I am a 60-year-old self-employed attorney diagnosed with disabling cervical spinal stenosis. I developed severe neck pain, with numbness and tingling down both of my arms and legs, and unsteadiness and balance issues, during the spring of 2017. These symptoms came on quite suddenly (while sitting), and got worse fairly quickly. I was barely able to work, unable to ride my bicycle, and had significant difficulty sleeping. The pain and other associated symptoms was physically and emotionally debilitating.

Dr. Mark Palumbo at University Orthopedics successfully performed decompression surgery for a herniated disc I had in my low back several years earlier, and I did not hesitate to return to him for treatment of my neck injury.

My treatment and recovery

Dr. Palumbo successfully performed a 3-level cervical laminoplasty in May, 2017. I had an excellent recovery. I did not have a fusion. I was hospitalized for one night, and wore a soft collar for a couple of days after the surgery. I did not require physical therapy; I now have full and painless range of motion in all planes. I had a fair amount of post-surgical pain for several weeks after the surgery, and experienced the most significant pain for approximately two weeks post-surgery before I “turned the corner.” I returned to work (part-time at first) within a few weeks, and resumed riding my bicycle approximately 6 weeks after surgery (short distances at first). Just over one year post-surgery, I have none of the symptoms that I had prior to surgery. My health has been restored, and I have no post-surgery restrictions in any aspect of my life. Thanks to the skill and care of Dr. Palumbo, I had a great recovery.

Tip

Find the best, most experienced fellowship-trained spine surgeon with the best reputation that you can, discuss all your concerns, and ask all your questions. If you have trust and confidence in your surgeon, you will have a good recovery.

My Second First

I am able to work long hours, go to court, run my practice, work on the computer, carry my briefcase, use the telephone, sleep, ride my bicycle for 30-mile rides (or longer) 3-4 times per week, and live my life without pain and other debilitating and disabling symptoms. In short, I have my pre-injury life back.

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