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Patient Success Stories

"Being able to return to life, it’s the best thing in the world!"

Robin S.

- Former Navy Pilot

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I was a Navy pilot and I was actually injured in a triathlon. I would be driving down the road for five minutes and I’d be in tears because I was so uncomfortable driving in a car, much less flying a plane! It was one thing to have a career ending injury from flying, but it was another thing to not be able to do basic functions – to empty the dishwasher, to do laundry, those types of things. After the surgery, I remember the day I could actually bend down and touch my toes and have no pain.

Being able to return to life, being able to have a pregnancy without having any problems with it, it’s the best thing in the world! I loved working with Virginia Spine Institute so much that for several years I was a spine representative in the OR with them. All of them are amazing surgeons and I got to work with the up close and personal.

My mom is also a Spinal Champion and she is also involved with their physical therapy at Virginia Therapy & Fitness Center. It’s one thing that brings us closer together. Having been through both of these together, we can find joy in what we’re doing. If I was to give advice to anyone who has the pain, it would be to just go in and see Virginia Spine Institute. There are so many alternatives and options that they have embraced as a practice, and they’re only using surgery as a necessary means. So don’t be afraid to come in because it can be incredibly life changing.

I loved working with Virginia Spine Institute so much!

Spinal Champion Q&A

What did you do before your injury?

I was a Navy pilot and ran triathlons – I actually was injured in a triathlon.

What is one of your favorite things about being a Spinal Champion?

My mom is also a Spinal Champion, and it’s one thing that brings us closer together – having been through this together, we can find joy in what we’re doing.

Insight from Robin's Spine Surgeon Dr. Thomas Schuler

Robin came to me in 2006. She was working as a consultant at the time I met her, but her history was something I could never forget. She was a pilot for the United States Navy and a graduate from the Naval Academy. She was an athlete wishing to compete in triathlons but could not due to her chronic back pain. After not progressing with non-operative treatment, she underwent a minimally invasive spinal fusion which helped her tremendously with her low back pain.

Begin your journey to pain free today!

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