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Sumin’s Story

Five years is a long time to carry around a seat cushion – but that’s just what Sumin used to have to do if she wanted to sit down anywhere for more than a few minutes. She was living with back and leg pain that made standing or sitting for even brief periods almost excruciating. And bending over to pick something up? Forget it.

“I went to chiropractors, other orthopedics, acupuncturists and masseuses,” Sumin says. “You name it, I tried it.” 

Sumin was tired of trying different treatments that didn’t relieve her pain or help her heal, so she decided to seek help from a certified spine specialist, and Dr. Patel at the Spine Health Institute in Altamonte Springs, Fla. caught her attention.

“I had been looking into physicians through my insurance, and I was pleased to hear about his minimally invasive procedures,” she says.

Click here to visit our SpineU video library for educational videos on prevention and treatment of various spine conditions.

Sumin booked an appointment with Dr. Patel, who successfully diagnosed her with L4-5 spondylolisthesis, L4-5 stenosis and right lumbar radiculopathy. Due to her serious condition and the fact that she had already tried more conservative therapies without success, he recommended and performed a laminectomy and fusion surgery a few months later. At his direction, the operation was to be followed by physical therapy to help Sumin regain her mobility and strengthen her spine. This follow-up care allowed Sumin to create a home exercise program that helped her maintain her spine health to this day.

“Now I can exercise better, walk longer, sit and stand longer, and even dance,” Sumin says. “The overall quality of my life got better. I can go out and have lunch with my friends and not take my cushion everywhere I go.”

View our Back to Basics videos to discover proper bending, lifting and twisting techniques.

Sumin was very impressed with Dr. Patel and his staff, and commended their professional, yet personal approach to health care.

“Dr. Patel discussed my [plan of care] options and explained the surgery well,” she says. “The SHI staff was very kind and courteous; they showed care and compassion.”

But that compassion didn’t stop after her surgery. The same day that she was released from the hospital, Sumin was pleasantly surprised to receive a phone call from an SHI team member who wanted to see how she was doing. She even received follow-up calls periodically to check on her progress. When it came time to see Dr. Patel again, Sumin was greeted with a gift bag from the office manager – a small gesture that meant so much.

“I was in awe at how wonderfully SHI cares for their patients,” Sumin says. “It is not the gift, it is their loving care and kind gestures that touched my heart.”

She left Dr. Patel’s office after her surgery feeling like a new person, and plans to keep that positive perspective for a long time. She is extremely thankful for Dr. Patel and his team, and hopes that they know how much they are appreciated. 

“When people don't feel good, they tend to be rude and selfish – you probably deal with many different types of people,” she says. “But what you are doing is putting that person's smile back on their face. So chin up, and keep doing what you are doing. In the end it is all worth it. God bless you all!”

If you’ve been experiencing back pain, give our office a call at 866.986.7497 or click on the Book Online button at the top of this page. Dr. Chetan Patel strives to provide the least invasive treatments possible for a variety of back and neck conditions. For educational videos on common spine conditions and prevention tips, visit our SpineU video library.