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lumbar microdiscectomy for degenerative disc disease
January 3, 2022

Joe’s Story: Dr. Langevin Allowed Me To Walk Again

by Amelia Garrison

When Joe was diagnosed with degenerative disc disease, he lost his ability to walk. After visiting several clinics with no luck, Joe discovered Dr. Jean-Philippe Langevin, who performed a lumbar microdiscectomy of the spine and restored his ability to walk.

The path to PNI

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Twenty years ago, Joe was diagnosed with degenerative disc disease. This is a painful condition that occurs when the spinal discs break down and cause loss of cushioning, fragmentation, and herniation in the spine.

Over the course of several years, Joe’s condition worsened and began to impact his daily life. He could not stand up for more than a few minutes due to pain. “At one point, approximately 7 years ago, my pain had progressed to the point where I couldn’t manage to stand upright for more than about 5 minutes before it became too excruciating to do so,” explained Joe.

Joe decided to seek medical attention. He visited several clinics in New Jersey, where he was based, all of which led him to believe that there was nothing that could be done. Joe sought out physical therapy. By combining stretching exercises and strengthening routines, he was seeing results. He felt better and was beginning to think that his condition might be improving. Then, he moved to California.

A turn of events

When Joe moved to California, his pain became worse. He could not understand why, since he was pursuing regular physical therapy. An orthopedic specialist recommended diet and weight changes, but neither of these options helped with Joe’s pain.

Several months later, Joe suffered a stroke. He lost vision in his right eye, and both of his arms became weak. He was brought to Providence Little Company of Mary Medical Center in Torrance where Pacific Neuroscience Institute (PNI)-South Bay specialist Dr. Walavan Sivakumar, Director of Neurovascular Surgery, provided his stroke treatment.

Dr. Jean-Philippe Langevin at the Pacific Spine Health Center.

Visiting PNI-South Bay for stroke treatment left a favorable impression on Joe. When he lost the ability to walk several months later, he quickly returned and met with Jean-Philippe Langevin, MD, Director of Neuro-Spine Surgery at the Pacific Spine Health Center, associated with the Spine Institute at Little Company of Mary.

“Gradually my pain began to worsen again, and it progressed to the point that I had to stop walking. My legs would buckle unexpectedly, and I was in fear of falling and perhaps fracturing a bone which with my now osteoporotic condition would have been very serious, ” said Joe. “This is when I first met with Dr. Langevin. He was very attentive as I described my condition, and he concluded that a lumbar microdiscectomy would be very likely to produce favorable results.”

Dr. Langevin performed a lumbar microdiscectomy. This is a procedure to relieve the pressure on the spinal nerve resulting from a herniated, or protruding, lumbar disc. After the surgery, Joe was able to walk again.

A grateful patient

Today, Joe remains virtually pain-free. He is indebted to Dr. Langevin and the specialists at Pacific Brain Health Center for their expert care.

“Since my surgery, I have been feeling much better. The combination of the procedure and the post-procedure PT has enabled me to once again begin and maintain a walking regimen. For the first time in nearly 20 years, I am virtually pain-free. Dr. Langevin has maintained a relationship with me, and he has demonstrated the same courtesy, knowledge, and professionalism that led me to choose him as my surgeon, to begin with.”

Learn more about Pacific Spine Health Center. PNI’s spine care experts offer treatment options for all spine conditions. These include degenerative spine disease, pinched nerves, pain, disc displacement, spinal infection, spinal tumor, and vascular lesions.

More information: 424-212-5361

About Dr. Jean-Philippe Langevin

Jean-Philippe Langevin, MD

Jean-Philippe Langevin, MD, is a board-certified and fellowship-trained neurosurgeon specializing in the surgical treatment of movement disorders, epilepsy, and psychiatric conditions. He was selected as a 2016 Superdoctors Rising Star and achieved the Superdoctor designation again in 2017. He has extensive experience using neuromodulation to treat conditions such as Parkinson’s disease, essential tremor, dystonia, epilepsy, and obsessive-compulsive disorder (OCD).

About Dr. Walavan Sivakumar

Walavan Sivakumar MD

Walavan Sivakumar, MD, is a fellowship-trained neurosurgeon with a focus on skull base and minimally invasive and endoscopic neursosurgery. A multiple Super Doctor award recipient, Dr. Sivakumar has a particular interest and expertise in brain tumors, skull base tumors, pituitary/parasellar tumors, and intraventricular brain tumors, and he applies the keyhole concept, utilizing advanced neuroimaging and microsurgical techniques to minimize collateral damage to the brain. He treats patients at the Spine Institute at Little Company of Mary to help relieve and cure back conditions due to spine involvement.

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About the Author

Amelia Garrison MPhil

Amelia Garrison

Amelia Garrison is the Marketing Specialist at Pacific Neuroscience Institute (PNI). Well versed in community outreach strategy and implementation, she leads the PNI blog, newsletter, and digital communications. Amelia oversees PNI's reputation management and community sponsorships.

Last updated: January 18th, 2022