"Dr. Field is nothing less than a miracle worker."

Tim-TennisDr. Field is nothing less than a miracle worker. After I ruptured my disc, the pinched Sciatica nerve in my left leg did not allow me to move at all.

On Dec. 1, 2013, I ruptured my L4/L5 disc.
On Dec. 3, 2013, I had my MRI.
On Dec. 4, 2013, I had my first appointment with Dr. Field. I immediately felt comfortable with Dr. Field and his knowldege.
On Dec. 5, 2013, Dr. Field performed Microdiscectomy Surgery on my back.  

After my surgery on Dec. 5, I was able to walk out of the hospital pain free. Surprisingly, I was able to host a party the next day with 100 of my closest friends, pain free. They were amazed at my recovery from the operation. During my recovery, I did not have to take any pain medication at all.

Since my procedure, I have been playing the best tennis of my life. I have recommended Dr. Field to everyone that I meet with back problems. See you on the courts Dr. Field!!

-Tim Schweitzer
Microdiscectomy Surgery Patient

"For the first time in 4 years I can honestly say that I am pain free!!"

Patient Andy FrancoFor the first time in 4 years I can honestly say that I am pain free!!! What started out as a furious series of back spasms that I experienced every 3-6 months developed over time into sciatic nerve pain. Not only did this recurring nightmare take its toll on my health and well-being, it also created a downward spiral for my social and professional endeavors.

Over the past few years, I've anxiously searched for answers to figure out what the cause was and to discover a cure. I started out with massage and chiropractic care. Then I tried other remedies like acupuncture, cortisone shots and physical therapy. Finally, I got my first MRI and we discovered that I had 2 herniated discs L4/L5 and one extremely bulged disc L5.

The orthopedic doctor that I was under the care of recommended a series of 3 epidurals. While these shots created more discomfort every time, they eventually alleviated some of the chronic discomfort that I was experiencing but weren't a permanent cure.

MRI of Andy's back pain conditionThen finally after undergoing countless treatments by 6 different doctors, a friend told me about D.I.S.C. and Dr. Justin Field. Out of fear of undergoing an operation, I was hoping to opt for a non-invasive procedure. Unfortunately, my condition was way too severe to consider anything else but surgery. As I began to weigh my options, fate intervened and my condition reached a very critical state.

Dr. Field made time in his schedule to be there for me. For that I am eternally grateful. If it wasn't for him and his expert staff, I would never know what it's like to have my life back again.

If you're in pain and contemplating what to do, look no further. Surgery may seem like a last resort but you'll never get the years of suffering back.

-Andy Franco

"I no longer have to say, ‘I have a bad back.’ I have banished the phrase from my life!"

Spine Tale

Kristin Greene Skabo

Spine-Tale-SkaboI first injured my lower back seven years ago while playing with my son. I had re-injured my lumbar disc at least twice a year every year since then. However, this past April I began to feel a distinctly different pain. The pain radiated down my leg, which was something I hadn’t experienced before. Within a week, the pain in my leg and lower back were constant and became so debilitating that I was unable to sit. I could not sleep, I couldn’t focus on anything besides the pain, and I could not walk! This time, my disc had herniated and was impinging on a spinal nerve.

I immediately went to the emergency room, but the physician simply gave me pain medication and dismissed me. However, when I remained unable to walk, I decided to reconsider back surgery. I had always felt intimidated by spine surgery, but then I realized, “I am having back problems and will for the rest of my life if I don’t seek treatment. What if surgery alleviates the issues in the future?”

Beyond the physical limitations, my back pain affected me psychologically as well. I am a fit forty-one year old active mother. I couldn’t understand why my body was breaking down. How had this happened to me? I didn’t know if I would get better this time, and it was frightening. For seven years I experienced back pain, but I never sought treatment. After the rupture, I knew I needed help. Most importantly, I want to be able to always play with my son. He has lived most of his life with my injured back. When the last episode occurred, I told him that I was going to get better soon, and I would be careful so this would never happen again. He looked at me and said, “You say that every time,” and walked away with his head hung. Needless to say, when my disc ruptured, I knew I had to make good on my word to never let this happen again.

One particular event made me reconsider a surgical solution. I had ruptured the disc two days before I had to travel to Washington, DC for meetings. Since I could not walk at all, I had to arrange to use a wheelchair. I had a meeting in the White House and was unable to walk through those halls I admired so much. I was holding back tears from the pain while trying to be coherent in my arguments. A meeting in the White House was such a special opportunity for me, and my damaged disc had ruined the experience. I couldn’t let any more experiences pass me by.

Spine-Tale-Skabo-figure1Two weeks after the rupture, I met Dr. Chris Yeung. Dr. Yeung recalls meeting Kristin and evaluating her back. “Kristin had managed intermittent back pain exacerbations for years. She likely had partial tears in the outer parts of the intervertebral disc (the annulus) which caused localized back pain. Eventually, the annulus weakened and the softer central part of the disc (the nucleus) herniated through the annulus and into the spinal canal and compressed her nerve.”

“Kristin’s images revealed she had a very large disc herniation compressing her S1 spinal nerve. It caused nerve damage with weakness, numbness, and debilitating pain (sciatica). This type of pain can turn even the most stoic person into a crippled shadow of themself.”

“I treated her with a microscopic lumbar discectomy through a 2.5 centimeter incision to remove the disc herniation and relieve the nerve compression. She had arrived to the surgery center in a wheelchair and was able to walk out two hours later. She had immediate relief of her nerve pain and quickly recovered strength and sensation. This is a very successful procedure and is indicated for disc herniations in patients that have a signifi cant neurologic deficit, debilitating pain, or have failed to get relief with an appropriate trial of non-operative care.”

Spine-Tale-Skabo-postopPrior to my operation, I had always feared damaging the disc again. Would it be when I sneezed? How long will I be bedridden this time? How long before I could run around and play with my son? I lived in constant fear of the next injury. I wasn’t ever able to live in the moment and enjoy it. However, after the microdiscectomy with Dr. Yeung, I feel changed in so many ways. I can play football and soccer with my son! I don’t worry about when the next episode will be. Sneezing, twisting and bending don’t worry me. I no longer have to say, ‘I have a bad back.’ I have banished the phrase from my life!

For those experiencing back pain, don’t let life pass you by because you are always in pain or waiting for the next painful episode. Don’t let the fear of the surgery hinder you; the result is remarkable!

DOWNLOADSpinal Research Foundation's "Spine Tale: Kristin Greene Skabo"

"I would highly recommend Dr. Salari, and all the surgeons at this facility."

Two Micro-discectomies by Dr. Anthony Yeung; Lumbar surgery by Dr. Salari

After I herniated my disc, at work - I had sciatic leg and lower back pain. Dr. Anthony Yeung, performed 2 separate micro-discectomies, both were successful. I had a very active field job in Telecommunications and worked climbing towers, and carrying communications equipment and pulling cable. I also went to the gym 5-6 days a week.

My 3rd and most likely, last lumbar surgery was performed by Dr. Salari. This was the most difficult as some bone had to be cut away for Dr. Salari to be able to access the area that would relieve the pressure on the nerves causing me pain.

No one ever wants to get surgery, yet I was very impressed with the level of care that I received before, during and after surgery. I was back to the gym (and work) in 2 -3 weeks. I would highly recommend Dr. Salari, and all the surgeons at this facility. They are all awesome and exceptional in their field.

Thank you,
Jean Piper

"I simply cannot thank him adequately; how do you thank a man that has given you your life back?"

Spine Tale

Joseph Mark Ebertz, M.D.

Spine-Tale-EbertzI never thought this whole ordeal with my back pain could happen to me. I am a physician and I live a healthy life, but I wasn’t so healthy five years ago. So I actively made lifestyle changes and lost 85 pounds through exercise and diet. I exercised properly and never took risks with my activities or health in general. I felt that finally I was the captain of my ship, and I really thought spinal problems were not in my future; after all, I was doing everything right.

However, one Friday afternoon in September 2012, while doing yard work at my home in North Dakota, I bent over to lift a heavy sprayer and was suddenly gripped by excruciating pain. It coursed through my lower back and legs, and I dropped to the ground. I had never before experienced pain so intense that it dropped me to my knees and made me feel like passing out. I contacted my physician who told me that I likely ruptured a disc, and I should rest over the weekend, take pain medications, and see if I improve by Monday. I was given Aleve, oral steroids, a muscle relaxant, and a strong narcotic. I tried ice packs and heating pads. None of these helped at all. Even though my lower back pain was significant, I was amazed to find that the muscles in my leg hurt far worse. The muscles in the front of my right thigh and on the side of my right calf ached beyond belief.

Fortunately, Monday morning finally arrived, and my visit to the MRI center confirmed the diagnosis of a severely bulged disc. Over the next two weeks I had three steroid injections. These shots are administered right into the exit point of the affected spinal nerves and are painful to the point of requiring sedation. The good news was that they were truly helpful and finally gave me good temporary relief. Slowly, I returned to work, and about three months after the disc bulged, I was back exercising in full force. I felt that I had conquered my injured disc.

But all it took was a forceful move in a Zumba class three months later and I was on the floor again. However, this time it would take more than conservative treatment to return to “normal.” I was eventually able to partially return to work, but life was empty. The things that had given me the most joy in everyday life, normal interactions with family, exercise, and working pain-free were taken away from me; this was in spite of numerous spinal injections and all kinds of physical therapy. I spent three months dealing with this. When I failed to improve and my right thigh lost considerable strength, a repeat MRI showed a new development; a broken piece of disc had migrated upwards away from the normal disc space and was lodged vertically between the body of a spinal vertebral bone and the ligaments and muscle surrounding it.

Spine-Tale-Ebertz-figure1I consulted two notable local spine surgeons, one of whom felt he could try microsurgery and remove the bulged disc, but he didn’t have any plan for the portion that had broken off and lodged vertically next to my vertebra. My other orthopedic spine surgeon, who was a friend and colleague, told me his opinion. The bulged portion of the disc might easily be removed but the vertically lodged component was a significant challenge. He didn’t know if he could remove it without making a much larger incision into my back, and as a result I might end up with fusion surgery. Having two fused vertebrae is sometimes the only option to solve numerous back issues, however, it limits the mobility of your back. My colleague told me that he happened to know a physician in Arizona, Dr. Anthony Yeung, who would be best qualified to help me.

I didn’t hesitate. I immediately contacted Dr. Yeung’s office and within a week, I heard back from the Desert Institute for Spine Care (DISC) in Phoenix. His staff was warm, welcoming, and confident. He was patient and understanding, and he reassured me that he felt that even though there were risks, there was a 90% chance he could help me with a microsurgery. I signed on immediately, and 24 hours later I was undergoing the procedure that would give my life back to me. Amazingly, I was awake during the entire process, and thanks to a superb anesthesiologist, I experienced no pain whatsoever during the procedure.

Dr. Anthony Yeung explained that Joseph’s particular situation required his specific skill set as an endoscopic spine surgeon. “Dr. Ebertz’s MRI indicated a herniated disc that migrated upward with an extraforaminal component. Surgical consensus included fusion recommendation due to a need for a facetectomy to address the extraforaminal herniation as well as the migrated fragment. But Joseph is so active that the referring physician hesitated to offer the fusion procedure to him. So instead, I performed a transforaminal decompression at L4/L5 and extracted the migrated fragment under endoscopic control. That is why it is crucial to evaluate the patient’s condition as well as the individual’s lifestyle to perform the appropriate operation and fi nd best surgeon for the procedure.”

Spine-Tale-Ebertz-postopThe first night after my surgery, I expected to experience some pain and was given a prescription for narcotic pain pills, but I didn’t even need one pill! My post-op visit went very well and I was given the O.K. to fly home the next day—only two days after surgery. I took two and a half weeks off work to allow healing without interruption, but subsequently my return to work was uneventful, and I was able to work as if I had never had a spinal problem. I returned to a regular course of exercise, and within eight weeks of surgery I was at 90% of my pre-surgical exercise routine and had recovered 80–90% of the strength that I had lost in my right quadriceps muscles. I’m 58 years old and I can do Zumba class as well as any 20 year olds on the floor!

Exercise has been a critical part of my life for years now. It kept my weight down and my confidence up. For nearly six months I had lost that part of my life. If I had not met Dr. Yeung and not had this surgery, my quality of life would have been permanently diminished. Everyday activities and work would have continued to be adversely affected.

Dr. Yeung has the confidence of decades of experience and he has scientifically proven that spine surgery is effective and life-changing. Some people have scoffed at the idea of me flying from North Dakota to Phoenix for this surgery. I have no second thoughts. I simply cannot thank him adequately; how do you thank a man that has given you your life back? The only thing I can do is to offer my story as testament that spinal surgery is not experimental, but effective. I am living, walking proof!

DownloadSpinal Research Foundation's "Spine Tale: Joseph Mark Ebertz, M.D."

Share to Facebook Share to Twitter Share to Linkedin