Dr. Fred Sweet has just gotten back from Pennsylvania after speaking at a hospital there about an advanced surgical procedure in spinal surgery.
"This is a procedure that I developed about 10 years ago and have done on a number of patients to correct very sever spinal deformities," Rockford Spine Center President & Founder Dr. Fred Sweet said.
Dr. Sweet said he just published a paper on the procedure known as transforaminal anterior release or t-far. A decade after creating this operation, he's now traveling around the U.S. to not only speak about t-far, but demonstrate the technique as well for spinal surgeons. Here's how it works, using t-far Dr. Sweet removes a disc in between bones in the spine to help correct severe spinal disorders... instead of cutting through bone like in traditional surgeries.
"The techniques really involves removing a portion of the spine and preserving the nerves in the spinal cord so that loosens up the spine and we can re-position the spine however we want and then we secure it with screws and rods," Sweet said.
Plus t-far only requires one incision to the patient's back. Instead of approaching the spine from the front and back of a person's body. Dr. Sweet says this procedure reduces the chance of neurological injuries compared to traditional operations.
"Older techniques close down on the spinal canal and that can put the nerves at risk," Sweet said.
Sweet said all these factors have captured the interest of doctors across the country, which is why he's committed to bringing this knowledge to them.
"They look at this and they think its a really good idea and a really good procedure and they want to learn how to do it," Sweet said.
After completing nearly 100 of these surgeries Dr. sweet said there's a 90 percent success rate.