Silver Cross Hospital

The way you should be treated.™

Chances are when the weather is nice you’ll find Anthony Burcar, 77, at the driving range. And when the weather isn’t so nice, you might find him in his basement chipping and putting golf balls.

Photo Caption: Frankfort resident Anthony Burcar loves to go to the driving range, but severe back pain has limited his ability to hit golf balls. He recently underwent an oblique lumbar interbody fusion (OBLIF) with Dr. Cary Templin and said he’s pain free.

Burcar said going to the driving range is his therapy. He’s even kept track of how many golf balls he’s hit over past few years (15-20,000 per year). But a few years ago while he was living in Texas, he was at a fitness center and he noticed a twinge in his back. At first he didn’t bother getting it checked, and he slowed down his workout routine, but he didn’t give up on the driving range.

“I noticed over time when I would go out to the golf course, my back would bother me a little more,” Burcar said.

By November 2016, the pain got to a point where he could no longer go to the driving range and instead could only chip and putt at the golf course. That’s when he called a spinal doctor. Even though he was still living in Texas, Burcar said he preferred to be treated at home, in Joliet. Once he moved back with his wife, he met with Dr. Cary Templin, orthopedic and spinal surgeon specializing in minimally invasive spinal surgery, at Silver Cross Hospital to discuss his options.

Dr. Templin recommended an oblique lumbar interbody fusion (OBLIF) procedure to help relieve his back pain. A traditional interbody fusion requires stripping the muscles and soft tissue, which can lead to recovery problems, and more pain after surgery. OBLIF is a minimally invasive technique that removes damaged invertebral discs between the vertebral bones in the spine and fuses the bones together.

“Our lower spine has five vertebral bones, and in between these bones are those soft, spongy discs that help cushion the spine while we move,” Dr. Templin said. “Over time these discs can wear down and become damaged, which can lead to severe back pain and leg pain from pinched nerves. OBLIF is one of the best way to relieve this pain without having to fully open a patient up. It leads to faster recovery, less complications, and a better lifestyle for patients.”

Burcar had the procedure done in December, and said he felt an improvement almost immediately. He was able to walk around the hospital floor several times the day after surgery.

“When Dr. Templin came in to see me that next day, I had tears in my eyes because I felt so good,” Burcar said.

He plans to get back to the driving range as soon as the weather warms up.

“I tell people Dr. Templin didn’t just keep me alive, he gave me my full active life back.”

Located at 1900 Silver Cross Blvd., New Lenox, IL 60451   Main Phone (815) 300-1100

© Copyright 2019 Silver Cross Hospital. All Rights Reserved.



Physicians on Silver Cross Hospital’s Medical Staff have expertise in their areas of practice to meet the needs of patients seeking their care.  These physicians are independent practitioners on the Medical Staff and are not the agents or employees of Silver Cross Hospital. They treat patients based upon their independent medical judgment and they bill patients separately for their services.