HealthWatch: Laminectomy and Discectomy


Green Bay (WFRV) Brandie Robinson’s herniated disc in her lower back had suddenly grown significantly, putting intense pressure on her spinal cord.  She had developed a rare condition called Cauda Equina Syndrome or CES
Brandie Robinson suffered from lower back pain and was diagnosed with a herniated disc.  
It was controlled through steroid shots – but then one day it turned into a very rare condition- called Cauda Equina Syndrome or CES.  And only surgery would relieve the pain.

Brandie Robinson has no problems picking up her kids, “They want me to get down on the floor and play with them and I am able to,” Brandie said happily.

5 months ago- she couldn’t get down on the floor or pick up her kids.  Her problems started with a herniated disc in her lower back, “Pain every day, very irritable couldn’t do a lot because it was like constant,” said Brandie.

Brandie did receive a steroid injection that helped for awhile.  But then one day, “I put my daughter in the high chair and there was a pop and i couldn’t get up,” Brandie recalls.

So she went to the emergency room at Aurora BayCare Medical Center where she got pain meds and was sent for another shot and an MRI, “At this point I could take a few steps and had to stop because the pain was that bad,” said Brandie.

So she went back to the ER for another MRI.  She was also having incontinence issues. The emergency room doctor called Dr. Gerald Eckerdt a cerebral vascular nuerosurgeon to look at the scans.  As soon as Brandie left the hospital she got a call, “Dr. Eckerdt called me and told me to turn around to the emergency room. He said you’re having surgery right now,” said Brandie.

Brandie’s herniated disc had grown significantly putting intense pressure on her spinal cord.  She developed a rare condition called Cauda Equina Syndrome or CES, “Cauda Equina Syndrome is the symptoms of typically caused by a large disc herniation that includes weakness, back pain and also urinary or bowel incontinence,” explained Dr. Gerald Eckerdt, cerebral vascular neurosurgeon, Aurora BayCare Medical Center.

Brandie needed surgery immediately or, “She could have had permanent loss of control of her bladder or loss of function of her legs,” said Dr. Eckerdt.

Dr. Eckert performed a laminectomy- removing bone to get to the herniated disc to perform a discectomy, “Once this lamina is off underneath that is where the dura and the nerves are held in the thecal sac, a bag of nerves. You pull that aside and the disc is underneath it and you can just reach in and pull it out,” explained Dr. Eckerdt.

The surgery was a success, “She’s made an excellent recovery,” said Dr. Eckerdt.

After physical therapy, Brandie was back to work in a few weeks and now  9 months later, “Amazing, when you don’t  have to wake up in extreme pain,” said Brandie.

To learn more you can call AuroraBayCare at 866-938-0035 or email 

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