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Jim W’s Surgery

Jim has been running marathons non-stop for over 10 years, but his reason for running isn’t what you’d expect. He is one of the founders of Team in Training, a program he created after his son was diagnosed with lymphoma, a cancer that affects the immune system, in 2001. The purpose of Team in Training is to raise money for the Leukemia and Lymphoma Foundation by training individuals to run in a variety of marathons and fitness competitions all over the world. But Jim’s physical participation in these events came to a temporary halt when he began experiencing back pain and sciatic pain in 2004.

“I received epidurals that gave me significant relief for about 10 years,” Jim said. “In March of 2014, I noticed my back pain coming back with foot numbness.” That’s when a friend referred Jim to the Spine Health Institute, where he was evaluated by Dr. Chetan Patel. After conducting a series of diagnostic tests, Dr. Patel determined that Jim was experiencing low back pain and leg pain as a result of disc herniation and stenosis. Since injections had worked for him before, Jim decided to try epidural injections, but his pain and foot numbness still persisted. Having exhausted his conservative treatment option without achieving the desired results, Dr. Patel concluded that surgery offered the best chance for Jim to obtain the pain relief he sought and resume his active lifestyle. Jim agreed, and had a L4 – L5 laminectomy and discectomy in June 2014. Since then, he has had absolutely no regrets.  

“The positive outlook that SHI has - from the front line staff to the physicians - has been like no other,” Jim said. “SHI is a program that is very cohesive and they work together to help their patients get back on their feet.”

After surgery, Jim began seeing Katie Hoffmann, a physical therapist at the institute, to help improve his mobility and strengthen his back. His can-do attitude and active lifestyle have helped his body stay healthy and heal quickly. Jim can’t thank the team enough for providing a positive experience during a very stressful situation, and wanted to pass on the following message: “Thank you to everyone that always had a smile on their face and made my time at SHI an optimistic one!”