Focusing on You: Percussionist Returns to the Stage Weeks After Spine Surgery

2 min read  |  May 02, 2024  | 

Dexter Dwight, a classical percussionist, loves performing. But weakness on his left side made it difficult. “Especially with my left arm, it was really starting to affect how I could play,” Dexter says.

Dexter’s spinal cord was compressed. Dr. Matthew Cummock, M.D., a neurosurgeon who specializes in minimally invasive spine surgery at UHealth/Jackson, says cervical degenerative disease can cause concerning symptoms.

UHealth/Jackson Neurosurgery Offers Patients Minimally Invasive Spine Surgery

The department is uniquely positioned to provide a number of options when it comes to spine surgery. For Dexter, Dr. Cummock used a titanium disc to relieve pressure on his spinal cord.

“The goal for us is always to do the most minimally invasive procedure as possible,” Dr. Cummock explains. “So going from the front of the neck, you’re able to push everything aside to get to where you need to go to clean out the area that’s compressing on his spinal cord. And once that’s done, we’re able to place an interbody graft, a special 3D printed titanium interbody graft into that space to help basically reconstruct that area.”

“I was amazed that I only spent one night in the hospital,” says Dexter.

What sets UHealth/Jackson Neurosurgery apart is it offers the latest technologies in spine surgery to fit every patient’s needs. “Everything from ultra-minimally invasive endoscopic spine surgery to minimally invasive procedures, to even the more complex open procedures,” Dr. Cummock says.

Dexter is back playing in the orchestra and is amazed by his quick recovery!

“We had a concert with the band 10 days ago that I had to do a lot of playing and it all went well. So yeah, it is just amazing,” Dexter says.

He is grateful for Dr. Cummock and the power of two: UHealth/Jackson Neurosurgery. “Thank you very much for doing a great job and for making me feel completely comfortable throughout the whole procedure,” says Dexter.

Video transcript compiled by Janna Ross for ‘Focusing on You: Innovations in Modern Medicine,’ a series of healthcare-related stories airing regularly on WPLG Local 10.  For more stories like this one, visit UHealth’s YouTube channel.

Tags: cervical degenerative disease, Dr. Matthew Cummock, focusing on you, minimally invasive spine surgery, neurosurgeon, spinal compression, spine surgery

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