Melinda Rishforth was accustomed to being physically active. When persistent back pain began depriving her of her many outdoor pursuits, she thought lumbar spinal fusion surgery was the answer. To her dismay, the spinal fusion left her with progressive lower back pain that greatly limited her quality of life and day-to-day activities.

Conservative treatments, such as transcutaneous electrical nerve stimulation (TENS), massage, pool therapy, physical therapy, and oral medications, did not relieve her pain. Two years postsurgery, frustrated and worried, she met with Arthur Jenkins, MD, of The Mount Sinai Medical Center in New York City. Melinda told Dr. Jenkins that, according to her prior surgeon, her spinal fusion had taken well. But she was still in pain. And her pain — and disability — were worsening.

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