When A Pioneering Spine Surgeon Becomes A Patient

This insightful podcast features Dr. Stephen Hochschuler, a distinguished spine specialist and renowned surgeon with a 40-year legacy. In conversation with Dr. Rita Roy, CEO of the National Spine Health Foundation, they delve into Dr. Hochschuler’s experience from accomplished spine surgeon to becoming a spine patient himself. Despite his high pain tolerance, he recounts enduring hip and thigh discomfort that escalated to numbness and debilitation. He outlines his decision-making process, from exploring conservative treatments to seeking comprehensive care given his age of 81. The dialogue explores the emotional facets of being a patient, highlighting Dr. Hochschuler’s gained empathy and the importance of multidisciplinary spine care, including psychology, chiropractic, and physical therapy. This exchange offers a unique perspective on spine care, patient education, and shared decision-making, covering postoperative care, physical therapy, yoga, and aging’s impact on spine health. Dr. Hochschuler’s pride in aiding patient recovery and acknowledgment of healthcare’s responsibility are evident, concluding with appreciation for the interview and a call to draw inspiration from shared stories of triumph in spine health.