Kathryn is a former patient of mine who has left a lasting impression. Her back pain began when she hurt her L3/L4 disc after a spinning class, and she believes she aggravated the injury during a subsequent game of golf.
Initially, Kathryn told me she didn’t think too much of it because she’s athletic and used to pushing herself outside her comfort zone. Kathryn thought this was something she could deal with – so she sought a massage treatment, iced her lower back area, and rested.
Afterwards, she continued to play golf and attend spinning class. Unfortunately, what Kathryn didn’t do was listen to her body and get help when she needed it. I see this in a lot of patients; a good rule of thumb is if the pain persists, starts to travel down your arm or leg, and/or keeps you up at night, it’s time to see a physician. Unfortunately, the pain took a turn for the worse when Kathryn further exacerbated her injury lifting a mattress while vacuuming.
Kathryn contacted my office and met with me to discuss different options that would work for her injury. Because she had severe nerve compression in her lower back due to a large herniated disk, I recommended surgery, which she underwent 2 months ago. When she awoke from surgery, her pain was completely gone. Here’s an excerpt from the letter Kathryn wrote to David Reich, President and COO of Mount Sinai, about her surgical experience:
“After my initial thorough exam and consultation with Dr. McCance to discuss and show me exactly what had happened to my L3/L4 disc, he explained in an exemplary way what my options were. He gave me the time to figure out what was for my highest good and made sure to medically make me comfortable for those next few days. [After surgery], he called me on Monday…to first find out how I was feeling, and then to answer any and all questions (after a full day of surgery, no less)!”
After her surgery, Kathryn said the recovery period was relatively easy. She said the first few days were trying, but the level of discomfort was minimal in comparison to what she was feeling in weeks prior. Kathryn followed all of my post-surgery instructions, and in her case, she was able to walk the same day as her surgery.
I try to always be available for all my patients, on the phone or email, but in addition to myself, our physician assistants Kate and Diana made themselves available to her. Kathryn told me, “Each and every staff member, from the moment I walked through the door, helped me pre- and post-surgery! They all are a true reflection of Dr. McCance and his huge spirit.”
Kathryn is judiciously waiting for her instructed clearance of three months post-surgery before she begins unrestricted physical activity. For now she has been doing “back-safe” exercises. Once she’s cleared for full activity, she has her eye on a new dance class! Working with Kathryn has been such a pleasure; I am certain that her sparkling personality and vibrant spirit contributed to her great recovery.
Thank you, Kathryn, for sharing your experience. We can’t wait to see your new dance moves.
If you’ve had surgery with me or a physician at my practice message me on Facebook with your contact information. We’d love to get an update on your progress and possibly feature you on the blog!