From a thirty-five year nursing career to a passion for ballroom dancing, I’ve spent my life in motion. At sixty years old, the pain in my back had increased to the point that I was unable to sit for more than fifteen minutes. This meant I was no longer able to go out to dinner, sit through a movie, or travel with my family. My world grew smaller as my depression grew larger.
In February 2017, X-rays and an MRI showed severe disc degeneration, spinal stenosis, and lumbar subluxation. Several surgical consultations each told me I needed a fusion with rods and pins to achieve a potential end gain of thirty to forty percent pain reduction. I grew more desperate as my back injury contributed to a knee injury, which also required surgery.
In June 2017, I was determined to fly to Washington State to visit my daughter who was having our first grandchild. Tracy Perkins, a Physician’s Assistant at Virginia Spine Institute, recommended trying a cortisone injection before the long trip. With my trip quickly approaching, Tracy moved mountains to coordinate the injection and obtain medical insurance approval for the treatment.
The injection provided me with a significant amount of pain relief and allowed me to travel across the country to visit my daughter. Two months after my trip, Dr. Bharara performed Radiofrequency Ablation (RFA) and Platelet Rich Plasma (PRP) therapy. Together, these procedures gave me more than a forty percent reduction in pain; a level of relief I thought I could only achieve with major surgery.
I still experience some pain, but I can drive again, go out to dinner, and dance. The special days when I have NO pain are glorious! I feared that my back injuries would mean the end of doing the things I enjoy most, but with the nonsurgical treatments by Dr. Bharara, I’ve been able to get back in motion. On April 7, 2018, I competed and took first place in all my categories at a ballroom dance competition, which was a dream come true!
To my Virginia Spine Institute team, Dr. Bharara and Tracy, you helped me return to many of the things I love. Dr. Bharara cares and listens to his patients. I am truly grateful for the treatment I received and am happy to recommend Virginia Spine Institute! A big thank you to my dance instructor, Vladyslav Dolya, as well. He went above and beyond to encourage me during the many months I couldn't dance, and later tailored our sessions to accommodate my changing strength and abilities.