Dan D New Jersey Man Finds Relief for Leg and Back Pain at CMC

“It was a good experience... I felt comfortable from the moment I got to the hospital through the entire stay.”

An advanced robotic system helps a man regain his active life.

Even though he’d had back pain for many years, Demetri (Dan) DeBiase liked to keep active— golfing, bowling, working out regularly in the gym at his retirement community’s clubhouse. “Then, starting about five years ago, the pain got progressively worse,” says the 70-year-old Lakewood resident.

Finally, acquaintances who are medical professionals advised him to seek care at Community Medical Center (CMC), where a team-based approach to spinal surgery combines expertise from orthopedic surgeon Chanakya (Sean) Jandhyala, MD, and neurosurgeon Stephen A. Johnson, MD. Both doctors are members of RWJBarnabas Health Medical Group and work closely together both in and out of the operating room to ensure the best patient outcomes.

Chanakya Jandhyala MD
Chanakya Jandhyala, MD

An appointment with Dr. Jandhyala and an MRI (magnetic resonance imaging) made the problem clear. “He noticed severe spinal stenosis,” Dan says. The condition occurs when tight space in the spinal canal, often in the lower back, puts pressure on nerves.

Dr. Jandhyala first advised nonsurgical solutions such as injections to manage pain. “The best result lasted about a week, and pain returned,” Dan says.

The situation became increasingly intolerable. On a Caribbean cruise, Dan had to start canceling excursions due to pain, numbness and growing instability. At home, he took a spill when pain caused his knee to buckle.

Dr. Jandhyala indicated that the time had come. “He said, ‘We’ve tried everything nonoperative,’” Dan recalls. “‘The only thing that will help is surgery.’”

Efficient and Effective

Stephen A Johnson MD
Stephen A. Johnson, MD

Dan knew his surgery would use robotic technology but didn’t realize he would benefit from a new cutting-edge digital technology platform now available at CMC to perform complex spinal surgeries more efficiently, effectively and closer to home.

The Pulse platform by NuVasive is designed to consistently increase the safety and efficiency of spine surgery outcomes by integrating multiple technologies into one platform.

The technologies help reduce radiation, enhance imaging, manage hardware, monitor procedures and achieve precise alignments, all in less time and through smaller incisions.

“The Pulse platform enables us to efficiently and safely do challenging and delicate procedures without injuring surrounding structures,” says Dr. Jandhyala. “Besides decreased time under anesthesia, we are finding that patients have less pain during recovery.”

“This incredible system helps Dr. Jandhyala and I perform our surgeries with more accuracy and efficiency throughout the procedure than any other technology I’ve used,” Dr. Johnson says.

After undergoing a laminectomy and fusion procedure to open up space and stabilize his spine in March, Dan began an active process of healing and rebuilding core muscles. “The pain down my leg was gone the day after surgery,” he says. “I walk a lot and soon got back to the gym. Movement is really important. People in my retirement community can’t believe how great I’m doing.”

To find a spine specialist or to learn more, visit Orthopedic Spine Surgery or request an appointment.