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Scranton Man Looks Forward to Returning to the Golf Course after Spine Surgery

Fred Coslar tried to play golf through severe pain in his lower back for a couple of years

The pain had become unbearable. Fred Coslar had tried physical therapy, medication and epidural injections to ease his aching back for a couple of years. Now, he knew what was needed.

“I had herniated a disk while working in my 20s,” says the 61-year-old Scranton resident. “I had surgery back then to correct it. In the last few years, it had begun really bothering me. Nothing was helping me much, but I kept putting it off the inevitable. I guess that’s what guys my age tend to do.”

The pain was limiting Coslar at work and keeping him off the golf course, two things he wasn’t going to permit for long. He approached his primary care physician about having surgery.

“Fred isn’t someone who would come to see me for routine problems,” says Stephen Opsasnick, MD, internal medicine and primary care physician with LVPG Internal Medicine–Steamtown. “He had tried epidural injections, he’d been sent to a physiatrist for rehab, nothing seemed to help him. So, I recommended him to a top spine specialist I had worked with for several years.”

Spinal expertise close to home

Lehigh Valley Orthopedic Institute orthopedic and spine surgeon Christopher Henderson, MD, quickly diagnosed Coslar’s condition.

“He had spinal stenosis (abnormal narrowing) and degenerative disk arthritis in his lower back, the bottom two disks,” Henderson says. “Many times, that kind of problem doesn’t improve much without surgery.”

On July 11, Coslar arrived at Lehigh Valley Hospital–Dickson City, which offers Lackawanna County residents the best in orthopedic and spine care close to home. For Coslar’s case, Henderson used the newly acquired 7D Spinal Surgical System, an advanced navigation system that permits improved navigation and precision in spine surgery.

“It was the perfect choice for this procedure,” Henderson says. “This is the type of surgery where we’re using screws and rods as we fuse the lower disks. This technology allows us to do so more accurately and efficiently.”

Remarkable and rapid pain relief

Coslar couldn’t believe the difference when he awoke following the surgery.

“The pain was gone.” Coslar says. “They had me up and walking around within hours, and I didn’t feel any real discomfort. I was discharged the next morning.” Generally, less invasive navigation techniques allow for less post-operative pain and hospitalization.

Now, Coslar can’t wait to get back out on the golf course. He has a reputation for booming his drives impressively on the longer holes. Will that continue?

“I don’t know about that,” Henderson says. “He should start out with some light chipping and putting, and gradually get back to his full game. I’ve had some patients who told me that had to adjust their swings some after similar surgery, slowing it down a little. But they found they were hitting the ball down the middle more.”

Fred Coslar should like that.

Lehigh Valley Orthopedic Institute

Lehigh Valley Orthopedic Institute

The region’s leader in joint, spine and orthopedic care gets you moving again.

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