Peoria doctor pioneers back surgery

By Marshanna Hester

May 22, 2013 Updated May 27, 2013 at 8:33 PM CDT

PEORIA, Ill. -- A Peoria surgeon is the first in the world to perform a procedure giving relief to those with lower back pain.

Dr. Richard Kube at Prairie, Spine and Pain Institute crafted the technique.

It's called the Minimally Invasive Sacroiliac Joint, or SI Joint fusion.

The 90 minute procedure uses two screws to prepare the joint surface for a fusion bone graft, then stabilizes it while the fusion heals.

The success of Dr. Kube's first 8 patients nearly two years ago has attracted more than 100 patients across the state to try it.

He says being the first isn't the best part of his accomplishment.

"It's a lot more fun to be able to provide an answer for somebody other than tell them, 'I don't know if you're looking at pain medication or something that's just not as desirable maybe for them to stare at for the next 20, 30, 40 years,'" said Dr. Kube.

Dr. Kube says the procedure isn't for everyone.

He suggests patients get an evaluation first to make sure they meet qualifications.