Spinal fusion success stories

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Mary Miller (center) and also some of her spine surgical procedure treatment team.

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Mary Miller, RN, that works at UVA Continuum Home Health, contributed this article.

One day in 2007, my back began aching for no noticeable factor. Within 24 hrs I had actually shooting, searing pain dvery own my ideal leg. My primary treatment doctor said I a lot of likely had actually a herniated disc and would certainly require surgery. But I was afraid tbelow can be complications, or the surgery wouldn’t solve my earlier pain. I determined to tough it out. The pain eventually gained much better however never really went amethod. I ongoing to have numbness in my leg and foot.

In 2014, I had another big episode and also again in 2017. The last time, the pain was continuous and also tbelow was nothing I might execute to make it much better, including pain medicine. I was at the suggest where I couldn’t bend over and pick things up off the floor. I couldn’t acquire apparel out of the dryer.

As a Continuum liaichild nurse, I was trying hard not to let my patients know it hurt as soon as I was leaning over to care for them. I loved yoga, but sometimes it hurt so badly I couldn’t obtain up off the floor. It hurt to revolve over in bed, and also obtaining up in the morning was torture. I think about myself a pretty positive person, however the chronic pain was making me exceptionally depressed.

Over the years, I tried physical treatment, neurostimulation, and inevitably, a chiropractor. Unfortunately, that made the pain worse. My chiropractor felt I essential additionally imaging and also ordered an MRI. After seeing that the imaging verified I had a huge herniation, she suggested I watch a spine specialist.

Getting Support from the UVA Spine Center

From the minute I contacted Nicole Gibchild, senior medical office coordinator, at the UVA Spine Center, eexceptionally single perboy I encountered was friendly and responsive to my unique needs and also complicated occupational schedule.

Nicole promptly responded to all my phone calls and also MyChart messperiods. She even reserved the essential tests and also appointments around my work hours.

Nicole likewise made sure every one of this can be done in calendar year 2017, as I requested, because of transforms coming to my insurance in 2018.

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I expressed to neurosurgeon Chun-Po Yen, MD, my desire to obtain back to job-related as conveniently as feasible, and he argued a modified, minimally invasive approach to my L5/S1 fusion surgery. This was out of the norm and also even more difficult for him but greatly diminished my recovery time.

This enabled me to return to work-related much faster than a lot of patients that obtain a spinal fusion through a spacer. A spacer is a foreign object a surgeon places to host the vertebrae acomponent so the nerves are not compressed by the ruptured disc.

Lara Myers, NP, taught me what to mean during and after my surgical procedure. It was exceptionally reassuring understanding I can reach out to her at any kind of time.

My Uneventful Surgery Adventure

Eexceptionally encounter in preparation for my surgical treatment was smooth and thounstable, and I felt confident leading up to my December 1, 2017 operation. On the day of surgery, the staff was informative and protected my confidentiality. I likewise felt they were genuinely involved for what I was going via. My husband was pleasantly surprised at exactly how regularly the staff updated him on my standing throughout the day.

I woke up on 6 West, and they treated me prefer a queen. I was so impressed with the new bed and also its sophisticated USB port and the comfort procedures, choose an eye shade and headset.

My pain was regulated extremely well – the nurses kbrand-new much better than I just how to avoid major post-op pain. They walked me with eextremely aspect of my hospital recovery and checked on me frequently. I hardly ever had actually to use the call bell. I also really appreciated the aid I got from job-related therapist Erica Umearlier and physical therapist Chad Aldridge, who taught me how to do my everyday tasks and also stretches without additionally injuring my spine. Even the food was great and also hot!

Back to Life and Pain Free

I went back to work-related on December 26, 2017. Now I feel choose a new person! I no longer have a limp and also have the right to exercise and move. I’m finally enjoying life again! I’ve gotten earlier to all the things I had given up for the last couple years, choose working in the garden and also lifting hefty things. Sometimes I even forobtain I had actually a bad earlier.

Considering Spine Surgery?

Learn more around minimally invasive spine surgical procedure at UVA.

If I talk to someone who is experiencing chronic earlier pain, I tell them to go check out Dr. Yen at the UVA Spine Center. I also tell them not to be afraid, choose I was. The registered nurses, medical professionals, and whole UVA team really cares about the patient’s experience. They will perform every little thing possible to satisfy their eextremely require.

Watch Mary’s Back Pain & Spinal Fusion Story

Mary was so relieved to be complimentary of her earlier pain that she created a letter to UVA Health leadership describing her suffer. Watch her review it.