In 2011, I slipped on ice, but instead of falling, I twisted my back which resulted in a herniated disc. I suffered through pain and numbness in my lower back and leg for years. I’ve always been an independent person and didn’t want to think of back surgery. In fact, I wanted to avoid it at all costs.
While I was hoping to avoid surgery, I knew I had to do something – chiropractic care, physical care, and epidural shots just didn’t help. The pain continued to worsen and soon became unbearable. I found myself barely able to walk and struggled to stand for even 30 seconds without experiencing overwhelming sharp and burning pain that radiated down my leg.
I could only alleviate the pain by sitting. I fortunately sit most of the time at work, but I couldn’t continue revolving my life around sitting. My primary care physician ended up referring me to Dr. Gum, who explained my options. Dr. Gum recommended a discectomy and fusion and explained to me that while he would do the surgery, the Mazor X robot would assist
in placing the screws.
After waking up from surgery, I felt an immediate difference. It was actually one of the first things I noticed when I woke up; my leg didn’t hurt anymore! I was even able to take a few steps without experiencing pain that day. While it may seem minuscule, it was a powerful moment for me.
I knew that surgery was only half the battle; there was a long journey to recovery ahead, but I was ready! I went home the next morning and within four days was off pain medication. I took every day one at a time, I started walking around the house, then to the end of my street, and after three weeks, I hit a major milestone! I enjoyed my first one-mile walk with my wife for the first time in I don’t remember how long – I was almost in tears, I was so happy about it!
My world isn’t quite as bleak now; my life has truly transformed. Having lost more than 20 pounds since surgery, I am living a much healthier lifestyle.
Being pain-free and more mobile, I’m back to doing activities that I once loved, including kayaking, walking with my wife, playing with our dog, and photography.