I knew for a long time that I had a mild scoliosis in my lumbar region, but I never had any symptoms. I was active. I did a lot of weight lifting, played rugby. About nine years ago I started having a little bit of pain. It wasn’t just acute, it was also chronic. I had it every day. The first surgeon I met with said I had the back of a 60 year old and tried to blame me for my condition. He was of no help and said he couldn’t do anything.
Went to another back surgeon and he thought it was too big of an area to operate. He thought steroid injections might help. And they did help temporarily. But it kept getting worse and worse. Doing physical therapy, taking steroid injections and taking all the medicines that were available—none of that was working any more. I was even getting radio frequency to block the nerve, and that wasn’t working.
When I moved to New York I saw three surgeons—who took MRIs— and they all said my back was too bad—they couldn’t do anything.
My whole life revolved around my back. I was always worried about not ruining it anymore. I was in a lot of pain constantly.
One of those surgeons took my film to a conference of surgeons and presented my case. A young surgeon at the conference said he thought he could help me. Went and saw him, my 6th surgeon overall. I didn’t think he was very thorough and he didn’t explain anything to me.But I figured he’s a doctor, he’s a surgeon, he must know what he’s doing, and so I scheduled a surgery with him. I still wasn’t really sure, though. About three weeks before my scheduled surgery I started searching the Internet for local scoliosis surgeons. That’s how I found Dr. McCance’s name. Best luck I’ve ever had in my life. Changed my life completely.
Christopher // Age: 30
Condition // Scoliosis/Kyphosis/Degenerative Disk Disease
Occupation // Scientific Advisor (NY)
Why did you choose Dr. McCance for your spine surgery?
Someone I worked with suggested getting another opinion. It wasn’t until I actually met him that I realized it was the best luck I’ve ever had.
Even the chairs in his office are made for the patient. While I was waiting in to see him, the other patients started telling me how great he was.
He had it all together. Very professional. He ordered more tests done. He told me that from my films he felt that he would have to do lower 5 levels. He said he could do minimally invasive surgery, which is what I wanted, but that he wouldn’t do that because he said he wanted to do what was best for me and would give me the best chance of recuperating and being pain-free.
I canceled the other surgery and went with Dr. McCance. He explained everything to me. He even got up and showed me that most of your bending takes place at your hips, so I wasn’t going to lose much flexibility. He was the only guy who actually made sense. He wasn’t scared of the big job. You could just tell he was a couple of notches above the rest. You could tell that he knew what he was doing.
How did you feel after your surgery?
I was discharged within a week. My first inkling that this was going to be all right was when they said we’re not going to discharge you with a cane—you don’t need one. I was able to just walk. His office arranged all the nurses and the at-home-physical therapist. The day after I got back from the hospital the physical therapist came for an eval. She had me walk up and down the hall and I did it without a cane, just fine, and she said she never saw anybody with such a big surgery able to do that before. She said she didn’t need to come back.
After that, I was back at work in six weeks.
How do you feel now?
Great. I’m virtually pain-free in that area. I can do pretty much anything. I almost forget I have 13 screws in me.
Best luck I’ve ever had in my life. Changed my life completely. I guess Dr. McCance was my lucky 7th.