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"I have one regret and that is that I didn’t contact Virginia Spine Institute from the beginning." Carol N.

I suffered from low back pain for a number of years but for the most part I was able to deal with the pain.  I had to alter my activities a little in order to do this but I was able to manage.  In November 2014, however, my pain increasingly worsened sending pain across my back, into my hips and down my left leg.  I then decided it was time to get to the root of this excruciating pain.  I contacted my PCP and after ordering and reviewing x-rays I was referred to a spine specialist in my area.  After seeing the specialist I was diagnosed with degenerative disc disease which had caused multiple other spinal issues. I endured physical therapy, steroid injections, and even had a discectomy which made my pain even worse. After each visit I was given different steroids and anti-inflammatories that never worked, and I would leave the office in tears feeling hopeless.

I thought I would have to live with this pain for the rest of my life.

The doctor ordered another MRI which showed my back had worsened since being with him, but he insisted he corrected the problem and there was nothing else that could be done for me. He suggested steroid injections again, but I decided it was time to seek a second opinion.

I was fortunate enough to be given the name of Virginia Spine Institute and was able to see them a few days after contacting them. I met with my care team my conditions were plainly explained to me and they reviewed my recent x-rays and MRIs. They were confident they could help me overcome this pain! An EMG was ordered which showed that I had chronic and acute nerve damage to my left leg. I also underwent a discography which showed all my lumbar discs needed to be replaced.  I knew I would need more surgery, and was apprehensive due to the extent of the operation, but knew I was in very capable hands. In November 2015, I was scheduled for a Direct Lateral Interbody Fusion and a Posterior Lumbar Interbody Fusion.  

Immediately following the surgery the pain I had suffered with before my surgery was GONE.  I was hospitalized for one week and after recuperating at home for another week I was able to return to work part-time.  I am able to do things that I haven’t been able to do for a long time.  I still have some occasional achiness but the chronic pain is gone.  I am now walking miles which I was not even able to walk for 10 minutes before my surgery.  I have one regret and that is that I didn’t contact Virginia Spine Institute from the beginning.  I finally got my wish to be pain free and I have this team to thank for it.  I would highly recommend to anyone suffering with back pain to visit Virginia Spine Institute– it’s the place to go.