November 15, 2006 07:15 ET

REMINDER: ORLive Presents: Jefferson Spine Surgeons to Demonstrate Procedures to Treat Severe, Chronic Back Pain During Real-Time CME Webcast

Webcast November 15, 2006 at 12:00 PM EST (17:00 UTC) From Thomas Jefferson University Hospital

PHILADELPHIA, PA -- (MARKET WIRE) -- November 15, 2006 -- Healthcare professionals and public audiences from around the globe are invited to watch live through the web as internationally recognized spine specialists from Thomas Jefferson University Hospital in Philadelphia demonstrate a lumbar laminectomy and a transforaminal lumbar interbody fusion, or TLIF. Performed to alleviate severe, chronic lower back and leg pain associated with herniated discs, degenerative disk disease, scoliosis, and other related conditions, the procedures will be broadcast live via webcast on on Wednesday, November 15, 2006, from 12:00 p.m. to 1:00 pm. All viewers will be able to ask questions online during the surgery and physicians can earn CME credit.

James Harrop, M.D., assistant professor of Neurological Surgery at Thomas Jefferson University, and Todd J. Albert, M.D., professor and vice-chair of the Department of Orthopaedic Surgery at Jefferson Medical College and Thomas Jefferson University Hospital, will perform the procedures as Dr. Albert narrates. The two surgeons are members of a team of leading experts from the departments of Neurological Surgery and Orthopaedic Surgery which comprise Jefferson's Spine Program, one of the busiest in the country exclusively dedicated to treating patients with disorders of the spine and spinal cord.

According to the American Academy of Orthopaedic Surgeons (AAOS), 80 percent of the population will be affected by back pain at some point in their lives, and of these, 85 percent will report the lower back as their primary site of pain. As the second leading cause of absenteeism from work, after the common cold (AAOS), and the second most common medical complaint in the U.S. (New England Journal of Medicine), it is no surprise that doctors have strived to develop innovative treatments for this widespread, debilitating ailment. When more conservative treatments such as anti-inflammatory medications and physical therapy do not help, surgery becomes an option.

A lumbar laminectomy, or lumbar decompression, is performed to treat spinal stenosis, a narrowing of the spinal canal that puts pressure on the nerves in the lower back, which causes symptoms in nearly 500,000 Americans over the age of 50. Used to manage related conditions involving deformities of the vertebrae, such as spondylolisthesis or scoliosis, a transforaminal lumbar interbody fusion (TLIF) is an innovative, sometimes safer, more efficient alternative to other anterior and posterior-approach fusion procedures. Both conditions cause pain and weakness in the lower back and legs, leading to walking difficulty in many patients.

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