I had chronic back pain due to a herniated disk for 16 years due to an injury as a teen. Fortunately, for the longest time, I was able to manage the pain with physical therapy and chiropractic care. I live a very active lifestyle that includes distance running, golf, boxing, weightlifting and playing with my two energy-filled Australian Shepherd dogs.
In early 2018, the pain that I had felt time and time again was suddenly much worse. I attempted the forms of treatment that had previously demonstrated positive results, but to no avail. I had seen a chiropractor for a couple of months, but I was not getting the results that I was hoping for. After spending each day and night on my living room floor for three months, I sought care from an Orthopedic doctor in town. He was great! We tried a spinal injection in hopes that it would prevent a surgical procedure. Unfortunately, it was not successful. He was wonderful and referred me to Dr. Jeffrey Carlson at OSC, as he no longer performs spinal surgeries.
The first time that I met Dr. Carlson, he was honest, direct, and straightforward, which I appreciated. I asked him if he was in my situation (as we were looking at my MRI) what he would do. I never felt pressured as he recommended a spinal fusion to fuse L3, L4, L5. I was sold. From that day forward, I could not have asked for a better experience. The attention, care, and responsiveness from the OSC staff and Dr. Carlson was second to none throughout the entire process. The day of surgery, I walked out of the hospital and felt like I was 15 years old again. (See attached x-ray image of my lumbar fusion)
As I write this testimonial, I am five months post-surgery, and I feel great. There is nothing that I want to do that I cannot do. The pain is non-existent, my range of motion is greater, and my quality of life is as it should be. I am running, working out, and I can assure that when the weather warms up, I will be on the golf course. I followed the doctor’s orders and went through Physical Therapy with OSC’s Dr. Jamie Swale and Victoria Skay, LPTA. They were wonderful as well!
I could not be more grateful for Dr. Carlson and the OSC staff. Do not try to suffer through the pain. Seek advice and wise counsel. I wish I would have met Dr. Carlson 15 years ago.
I had been having back issues for about 15 years. I had been getting various treatments for primarily severe pain associated with muscle spasms, which was caused by spinal bone movement. Injections worked to lessen the occurrences, but I still was concerned about the painful episodes happening. Basically, it was affecting my Quality of Life.
I had two MRI’s over a 14 month period and the images really helped to show the degradation of my condition over time and solidified my choice to go ahead and have the spinal fusion needed to fix the problem.
During that 14 months, I also sought advice from two other Dr.’s and they provided excellent input. I had a 3 level spinal fusion (S1 to L3) and Dr. Jeffrey Carlson did an excellent job. (See my post-surgical x-ray image to the left) His recommended recovery time and post surgery treatments were spot on. I am 8 weeks out from surgery now and have no restrictions. Physical Therapy is a good thing to do and I am currently doing that.
My lessons learned from this are that you are in control of what you do for your health. Use the data the Dr.’s provide and get advice from others. Dr. Carlson never pushed me to surgery, it was my decision and I am glad that I did it now. Again, the surgery went well and his team, the hospital staff and the PT team were fantastic. Thanks for improving my Quality of Life.
Being a fairly active and healthy 66 year old male, suffering from stenosis, an abundance of arthritic spurs and now degenerative discs pinching nerves, I was once again compelled to seek relief. Having had laminectomies on my L2-3 and L3-4 about six years ago to relieve pressure on the nerves, I was once again having nerve issues as a result of disk issues in the same place, not to mention inflammation up and down my spine. Every time I played golf, or even ping-pong, that kept me side-lined for several days after. Feeling frustrated and depressed, I knew it was time to act. I researched a number of spinal specialists in the greater Norfolk area based on patient ratings and other MD insights, and selected several to visit/interview. Armed with a fresh MRI, my wife and I visited them and their facilities. We came away most impressed by Dr. Jeffrey Carlson and OSC.
Meeting with Dr. Carlson, we agreed upon a course of action for a fusion involving titanium rods from L2-L4 and were able to get scheduled for the surgery in a convenient time frame. We were “walked” through the process by staff members and given all the necessary accoutrements (back brace, electronic bone growth stimulator, etc.) in advance so we knew what to expect going into and following surgery.
Surgery took place on 8 Oct 2018 and went well. The challenge immediately following surgery was that the pain meds did not keep up with my pain in my hips and thighs for the first day. Once that was ok, I was able to leave the hospital and go home. Walking was not overly difficult, but it did feel as if my hamstrings had been shortened. Lying down and turning side-to-side was difficult, but doable. Pain at the point of surgery was non- existent. OSC coordinated with local in-home visiting nurse and physical therapy care providers to come by and assess and work with me.
I stopped the heavy pain meds after six days out from surgery and just went with the Tylenol, as there was little pain. Walking was encouraged and I was walking .5 miles by the sixth day post-op and 1 mile daily by the tenth day. Met the PT goals short of two weeks and released the in-home care Team. The back support (brace) was very supportive and I used it whenever going out for the first month post-op, even though I did not feel like I needed it. Biggest challenge has been getting my hamstrings stretched back out.
At five weeks post-op, I felt like I was ready to go be active but had to check myself knowing the surgical area needs more time to heal. Our dogs are loving the many walks. Post-op meetings with Dr. Carlson and the OSC Team have been informative and highly positive. Everything looks great on the x-rays and my body agrees.
I am now at six weeks post-op and feeling fine, especially nerve pain wise. Still doing many stretches and strengthening exercises. Will I be able to be more active with my back in the future? It remains to be seen, but I am optimistic. One thing I feel very good about, is that I do not believe the surgery could have gone any better, and believe I was in the best of hands with Dr. Carlson and OSC.
My experience regarding the evaluation and management of my neck (cervical) condition, under the care of my colleague Dr. Jeffrey R. Carlson, M.D. has been outstanding. He was highly recommended to me and I am very happy that I chose him as my cervical spine orthopedic surgeon.
His practice includes a state of the art facility and is very efficient and convenient. He employs an excellent support staff and has many convenient on-site ancillary services. The staff at Mary Immaculate Hospital where he performed during my surgery was outstanding and very detail-oriented.
Throughout my encounters with Dr. Carlson, all my questions here answered and he is always accessible, particularly with the convenient electronic communication technology that his practice employs. His medical and surgical expertise and skills are exceptional. He is very personable and is an excellent doctor.
I am very pleased that my posterior cervical decompression and fusion surgery of 4 levels, a very major big-deal for me, went seamlessly well. At 6 weeks post-op, I can say my surgery was a good decision for me, it is a success and I am progressing remarkably well. I very highly recommend Dr. Carlson, without reservation, for his specialty care in orthopedic spine surgery. I thank and praise God for Dr. Carlson and I pray for his continued success and blessing. Thank you, Dr. Carlson.
Samuel Tyson, MD
I am a 69-year-old retired male in generally good health who, at the time, exhibited no orthopedic deficiencies. My spinal problem began on Christmas Day 2015, when I fainted in my bedroom, suffering a compression fracture of my L5 vertebra. Over the next year, I began experiencing pain in my right hip, initially diagnosed as bursitis. Ultimately, as the pain increased, it was determined that a piece of the L5 was impinging on my sciatic nerve, and that surgical repair was necessary.
Dr. Jeffrey Carlson determined that spinal fusion (titanium rod and screws) of the L4-S1 vertebrae was required, and he performed the surgery on Feb. 12, 2018. I have had hardly any pain since. That which I do experience periodically is muscle pain, which is alleviated by following the exercise routine prescribed for me. Dr. Carlson’s team does an excellent job of explaining everything in detail, following up on inquiries, and providing full explanations of the follow-up regimen.
I was concerned that I would not be able to return to my hobby of gardening, but, just as promised, there has been no limitation in that regard, for which I am especially grateful. As I have been telling everyone I know, the procedure went “just as advertised.” In my opinion, and that of others I’ve spoken to in the medical profession here in Hampton Roads, Dr. Carlson is the gold standard. I recommend him as highly as possible.
I am so thankful for Dr. Jeffrey Carlson and his team at OSC.
I had a previous back surgery on the L4/L5 region (lower back) with screws and had discomfort from the start. When asking the doctor about it he said “if your not in pain don’t worry about it”. I put up with the discomfort, the clunking feeling when turning from side-to-side until I started getting sharp pains in my hip area. When I went back to my doctor, he decided I just needed physical therapy and steroid shots. I did that for a while, with no relief.
That’s when I decided to get a second opinion from Dr. Carlson and found that the disks above and below my L4/L5 region were slipping. We scheduled surgery, he removed the screws from my previous surgery, that to him seemed “a weird way of doing it”, and I couldn’t feel better. I did physical therapy after surgery and passed with flying colors. As long as I keep up the exercises to rebuild my core muscles and loosen my leg muscles, I should be back to normal (which is different for everyone…lol) in no time at all.
Thank you Dr. Carlson and your staff for the professionalism and courtesy shown to me. There was never a dumb question to ask and they were always helpful. I would highly recommend them if you are looking for help with back issues.
Dr. Jeffrey Carlson and Dr. John Burrow are the most genuine, professional, patient-friendly doctors. They are not the type to give you a couple of tablets and call them in the morning. They listen to all of your ailments and concerns and treat them, with compassion and understanding.
My first encounter with Dr. Jeffrey Carlson, a little more than a year ago, was to try and find relief for unrelenting low back pain. A previous primary provider had suggested that there was nothing wrong with me.
On the first visit, Dr. Carlson did X-ray’s and confirmed that the only thing he could do for me was surgery to fix my problems with my Lumbar 1-5, and Sacral spine . He set me up for pre-op tests, told me why I needed the surgery and allowed for my questions. It was a lot of information to absorb, since I was not expecting to have surgery.
I read about Dr. Carlson in the flier in the office and felt that he was among the best. His pre-op nurse (I am sorry that I have forgotten her name), was also excellent and very reassuring. She told me what to expect, gave me pre-op instructions, for the day of surgery, what to expect as far as pain and pain management post-op. She was right on the mark, really severe pain the first six weeks, with pain management. She was so on the mark with that. She was right and more pain management was given.
There was Physical Therapy at home for a couple of weeks. The PT also gave me instructions. PT progressed better than ever expected, they were kind, as well as helpful. I graduated from home therapy ahead of schedule. The PT evaluator told me he never would have thought that I would progress that fast from the initial evaluation.
I had procured my durable medical supplies from a variety of sources. I was able to buy a brand new potty chair from a thrift store, as well as a new walker and shower chair. These were really reasonable ($10.00 to about $30.00). I did buy the elevated toilet seat. Get these supplies as soon as you find out about surgery, you will need them.
After graduating to the outpatient OSC Physical Therapy Clinic, and overcoming challenges with therapy, they got me back to functioning by myself and being independent. My daughter was able to take off two weeks to care for me at home. That seemed to be the perfect amount of time, to have someone with you after surgery.
Thanks to Dr. Jeffrey Carlson, the Pre-Op Department and his other orthopaedic staff, my back has a new lease on life. I am very grateful to Dr. Jeffrey Carlson and his expertise.
I began having major pain in my right shoulder blade area while traveling in the fall of 2016. Once home, I saw my primary care physician who immediately ordered x-rays that revealed severe arthritis of the right side of my neck. Planning to manage arthritis for the rest of my life and refusing to use pain medications, I started physical therapy and began a regime of neck and shoulder exercises to keep my neck loosened up. The pain was manageable and life continued.
In early 2018, however, I began having numbness in my hands and asked my primary care physician for a referral to an orthopedic specialist. She referred me to OSC. I selected Dr. Jeffrey Carlson from website reviews. From the first appointment on March 27, 2018, I felt like I was in great hands. From the new x-rays taken at the time of my first appointment, an MRI was scheduled for the next week and I met with Dr. Carlson for the result the following week.
The MRI revealed severe cervical stenosis, with serious deterioration of levels C3, 4, 5, and 6. That wobbly feeling in my neck was exactly that. The physical therapy and neck exercises I had been doing were not only not helping, but were perhaps putting me at risk for paralysis. It was an immediate, easy decision to have cervical spine surgery.
Since the surgery (following the inevitable few weeks of recovery), I have been pain-free and have full range of motion of my neck. An amazing transition from believing I would have to live with pain and loss of motion in my neck forever, to being pain free and flexible. Throughout, Dr. Carlson and the staff of OSC were fantastic. OSC is run with impeccable, caring efficiency. A lifetime of thanks to Dr. Carlson and the entire staff! (P.S. Since my surgery, I have talked with several people who also had amazing life-changing results under Dr. Carlson’s care!)
In April of 2018, I began experiencing severe pain in my lower back. I went to see Dr. Jeffrey R. Carlson on 18 May 2018, after having seen another physician, who was more interested in satisfying the needs of the insurance company rather than taking care of my needs as a patient.
Dr. Carlson performed a through examination, reviewed my MRI, and assessed that the only treatment/cure for my ruptured disc was surgery. Dr. Carlson was extremely caring as was evidenced during my initial office visit. There was no rush to have me in and out within 15 minutes. He made me feel like I was his only patient to be seen that day. Surgery was immediately scheduled.
The surgery was successful and gave me immediate relief from pain. His office staff and surgery team were very friendly, caring and efficiently handled all the activities associated with my medical care. Follow up care has been excellent.
J.A. Faulkner, Jr.