinal surgery is required.

Historically, when it comes to spinal issues, fusion techniques (the permanent joining of two or more vertebrae to both immobilize and stabilize the spine) have been the medical standard. While fusion procedures are most common, they can result in lengthy recoveries filled with months of discomfort and pain.

It’s for that reason that non-fusion treatments (dynamic stabilization, artificial discs, and nuclear disc prostheses to name a few terms you probably don’t recognize) are becoming increasingly popular as an alternative to traditional fusion. With non-fusion treatments, there’s potential for greater mobility, faster recovery times, and less overall pain. What’s more, there’s a group just down the road that offers non-fusion procedures: the spine and orthopedic specialists at Timpanogos Regional Medical Center.

So while I might not be the best at offering child-rearing advice, I’m pretty positive that looking into non-fusion spinal treatment options at Timpanogos Regional Medical Center will be much more enjoyable than imagining what will happen next time a “girl’s weekend” rolls around at our house.

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