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Back in the Saddle

Posted on July 19, 2018 in Spine

When Michelle Rose talks about the pain that brought her to Fort Sanders Regional Medical Center, she is sometimes in tears. But after spine surgery and a period of recovery, she is finally free from the suffering that held her back for so long.

“The best way I can describe it is that I felt like there was a hook in my leg, constantly pulling as hard as it could, down to my toes and up,” Rose says.

There was pain in her lower back to go with the pulling pain that came from nerve compression in her spine. “I had it with any kind of activity – walking, yard work, cleaning,” Rose says.

She tried physical therapy, pills and injections. The pain always came back.

It took over her life. It dictated how she lived from day to day. It kept her from doing things she enjoyed and being active with people she loved.

Spine surgeon Joel Norman, MD, confirmed that Rose was a candidate for a spinal fusion to permanently connect bones in her lower back. She had the surgery in December of 2017.

By four weeks after the surgery, she was no longer taking pain medication. In two more weeks she was back at work.

“And the pain was gone. There was nothing there, and I had dealt with it for five years!” Rose says. “At first I didn’t know how to act without it!”

With her quality of life restored at last, today Rose is active and enjoying the small everyday tasks that she’ll never take for granted again. She can handle yard work, she no longer needs help getting dressed, and she doesn’t dread bending over to pick things up.

“I don’t have to think about it anymore,” Rose says. “I just do what I want to do, I do it myself, and I don’t have to ask people to do it for me.”

Rose says it’s important to follow doctor’s orders, and it’s important to know your physical limits. But there’s no question in her mind that spine surgery at Fort Sanders Regional was the right choice.

“I would totally recommend the procedure,” Rose says. “I just wish I’d done it sooner.”