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Janice's Surgery and Rehabilitation

Most people can pinpoint the exact moment when they injured their back: “It happened on the golf course,” “while lifting some heavy equipment,” or “when I was in a car accident.” But sometimes a spinal injury is spontaneous and the reason is unclear. This was the case for Janice, whose back pain started out of the blue without an apparent cause. And that was just the beginning.

“I started having pain down my leg and in my foot, so I decided to go see a chiropractor,” Janice said. “They took an X-ray and saw that it was a herniated disc. I kept going to the chiropractor and doing physical therapy, but the pain kept getting worse.”

She finally decided to visit her primary care physician, who immediately referred her to Dr. Patel at the Spine Health Institute for more advanced care. At the Institute, Janice’s initial treatment focused on pain management, for which she received epidural injections. While these injections provided some relief, they usually only lasted a day or so before the pain would come back in full force.

Because the conservative treatments had proven ineffective, Dr. Patel gave Janice a choice.

“He said I can either continue what I’m doing or have surgery,” she said. “I went with the surgery and I have not regretted it since.”

Having never undergone surgery before, Janice had no idea what to expect, and certainly had many questions for Dr. Patel about the laminectomy and spinal fusion procedures that she needed. He didn’t seem to mind.  

“Dr. Patel made me feel important and said he ‘takes his time’ with every surgery,” Janice said. “He wants to do what’s best for you.”

After her operation in December of 2013, Janice was prescribed physical therapy at the Institute to help her regain her full range of movement. Her physical therapist, Tim, made her feel comfortable and gave her the confidence she needed to heal. Janice soon realized how important it is to have support during recovery, and that Tim was just what she needed.

“After surgery, you’re scared and you’re not sure what you’re capable of doing,” she said. “To have someone be there for you like Tim was … I just can’t explain it in words. Having someone to support you is worth its weight in gold.”

With Tim’s help, Janice was back on her feet in just three months. She is taking control of her health by exercising regularly and walking every 20 minutes at work. She also had her work space evaluated by an expert who adjusted her desk and chair height to make sure she wasn’t at risk for another injury. She understands that spine health begins with YOU, and she’s not about to forget what she learned from the team at the Spine Health Institute. 

Janice says her experience was “nothing but wonderful” and that she has recommended that anyone with back pain call the Spine Health Institute. As a first-time surgery patient, she had “a great experience” with world-class surgical and rehabilitation specialists, and for that she is truly grateful.