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Patient Success Stories

"DON’T FEAR THE
SPINAL FUSION!"

Aaron D.

Former Cameraman for French National TV

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I was a cameraman for French National TV. I was traveling the world and at the time I was in Alaska filming and my back went out. I ended up with sciatica going down my left leg. I actually continued doing my job before the surgery – you just work through it and I figured that was the way I was going to live my life. Until I had the procedure done with Dr. Schuler.

My first time meeting him, he did confirm that I had back problems and he actually wanted to have the surgery done right way. Let’s be clear, I had two surgeries with Dr. Schuler. The first surgery was a discectomy, where they just remove the disc that is pushed over into the nerve. Ultimately my second surgery was a fusion. The fusion was an easier recovery! I had a week using a walker, a week using a cane, and after that I was up and about! I have two boys and my main goal was to be able to do things with them. Be more part of the family and active in the household. When you have back pain, you don’t want to do all of those things. So, I’m able to do those things more now, I’m able to be more active with my family.

I just figured you just work through the pain and that was the way I was going to live my life. Until I had the spinal fusion with Dr. Schuler!

Spinal Champion Q&A

What was one thing that surprised you about your treatment with VSI?

I had two surgeries – a discectomy and fusion, and the spinal fusion was an easier recovery!

What is one thing you love now that you’ve completed your journey?

Being part of the family and active in the household

What advice would you give to someone considering spine surgery?

If I can give one bit of advice, it’s DON’T FEAR THE SPINAL FUSION!

Insight from Aaron's Spine Surgeon
Dr. Thomas Schuler

Aaron came to me as a new patient in 2012 with alarming symptoms. He had a significant foot drop where he had complete numbness and weakness in his foot. He also had a history of chronic back and leg symptoms through the years prior but, like most people, was just dealing with the pain because of his other priorities. He was the father of 2 boys and was a videographer, traveling all over the world for a broadcast media company. We discussed different surgical options and he was not ready for fusion surgery. He underwent emergent microdiscectomy for his foot drop. Due to a quick response to address his foot drop and his hard work with physical therapy, he was able to regain strength and was pleased. However, he still had a history of chronic back pain that needed to be addressed. When he was ready to treat his back pain, we discussed performing a discography to analyze the health of the discs and where his back pain was coming from. His goal is to remain active with his boys and avoid a large spinal fusion surgery that could limit him. I offered him a compromise. He would receive a minimally invasive fusion at the two most painful discs confirmed by discography, and the other degenerative disc level would be injected with his own stem cells. This treatment gave him the outcome he was looking for and his symptoms continue to be stable.

Patient Success Story: Follow Aaron’s Journey

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