I had spinal fusion when I was in my 20’s. After that I was very active. Hiking. Biking. Had two kids.
About 10 years ago, the rod in my back cracked. I had some pain, but exercises eased the pain. About a year ago I experienced the worst sciatic pain I ever had in my entire life. I couldn’t sleep. I couldn’t walk. If I moved at all I was in incredible pain.
My primary care physician told me I had stenosis where I was not fused. And that the rod in my back had broken—causing a crack in my back. I knew that I absolutely needed surgery.
Carol // Age: 58
Condition // Scoliosis/Prior Fusion (30 Years Ago)
Occupation // Criminologist (NY)
How did you find Dr. McCance?
My husband and I met with two surgeons. We both preferred Dr. McCance.
Why did you choose Dr. McCance for your spine surgery?
He seemed much more thorough. It was more the thoroughness. I didn’t feel like it was a business. You meet a physician and they have this checklist they go through. I actually felt that with Dr. McCance it was a personal engagement. He was very straightforward and very calm. He had the ability to make the whole process, which is really scary, less scary. I think that’s a big difference and one that I tell everybody about.
It was clear to both my husband and I that we felt total confidence and that’s really what you need. I also liked his experience with reconstructive surgery. Because New York is filled with “spinal experts” who don’t work with existing hardware. For me that was really important. I wanted someone who was completely honest and was keeping up with the changes in technology.
How did you feel after your surgery?
Before my surgery Dr. McCance suggested I talk to someone who had the surgery. And that was very helpful. So I knew what to expect.
My surgery was very extensive. I am fused all the way up to my neck. The first few weeks after surgery I was very dependent on my husband and my friends for help and support. When I could get around more, Dr. McCance encouraged me to walk—and I followed his advice religiously. And it really made a difference. The more I walked I could feel my circulation improving. Even in my body cast I was walking four miles a day. And I think that really helped in my healing process.
I had some bumpy times in my post-surgical world, and I would call the office and they were really helpful. They were very instantly responsive. I think they are very interested in post-surgery support and healing. They were really on it. To me it’s responsiveness, not making fun of you. I never felt ashamed or weak in any way. What’s great is to be encouraged to ask questions. And they also encouraged me in terms of my activities. Which is very important to me.
How do you feel now?
I feel really great. I’m working. I go to yoga now 4 or 5 times a week. I continue to walk about 4 miles a day. I can sit through a whole play now. I can go out to dinner.
For 31 years I had one body and all of a sudden I had a new body. I am the straightest I have ever been in my life. I have never felt more beautiful.
I’ve given his name to the entire world. I really feel it’s a really special practice.