When debilitating back pain threatened to keep offshore powerboat racing champions, Gary Jones, Reggie Fountain, and Dan Davies off the water, they turned to “Doc” Mike Janssen for advanced spine procedures to get them behind the wheel again. Read their stories and that of others in a fascinating article—provided by contributing writer Karen Johnson—from the latest issue of Speed on the Water Magazine, below.
More than 90 percent of Americans suffer from episodes of debilitating low back/neck pain that slows them in even the most undemanding physical activities. So they are forced to either slow down or completely abandon their favorite physical past times. Sad, but all too common.
But slowing down was not an option for offshore racing world champions Bob Teague, Gary Jones, Reggie Fountain, and Dan Davies—as well as Skater Powerboats founder and owner Peter Hledin and go-fast-boat enthusiast Nancy Tuck—when their back pain threatened to rob them of their passion. Though their stories differ, all were suffering from disc symptoms, which impaired their passion for offshore boating, building and competition. While each one invests routinely in the most advanced marine technology (hulls, power, drives, props), when their pain worsened, they searched for the most advanced spine technology, including total disc replacement (TDR) surgery and minimally invasive spine surgery (MISS) so they could return to the water.
That’s where racer Michael “Doc” Janssen, a renowned physician specializing in spine care and resolutions, came in.
“Doc is the best,” Tuck said. “He pioneered artificial disc replacement and has the most experienced surgical hands in the country for this type of advanced technology. I knew he volunteers his experience and talents around the world, and we had full trust in his judgment and surgical talents.”
Janssen was among the first surgeons in the nation to perform TDR. He was involved in clinical studies, which he initiated 15 years ago, and has been performing disc replacements since 2006 when the ProDisc was approved by the FDA. Since then, he has performed more than 1,000 complex TDR surgeries for patients globally. Additionally, he has trained thousands of surgeons worldwide to perform the procedure. Janssen recently published an article on the long–term results of TDR surgery in the prestigious Journal of Bone and Joint Surgery (November, 2015).
Patients suffering from advanced degenerative disc disease (DDD) are not uncommon. Tuck, Teague, Jones, Davies, Griffin and Fountain are among an estimated 30 percent of Americans between ages 30 and 50 who suffer from this condition. In most cases, DDD is caused by wear and tear on the spine and advanced degenerative changes, but it can also be accelerated by repetitive trauma that propagates the aging process.
More than two decades ago, Janssen founded the Center for Spine and Orthopedics in Denver. The internationally recognized Center for Excellence specializes in education, technology and determining the best treatment for patients with symptomatic spine conditions.
Continue reading at Teague’s Return, below.