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Mary Miller, her doctor & a nurse after her back pain surgery
Mary Miller (heart) and a few of her backbone surgical procedure care staff.

“I neglect I even had surgical procedure; I really feel so regular.”

That is Mary Miller. Six years out from her spinal fusion surgical procedure at UVA Well being, she says she couldn’t be happier together with her selection. “I’m nonetheless pain-free, and I can do any exercise I need,” she shares. “I neglect I even had surgical procedure; I really feel so regular.”

Mary had suffered from a herniated disc, a painful backbone situation. She confronted the identical tough resolution many individuals face: Ought to she have backbone surgical procedure? And the place ought to she go for care?

When Surgical procedure Makes Sense

Mary needed to do one thing. A nurse for UVA Continuum Dwelling Well being, ache made caring for her sufferers tough. She had to surrender yoga, which she beloved. The each day ache left her feeling depressed.

Nonetheless, Mary anxious concerning the restoration time after surgical procedure. Fortunately, her backbone surgeon, Chun-Po Yen, MD, used a minimally invasive method. This helped Mary get better quicker with much less ache. She was capable of get again to her regular life prior to she anticipated.

Have Again Ache? Mary’s Recommendation

Mary shares her recommendation for others contemplating backbone surgical procedure: “Don’t surrender and don’t wait,” she says. “I believed surgical procedure wasn’t price it and I lived with ache for years. However the know-how and experience is so superior. I obtained nice care at UVA Well being all through my complete expertise.”

Learn this publish Mary shared in 2019 about her spinal fusion at UVA Well being.

In the future in 2007, my again began aching for no obvious cause. Inside 24 hours I had taking pictures, searing ache down my proper leg. My main care physician mentioned I most definitely had a herniated disc and would want surgical procedure. However I used to be afraid there is likely to be issues, or the surgical procedure wouldn’t repair my again ache. I made a decision to robust it out. The ache ultimately obtained higher however by no means actually went away. I continued to have numbness in my leg and foot.

In 2014, I had one other huge episode and once more in 2017. The final time, the ache was fixed and there was nothing I may do to make it higher, together with ache medication. I used to be on the level the place I couldn’t bend over and choose issues up off the ground. I couldn’t get garments out of the dryer.

As a Continuum liaison nurse, I used to be making an attempt onerous to not let my sufferers understand it harm once I was leaning over to take care of them. I beloved yoga, however generally it harm so badly I couldn’t stand up off the ground. It harm to show over in mattress, and getting up within the morning was torture. I take into account myself a reasonably optimistic particular person, however the power ache was making me very depressed.

Over time, I attempted bodily remedy, neurostimulation, and ultimately, a chiropractor. Sadly, that made the ache worse. My chiropractor felt I wanted additional imaging and ordered an MRI. After seeing that the imaging confirmed I had a big herniation, she steered I see a backbone specialist.

Getting Help From UVA Backbone Middle

From the second I contacted Nicole Gibson, senior medical workplace coordinator, each single particular person I encountered was pleasant and aware of my distinctive wants and difficult work schedule.

Nicole promptly responded to all my telephone calls and MyChart messages. She even scheduled the wanted assessments and appointments round my work hours.

Nicole additionally made positive all of this may very well be finished in calendar yr 2017, as I requested, as a consequence of modifications coming to my insurance coverage in 2018.

I expressed to neurosurgeon Chun-Po Yen, MD, my want to get again to work as rapidly as attainable, and he steered a modified, minimally invasive method to my L5/S1 fusion surgical procedure. This was out of the norm and tougher for him however significantly diminished my restoration time.

This allowed me to return to work quicker than most sufferers who obtain a spinal fusion with a spacer. A spacer is a international object a surgeon locations to carry the vertebrae aside so the nerves usually are not compressed by the ruptured disc.

Lara Myers, NP, taught me what to anticipate throughout and after my surgical procedure. It was very reassuring figuring out I may attain out to her at any time.

My Uneventful Surgical procedure Journey

Each encounter in preparation for my surgical procedure was clean and thorough, and I felt assured main as much as my December 1, 2017 operation. On the day of surgical procedure, the employees was informative and guarded my confidentiality. I additionally felt they have been genuinely involved for what I used to be going via. My husband was pleasantly stunned at how typically the employees up to date him on my standing all through the day.

I awakened on 6 West, and so they handled me like a queen. I used to be so impressed with the brand new mattress and its fancy USB port and the consolation measures, like a watch shade and headset.

My ache was managed very effectively — the nurses knew higher than I easy methods to keep away from extreme post-op ache. They walked me via each facet of my hospital restoration and checked on me steadily. I not often had to make use of the decision bell. I additionally actually appreciated the assistance I obtained from occupational therapist Erica Umback and bodily therapist Chad Aldridge, who taught me easy methods to do my each day actions and stretches with out additional injuring my backbone. Even the meals was good and sizzling!

Again to Life & Ache Free

I returned to work on December 26, 2017. Now I really feel like a brand new particular person! I now not have a limp and may train and transfer. I’m lastly having fun with life once more! I’ve gotten again to all of the issues I had given up for the final couple years, like working within the backyard and lifting heavy issues. Typically I even neglect I had a nasty again.

Contemplating Backbone Surgical procedure?

Name 434.243.3633 to make an appointment with a UVA Well being backbone surgeon.

If I speak to somebody who’s experiencing power again ache, I inform them to go see Dr. Yen on the UVA Backbone Middle. I additionally inform them to not be afraid, like I used to be. The nurses, medical doctors, and whole UVA staff actually cares concerning the affected person’s expertise. They are going to do all the things attainable to fulfill their each want.

Watch Mary’s Again Ache & Spinal Fusion Story

Mary was so relieved to be freed from her again ache that she wrote a letter to UVA Well being management describing her expertise. Watch her learn it.



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