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Martha’s Fusion and Laminectomy

Sitting, standing and walking are three of the most common movements humans perform every day. But what if these necessary actions were impossible to undertake without tremendous pain?  This was the dilemma Martha faced for a number of years. The constant ache in her lower back bothered her so much that she could no longer go the gym or sit down to read a book. Her doctor prescribed physical therapy and epidural injections in the past, but the pain continued to drag her down and reduce her quality of life. Realizing that those conservative treatments were not providing the relief Martha needed, her primary care physician referred her to Dr. Patel at the Spine Health Institute.

“I’ve been to several doctors over the years and I was pleasantly surprised to find that Dr. Patel was very professional and genuinely concerned about my spine condition,” said Martha.

Dr. Patel ordered a thorough series of tests to evaluate Martha’s condition, and the results indicated that she had disc herniation, lumbar stenosis and lumbar spondylolisthesis.  Due to the severity of these conditions, Dr. Patel and Martha decided surgery was the best form of treatment and in December of 2012, Martha received a spinal fusion with instrumentation and a laminectomy. Instrumentation such as pedicle screws or other stabilizing hardware is often used to help the fusion heal properly by limiting motion at the location of the fusion.

In the few days she spent in the hospital following her surgery, Martha experienced a level of care that went above and beyond what she expected. “Dr. Patel came to visit me the in the hospital every day, sometimes twice a day. I felt like a VIP,” she quipped.

Martha was next prescribed physical therapy and worked with her therapist, Michael Dodaro, to learn how to protect her spine and regain her range of motion. It has now been over a year since her surgery, and Martha says her movement has greatly improved. She even started working out in the gym again, something she hadn’t been able to do in many years.

She is exceptionally grateful for the team at the institute and would happily refer her loved ones to Dr. Patel. “Dr. Patel is what sets the Spine Health Institute apart from the rest,” she said. “He is friendly, professional, concerned, trustworthy and a real person that truly cares for his patients. I would follow him anywhere.”