John enjoys an active lifestyle. He travels often and stays in shape by following an exercise regimen developed by his personal trainer, who is also a physical therapist. John’s workout program includes core strengthening exercises and Pilates. He began having mild back pain in 2008. Even with the pain, John continued to stay active by working out with is personal trainer who selected special exercises that can actually help relieve back pain symptoms. He also tried giving his back some rest. Unfortunately, John’s back pain did not go away, in fact, he started having shooting pain into his legs.

core exercise with corebella


After surgery to remove benign spinal tumors, John returned to activity with the help of his personal trainer, his rehabilitation program includes cardio on the bike and core exercises to strengthen his spine and make his back more resistant to injury

After several weeks of pain symptoms, John went to his doctor to find some pain relief. John’s doctor examined him and then referred him to Dr. John Regan, a fellowship-trained orthopedic surgeon in Beverly Hills, who specializes in spine.

Dr. Regan reviewed John’s medical history and due to John’s symptoms, also performed a neurological examination and ordered an MRI. Diagnostic results showed that John had a benign spinal tumor that was pressing on the nerve roots of his spine.

Dr. Regan explained to him that he would need to perform surgery to drain the cystic tumor and restore stability to his spine. Dr. Regan also cautioned that surgical removal of a spinal tumor is delicate, since the spinal cord and nerves are very sensitive to injury. Dr. Regan performed the surgery to remove the tumor and restore the vertebral height. The surgery was successful and John felt immediate relief from his back pain and neurological symptoms.

About five months passed and John again started having similar pain symptoms. He visited Dr. Regan again, the surgeon ordered an MRI of John’s spine and the results showed that another benign spinal tumor had developed. John had a benign recurrent cyst. Dr. Regan performed the surgery to remove the second benign tumor, and it was a success.

Because the causes of spinal tumors are uncertain and without a known cause, it is unknown how to prevent the tumors. Dr. Regan cautioned that it was important to keep a watchful eye on any developing pain or neurological symptoms that may indicate additional spine tumors.

A few months passed and John’s back and leg pain symptoms returned. Dr. Regan ordered and reviewed an MRI of John’s spine. Unfortunately, the results showed another spinal tumor. Dr. Regan explained to John the spine surgery and fusion procedure needed to remove the benign tumor and stabilize his spine. Dr. Regan performed a decompressive laminotomy to remove the spinal tumor. John’s condition also required a posterior lumbar interbody fusion (PLIF) to replace a damaged intervertebral disc in his lower back with a bone spacer. John’s recovery from the spine surgery and fusion was successful. He felt immediate relief from his pain symptoms.

Today, John is back in action, without pain, he works with his personal trainer each morning where they focus on spine strengthening exercises along with cardio work on the bike and stepper machine. His program includes Pilates and rotational exercises that help prepare him for the golf course.

“Dr. Regan always recommended the least invasive procedure possible to treat my condition. Now, I am back to normal activities – including travel and golf – all without back or leg pain,” remarks John.

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About Dr. John Regan

John Regan, MD Board-certified orthopedic surgeon, Fellowship-trained spine surgeon Dr. Regan has an international reputation as an author of spine research, and is widely regarded as the pioneer in minimally invasive spine surgery including video-assisted surgery of the thoracic spine. Dr. Regan was one of the first four spine surgeons during the creation of the john reagan corebellaTexas Back Institute, which was the first and largest spine specialty clinic in the United States. Dr. Regan was then selected by Cedars-Sinai Medical Center to become Director of their new Cedars- Sinai Institute for Spinal Disorders. In 2005, Dr. Regan left Cedars-Sinai for a busy private practice in Beverly Hills, CA. Dr. Regan completed fellowships in spine trauma at the prestigious A.O. International Hospital in Switzerland and at Johns Hopkins University Hospital in Baltimore.

About PLIF Surgery

plif surgery and corebella

During the PLIF procedure, an incision is made in the back to remove the damaged disc with special instruments. The empty space is then filled with two small bone graft spacers that are placed on either side of the interbody space. Illustration ©ViewMedica, used with permission.