I led an active outdoorsman’s life at the age of 60 – snow skiing, hunting, fishing, hiking, and more. Shortly after retiring as a soccer referee, I couldn’t run any longer and I started experiencing “zinging” down my back and legs. After attending my daughter’s college graduation, the next day both of my legs went numb.
Treatment & Recovery
Dr. Jim Youssef at Spine Colorado determined that I had two separate problems. The first was a thoracic myelopathy that was causing the disturbance in my walking, and was treated with thoracic decompression. A spondylolisthesis at L5/S1 caused low back pain and radiculopathy, and was treated with a spinal fusion. I spent only two days in the hospital and was walking on the same day of surgery. My doctors told me that I must be able to walk a mile before leaving the hospital – but I walked over 10 miles!
I admit to being “over-athletic and stupid in my younger years”, but I am now back to an active lifestyle that includes archery, hunting, and fishing. I recently ran two miles but expect to run more. I am able to do anything I want to do without any restrictions.
My advice to patients?
- Listen to your doctor
- Exercise and physical therapy makes all the difference in your recovery
- Do core strengthening
- Go into your surgery in shape
- Have a positive attitude