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"9 weeks after surgery, I have hiked over 100 miles and all of it over 8,000 ft. " Marc W. Avid Outdoorsman

I'm a physical fitness junky and an avid outdoorsman.  When I say avid, I mean avid.  I do about 500 miles a year in the back country of the Rocky Mountain West.  As an adventure consultant, I scout different locations throughout the world as an occupation.  Needless to say when I ruptured discs in my low back (L4/L5) and couldn't walk over 100 yards for three months in agonizing pain, I was ready for any way to get back on my feet.  I checked all the "boxes" to avoid surgery and was getting slightly better when on a business trip to Virgina my symptoms accelerated and a foot drop showed up.

After being in the emergency room of Reston Hospital, I met my guardian angel, Dr. Christopher Good, of Virginia Spine Institute.  He reassured me I was in good hands and I would be having surgery in a few hours. He explained to me what was about to happen and I felt both cared about and educated after several discussions.  I also have to mention that the staff at Reston Hospital was unbelievable.  I don't go to hospitals often and every time I have, the staff seems fairly burned out and disenchanted.  Reston was the exact opposite -- warm, friendly, curious and super helpful and caring. Also, almost everyone who came in my room mentioned how lucky I was to have Dr. Good working on me as he was "one of the best." 

On to the really good rapid recovery.  I woke up to zero pain!  I was on extra strength Tylenol within a matter of days and didn't use that much after the first month.  Through the first 4 weeks I really had to be careful with bending over or any real "aggressive" activity.  But at the 5 week point I felt good enough to start doing my summer trips into the back country of Idaho.  My first trip was three days and only 4 or 5 miles but we did over 2000 feet in gain and I was back in my element.  Second weekend (6 weeks post surgery) I did another short trip of similar length.  Now mind you, I wore my back brace for stability and was very careful not to "push through" anything.  I just felt good and safe.  Today is exactly 9 weeks since surgery and I have done over 100 miles and all of it over 8000ft.  This last trip we did 26 miles in three days with 9,000 feet in gain and I feel zero after effects! 

Now, I'm still being careful, and I'm back in the gym as well, doing my physical therapy and still mending.  I have a little swelling still around the incision and if I sit a lot, I still get some symptoms (very minor) but they continue to diminish and I'd say I'm 98% pain and symptom free.  I have recovered all feeling in my leg and I can see I will be back to 100%.  Thanks so much to you, Dr. Good.  I honestly believe you saved me.  Cheers! (And yes, I will continue to "take it easy" so I don't have a set back.)