Relief from Decades of Back Pain

Charles Waldron received an innovative spinal stenosis treatment called Superion at The University of Kansas Health System in Kansas City to cure his chronic back pain

Charles Waldron
Charles Waldron holds a 3D model of the spine, demonstrating how the Superion implant works.

Severe back pain prevented Charles Waldron, now 81, from even doing the dishes, let alone keeping up with his six grandchildren or enjoying cruise vacations with his wife of 48 years. 

A decades-long search for relief led Charles to The University of Kansas Health System, where he recently became one of the first patients in the region to receive the innovative Superion® implant to eliminate his pain. 

“I’ve had back pain for many, many years,” Charles says. “I’ve been to chiropractors, back doctors and neurosurgeons and tried exercises, physical therapy and water therapy. None of it worked. I just wanted to be pain- and ache-free.” 

A referral to Dawood Sayed, MD, a pain management specialist at the Marc A. Asher, MD, Comprehensive Spine Center, at last brought answers. 

Diagnosis: spinal stenosis

A thorough evaluation led to a diagnosis. Charles had spinal stenosis, a condition in which everyday wear and tear on the spine narrows the spinal canal, causing painful pressure on the nerves in the lower back. Dr. Sayed recommended Superion, a device implanted between the vertebrae to hold them open and relieve nerve pressure. The minimally invasive outpatient surgery was performed at KU MedWest. Charles describes the procedure and results as “nothing short of phenomenal.” 

“We got right to it,” he says. “I had the outpatient procedure, and then I got up and walked out.” 

The next morning would be even more telling. 

“Mornings would bring the worst pain of the day,” Charles says. “But the morning after the procedure, I just got up and walked. There was none of the usual stiffness. There wasn’t any pain.” 

This dramatic improvement in Charles’ condition allowed him to discontinue his hydrocodone use. While he was always cautious in his use of the opioid for pain relief, taking even less of the drug than prescribed, Charles hoped to eliminate hydrocodone entirely. He has not required the medication since receiving Superion. 

Exceptional patient care 

As a leading academic medical center – ranked among U.S. News & World Report’s top 50 providers in the nation for eight medical and surgical specialties, including neurology and neurosurgery – The University of Kansas Health System is often one of the first providers of new, innovative treatment options. In fact, Dr. Sayed was the first in the Kansas City region to perform the Superion implant and remains one of just two experts to currently offer the treatment in the region. 

“I am exceptionally grateful to Dr. Sayed,” Charles says. “He ventured into my spine and provided a solution no one else could. I have no reservations about recommending him to others, and, in fact, I already have. I urge others fighting back pain to keep their eyes and ears open and stay positive. There are new developments all the time, and this one is phenomenal.” 

And it’s a development that will allow Charles to celebrate what he calls his “golden years.” He’s already planning his next cruise with his wife. 

For more information or to schedule an appointment, call 913-588-1227 or request an appointment online