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Geraldine is a nurse who has suffered from back problems for over 10 years. In the last 5 years, she reports, the pain became very severe.
"I kept putting off doing anything about it, but I realized that if I wanted to continue to work as a nurse, I couldn't put it off any longer," said Geraldine.
Geraldine's initial appointments at CCSI involved many of the conservative treatments that she had already tried over the years. "But that was OK with me because I really appreciated the fact that they were so thorough and didn't immediately jump to surgery." As a nurse, Geraldine knew first hand why surgery should be more of a last resort, not the first line of defense.
Geraldine tried physical therapy and even spinal injections. "The injections were wonderful, I got a chance to see what it was like to be pain free." The injections not only helped relieve her pain, but also were used as a diagnostic tool to help Dr. Frey get a clear idea of where the problems were.
However, in Geraldine's case it became more and more apparent that surgery was necessary. She not only had degenerative disc disease (DDD), but a variety of work related injuries were contributing to her back pain.
"Dr. Frey and Tom Sanders gave me all the information I needed to make an informed decision about the surgery. They made sure I was thoroughly educated about my condition and that I had all my questions answered before I made the decision to go ahead with the procedure. They always made me feel like it was my choice to make. They didn't make the decision, I did." So, Geraldine underwent a L4-L5 laminectomy, fusion with instrumentation using the latest interbody fusion techniques.
Geraldine knew that she experienced severe reactions to many of the medications used during and after surgery. "Dr. Frey worked with me to make sure I was as comfortable as possible during this experience. He really listened to my concerns".
The surgery went great. Geraldine was amazed at how good she felt after the procedure.
Geraldine also felt her post-surgical follow-up was terrific. "They tell you exactly what you need to do, and I had a very successful outcome." Today, 1 year later, Geraldine is 80%-90% pain free! She can work and do many other activities. "In fact, I'm putting wood floors in my home! Now that's something I could never have done before going to CCSI."