After sleeping in a hotel I woke up with a backache. I medicated myself for a couple of weeks. A friend of mine had kidney stones, and he said maybe you have kidney stones. I went to my doctor and he did an ultrasound—they found nothing. So my doctor suggested massage therapy. I did go, and I discovered they were doing Rolfing therapy.* Unfortunately, the Rolfing therapy had broken my L5 vertebrae and it was hitting on a nerve.
On July 4th weekend I was driving to my home when my leg and foot became paralyzed. I kept driving until I got home, but I knew something was very wrong.
Edward // Age: 44
Condition // Disk Herniation
Occupation // Fashion Designer (NY)
How did you find Dr. McCance?
I called a doctor at Mt. Sinai Hospital, whom I greatly respected, and he immediately called Dr. McCance, who then called me. On July 5th I went in for surgery.
Then next Memorial Day I felt some tingling and numbness in my leg. I called Dr. McCance again and again he saw me immediately. This time it was a herniation in my L3. Dr. McCance did not recommend surgery and he sent me to a pain management specialist where I received epidural treatments.
Dr. McCance went far beyond the call of duty for me. It was the 4th of July weekend and Memorial Day Weekend, and the doctor was on vacation and he was so courteous and so prompt—I felt relieved knowing that I was in his hands.
Why did you choose Dr. McCance for your spine surgery and care?
I had a lot of extra anxiety and fear as a result of a previously botched surgery, and although I knew things didn’t always go as planned, I needed him to be honest with me. And I told him that.
With zero hesitation, I mean the minute I stopped speaking, he looked me right in the eye, with no change in demeanor and said ‘Being honest with you is the only way I know how to be.’
That’s the moment I knew, right then, that this was the man who was going to do my surgery. I knew honesty was at this man’s core. He is an honest human being and that is rare and difficult to find.
I can’t say enough about him. Just meeting him made me feel better. He has this way of reassuring you without being obnoxious or aggressive. You can tell he is seriously, deeply thinking about your case. He’s a great guy—and so was his entire team. I felt well taken care of every step of the way.
Diana, Dr. McCance’s Physician Assistant, was the first person I met from his office. She started contacting me even before I got to the office. She is equally incredible. Diana calls me just about every day. Emails me. Makes sure to follow up. To make sure I’m OK. If there’s the slightest problem I get emails from both of them. It’s not like you have to wait 24 hrs or 2 days to hear from them.
Then there’s his office. A lot of doctor’s offices are disgusting. You start thinking ‘how the hell can this doctor be any good.’ But Dr. McCance’s office is different. His office is really nice. It’s comfortable. Every seat is designed for people with spine injuries. It’s clean. It’s beautiful. It’s quiet.
I’ve been in high profile surgeon’s offices, and you walk in and see 50 people there—like cattle—all in pain, waiting hours for the doctor to see them. At Dr. McCance’s office I was always seen at my appointment time. He treated me as if my condition was just as critical as his most critically ill patient. Every patient receives the same personal respect, attention, consideration and care.
In Manhattan there are a lot of doctors who are talented, smart, well educated and well-trained. What makes him special is the human being he is. And you will not find that very frequently anywhere.
How did you feel after your surgery?
I knew I was better immediately. My recovery went well. Dr. McCance and his team were with me all the way.
*The Rolf Institute of Structural Integration describes Rolfing therapy as a holistic system of soft tissue manipulation and movement education that organize(s) the whole body in gravity. Manipulation of the muscle fasciae is believed to yield therapeutic benefits, including that clients stand straighter, gain height and move better, through the correction of soft tissue fixations or dystonia.