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Ricardo’s Laminectomy and Physical Therapy

Spinal conditions can sometimes take years to develop and begin causing symptoms, but it only takes a split second for that first jolt of pain to strike out of the blue. That’s what happened to Ricardo one February morning before work – he was making his regular cup of coffee when he suddenly experienced a shooting pain down his leg. His pain persisted throughout the day and continued to interfere with his performance while working at the Florida Hospital Altamonte warehouse.

Noticing Ricardo’s discomfort, his supervisor recommended that he see Dr. Chetan Patel at the Spine Health Institute in Altamonte Springs – practically next door to the hospital. So Ricardo picked up the phone and made an appointment, hoping that Dr. Patel would be able to stop his pain before it got any worse.

Ricardo met with Dr. Patel and agreed on the need to pursue non-surgical treatments for his condition before considering an operation. Accordingly, he was initially prescribed medications and physical therapy to help relieve his pain, but after a month it was clear that his condition was not improving.

Having diagnosed Ricardo with lumbar stenosis and scoliosis, Dr. Patel discussed his patient’s options for further treatment. At this point, Ricardo elected to continue with a conservative approach in the form of injection therapy -- but unfortunately, two epidural steroid injections produced only temporary relief from his pain. That’s when Ricardo decided that surgery was his best option for obtaining long-term results, and in May 2014, Dr. Patel performed a laminectomy and fusion.

Recovering in the hospital after surgery, Ricardo was able to do something he never would have imagined before meeting Dr. Patel. “I was able to get up and walk around the hospital floor with little pain, which is something I hadn’t been able to do in over three months!” he said. Six weeks later, Ricardo began working with Julie, a therapist at the institute, to learn how to prevent future injuries and improve his strength and flexibility.

“Going through physical therapy has made me the most mobile that I’ve been my entire life,” Ricardo said. “Julie has given me home exercises that I do daily, as well as proper bending, lifting and twisting techniques to use in everyday life.”    

Ricardo will no longer miss spending time with his family due to his back pain, and he has Dr. Patel and the entire team at the Spine Health Institute to thank for his clean bill of health. His only advice for the team is to keep doing what they’re doing, because it works. “From the moment I made my appointment to the day of my surgery, everything was so smooth and everyone was so nice,” he commented. “Thank you!”