ROCHESTER, Minn. (AP/KTTC) -- Minnesota Gov. Mark Dayton has undergone spinal surgery that will likely sideline him for the rest of the year.
Dayton spokeswoman Kathleen Tinucci says the Mayo Clinic surgeon who performed the procedure Thursday reports it went as planned, without any complications. She says the governor was out of surgery and awake by mid-afternoon.
Doctor of Chiropractic of First Chiropractic Tony Parks says, "It appears to me that Governor Dayton has something that would be more classically central spinal stenosis. That can be created by inflammation. It can be created by a disk bulge or herniation. It can also be created by a bony degenerative changes that are going on in the spine."
Dayton hopes the operation will relieve a constriction in his lower back, known as stenosis, which Mayo says is generally caused by normal wear-and-tear on the spine due to aging. The procedure involves fusing vertebrae that shift out of alignment.
Dayton turns 66 in a few weeks.
Parks says, "I like to tell our patients it's not necessarily the years but the mileage that creates the problem."
He is scheduled to be released by Monday and will then return to St. Paul. He plans to work from the Governor's Residence during his recuperation period.
So how can you protect yourself? The best way to help avoid spinal stenosis or at least delay it is to concentrate on maintaining back strength.
Parks explains, "The people who have the desk jobs the muscles don't work as hard. So those are the individuals we see more often than not that are going to be getting complications from this as they age."
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