4-level SED patient

Dr. Yeung,

I am a former patient on which you performed a 4-level SED back in June of 2000. I really appreciate all that you did for me back then, and I hope that the years since then have been kind to you. I noticed that your son has joined the practice. That must be very satisfying for both of you!

I wasn’t as bad off as many of your patients before surgery, but I was an extremely active individual and my back pain was preventing me from doing the things I most loved. I opted for surgery hoping to return to an active lifestyle.

I was not disappointed. Although rehabilitation took a bit longer than I might have liked I was indeed able to become far more active than before surgery. In fact I was able to participate in a 500-mile bike ride (on which I met my wife!) and was able to return to low-impact sports such as tennis and ultimate Frisbee. I was quite satisfied with this outcome as it enable me to get outside, run around, and regain my previous level of physical (and mental) fitness doing activities I enjoyed.

Over the last couple of years I have begun to encounter more pain and limitations in my activities again. This outcome has almost exactly matched your prognosis and gives me a great deal of confidence in your understanding of the nuances of spinal conditions and likely outcomes of surgery.

In my post-op exam you warned me that I should take good care of my back because spare parts wouldn’t be available for at least ten years. I have been following the progress of artificial discs, and noticed that you are presently participating several clinical trials. It seems like your 10-year prediction is just about on course too.

My worst pre-op Oswestry score was probably just over 50. After surgery I returned to a score of about 10 for several years, which I consider a satisfactory place to be for me.

Unfortunately I have drifted up to a score of about 20 over the past 6 months since a particularly bad episode which pushed me into the 80s for a week or so. My guess is that I injured my back again at that time, and it will now be difficult to return to an Oswestry score of 10 again for any significant length of time.

I spend about half the time walking naturally and going through a typical work day with only mild back pain and none-to-mild leg pain. The other half of the time I am leaning over to one side while standing or walking and have moderate back and leg pain.

I sense that I am far from being ready for surgery of any kind, much less artificial disc surgery. I did, however, want your impression of the current state-of-the-art in treatment of DDD. I am still very healthy and willing to go through almost any amount of physical therapy and post-operative pain for the hope of returning to a sustainable long-term level of physical activity.

Is there hope?

S.M.
San Diego, CA

Phoenix

1635 East Myrtle Avenue, Suite 400
Phoenix, AZ 85020

East Valley

3487 S. Mercy Road
Gilbert, AZ 85297

Scottsdale

8630 E. Via de Ventura, Suite 210
Scottsdale, AZ 85258

LEADERS IN MINIMALLY INVASIVE SPINE CARE
Copyright © 1996-2018 by Anthony T. Yeung, M.D., P.C.
1635 E. Myrtle • Suite 400 • Phoenix, AZ 85020 • 602-944-2900