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Patient Stories – Diego

I was having chronic back for a couple of years. I was treated with oral medication and occasional medical interventions. This worked temporarily. In some instances the pain did not return for extended periods of time—maybe two months, three months. In 2011 the back pain did not respond to any treatment. It kept getting worse, with stabbing pains in my back, going through my legs—all the way from my back down to my feet. It left me with limited flexibility in my movement.

Chronic back pain has a very negative effect on your emotions and your loved ones—they were worried sick watching me suffer. After a while you begin to wonder if there is any way out of this predicament. There is a lack of sleep and sometimes anger at not being able to feel restful in any position. Anxiety—not knowing if it will get worse. Frustration—not being able to enjoy even the simplest activities. All these emotions take a toll on your physical well-being. It creates a vicious cycle when you feel trapped in this constant pain.

By the end of 2011 the pain was unbearable. I was willing to put aside any concerns and have surgery—even if it meant risking my life. It was Christmastime and I thought it would be impossible to get an appointment with a specialist and even more difficult to schedule surgery.

Diego // Age: 84
Condition // Spinal Stenosis Prior Laminectomy
Occupation // Entrepreneur (Puerto Rico)

How did you find Dr. McCance?

Very good friends recommended Dr. McCance. Not only because of his renowned practice at Mt. Sinai Hospital, but because they knew him personally and they vouched for his sensitive and humane approach with patients.

To my surprise, Dr. McCance was able to see me immediately.

I will never forget when I met him for the first time. He was sitting at his desk. He had all my X-rays. He had circled everything. He explained it to me in such a simple, understandable way. He is very well organized. And the staff he has—real professionals.

From the moment I met Dr. McCance I was taken by his compassionate and personal nature. I’m happy to say that Dr. McCance became not only my doctor, but my personal friend as well.

After a very thorough evaluation he scheduled an immediate surgery.

One very important element of Dr. McCance’s practice is his professional teams, who have a caring and individual approach to patients. They were exceptional, exceptional. Every time I walked in there I felt like I was walking into my home. Everyone was smiling and fun. It was nice to be there.

How did you feel after your surgery?

Since my surgery, I have been given really a new life. I was able to get back to my regular activities, limited at the beginning, but improving every day. And to travel. I am still working so I exercise in my office. Walking. Standing.

How do you feel now?

My family is no longer worrying about my pain. We enjoy our times together. There is no way to describe the feeling of freedom that comes from being productive again and being able to enjoy the simplest things in life. I feel like a new person. I could never have lived with that pain. I thank God for the privilege of meeting Dr. McCance.