Dr. James Sanfilippo Returns Local Resident to Active Life With No Limitations

Local resident Thomas Mitchell travels internationally for work and loves spending time with his family and playing with his three kids. When the pain in his spine and down his leg became intolerable and started to interrupt his life, he decided it was time to get it checked out.

Thomas went to a sports medicine doctor, who diagnosed him with a stress fracture and a herniated disc. They tried to treat it conservatively with injections. With no relief from the shots, Thomas turned toward surgical options.

“My left leg was essentially not working,” says Thomas. “When I walked, it would kind of cave in. I wasn’t able to play with the kids or do anything with the family.”

Thomas met with fellowship-trained spine surgeon Dr. James Sanfilippo at Virtua Reconstructive Orthopedics and learned he was a candidate for a new approach to a traditional spine fusion procedure.

Referred to as mini-open minimally invasive lumbar decompression and fusion with a TLIF, this new procedure uses a 3-D printed titanium implant that stimulates bone to grow into the implant, providing stability faster than previously available with traditional bone or plastic implants.

By combining the implant with Dr. Sanfilippo's technique, the procedure is less invasive, which results in the patient returning home within 23 hours or less after surgery.

Dr. Sanfilippo performed the procedure and shared that not only did Thomas return to flying internationally within weeks of the procedure, but he also has zero limitations, returning him to his very active lifestyle with three children.

To learn more about spine procedures at Virtua Reconstructive Orthopedics or Dr. Sanfilippo, please call (800) 896-7326.