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Susan’s Story

There are approximately three million registered nurses in the United States, and their role is a vital one when it comes to your health care. They are a first line of defense in the prevention of avoidable illnesses, and they provide skilled and compassionate care for patients at every stage of the healing process. Susan is no stranger to the rewards and challenges of this worthy profession – in fact, she’s been a nurse for over 30 years. She’s also been suffering from back pain since her 20s due to the physical demands of her job.

“I spend a lot of time bending down and lifting patients in order to care for them,” Susan said. “I had back surgery in 2003, but the pain came back.” After her previous surgery and two-and-a-half years of physical therapy and pain management injections that failed to provide relief, Susan was at the end of her rope.

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

“I went to a spine doctor and he told me that he could perform another surgery, but it wouldn’t help me at all,” Susan said. “I left that appointment in tears.”

Susan wasn’t sure what her next step would be, but she knew that she couldn’t continue working as a nurse and have a normal life with the debilitating pain she was experiencing.

“I’m 58 and I have to work,” she said. “Disability was not an option.”

One day, Susan was driving along a highway in Florida when she saw a billboard that advertised a world-renowned spine specialist in Altamonte Springs – Dr. Chetan Patel. She visited the Spine Health Institute’s website when she got home and read about Dr. Patel’s minimally invasive approach to spine care. She hoped that this doctor would have a solution for her ongoing pain, and immediately filled out a contact form online.

Approximately 15 minutes later, Susan got a call from the care coordinator at the Spine Health Institute and was able to book an appointment with Dr. Patel the following week.  

“They were very fast when it came to contacting me and scheduling my appointment,” she said. “That was a big plus for someone who was in as much pain as I was.”

After carefully reviewing Susan’s diagnostic tests and medical history, including the numerous pain management therapies she’d tried, Dr. Patel was confident that he could help relieve Susan’s pain through a minimally invasive surgical procedure. He successfully performed a revision laminectomy and fusion surgery to her L2-L5 vertebrae, and that same night, Susan was able to use a walker to walk around the hospital unit without any pain. This was the first time in a long time that Susan felt like she could take control of her health, and things only continued to get better from there.     

“Two people from SHI came to see me in the hospital to see how I was doing,” Susan said. “I’ve never had that before. I knew that I was somewhere special.”

Assistance Beyond Her Medical Treatment

Susan’s health journey to this point had been far from smooth sailing – more accurately, it was an uphill climb on a very rocky mountain. She had trouble working with her insurance company multiple times throughout her treatment, which forced her to put off the surgery for longer than she had hoped. Luckily, the team at SHI was there to help her every step of the way.

“They helped me talk to my insurance so I could get the tests that were required to get the surgery I desperately needed,” Susan said. “They were fantastic, kind and professional, and helped put my mind at ease. This is very important because if your mental health is on point, then your physical health will follow with it.”

Saying Thanks to the SHI Team

Susan is happy to say that she is still pain free almost two years after her surgery. She’s dedicated to a regular workout and stretching routine in order to help control and prevent sciatica and back pain that can easily develop as a result of her nursing profession. So far, pain hasn’t been a problem.

View our SpineU video library for more information about spine conditions, treatments and pain prevention.

Susan is forever grateful to Dr. Patel and his team for helping her regain control of her health and for allowing her to continue doing what she does best – helping people. 

“I was at the end of my rope, holding on with two fingers before I found Dr. Patel,” Susan said. “The team backed me up and were there when I needed them. Dr. Patel allowed me to continue my nursing career. Don’t think about going anywhere else!”

We are glad to hear about your amazing progress, Susan! Thank you for putting your trust in us and for your dedication to the nursing profession!

If you’ve been experiencing back pain, give our office a call at 407.303.5452 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.