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      Getting back to normal with minimally invasive surgeries

      Charlevoix Area Hospital is focusing on new techniques and advances to create more minimally invasive surgeries for patients with neck and back pain. Shawn Colbeck is one of those patients. Shawn is an active dad, a talented landscaper, and the number one fan at his son's football games.

      But Shawn suffered from back pain, and it got worse until he found out he needed to have surgeries to help his back problems.

      "Before I had a lot of shooting pain, almost like being electrocuted. It felt like I was just being zapped all the time in my lower back shooting down my left leg. That pain is now gone after the surgeries," Colbeck said.

      Dr. Blaine Rawson at Charlevoix Area Hospital says the doctors there are working toward being able to offer the neck and back procedures patients need but with less negative side effects of surgery.

      "We offer a full array of minimally invasive procedures in all areas of the spine...smaller incisions, less tissue disruption, faster healing times, less infection rates, all of these are benefits for the patient," Rawson said.

      Dr. Rawson says lots of people suffer from a variety of back or neck pain and no matter what the cause was, people shouldn't have to learn to deal with the pain.

      "Perhaps they woke up one morning with this, maybe they were in a car accident..we're able to put them back into the path of good health," Rawson said.

      And to the doctors at Charlevoix Area Hospital, a patient's path to recovery is more than just sending them home. With the support of his son Shawn is on his way to being back at every football game. His son Dylan even helped make a special gift for his dad to help him get around. Dylan and his grandfather sanded down a piece of wood and turned it into a cane for Shawn. A cane he treasures.

      "It was a big inspiration for me and helped a lot knowing that he was OK seeing him on the sidelines cheering us on," Dylan Colbeck said.

      More and more patients like Shawn are getting back to their lives without pain. Whether it's getting into a tree stand or just doing daily activities, Charlevoix Area Hospital is helping people get back to normal.

      For more information on Charlevoix Area Hospital, visit their website.