MY BACK, A STORY WITH A FUSION CONCLUSION
It began years ago, as many stories do. I did things I probably should not have done, forcing my back to support more off center weight than it should have. Added to those missteps were years (almost 40) of climbing vertical steel ladders of cranes with a heavy shoulder tool bag.
To combat the nagging pains, journeys to chiropractors helped. Within recent years, those chiropractor’s visits did not seem to help. The chiropractor noticed the lack of improvement and asked if I would like a referral. I replied yes. Enter Dr. Jeffery Carlson. After x-rays and a physical evaluation, Dr. Carlson showed me in the x-ray the source of my pain, the cocked vertebrae. He commented to me that we could go whatever route I chose, but the back would not get better without surgery. Spinal fusion of L4, L5, and S1 were recommended.
I told him to schedule my surgery as soon as possible. The date was chosen only a few weeks into the future. An at-home nurse and physical therapist were scheduled ahead of time and my wife and I attended a seminar with the company that was to supply the nurse and physical therapist. I highly recommend the seminar, as you are given ideas for recovery help and what to expect.
And what might you expect? From my experience (and I was told this ahead of surgery) the first two weeks will probably be miserable (and they were) not unbearable, but certainly very uncomfortable. The wearing of the bone growth stimulator two hours a day and the back brace, when out of bed, were annoying but tolerable and good drugs kept the severe pain at bay. I tried to follow Dr. Carlson’s instructions to the letter, and I think it was the good surgery and adherence to advice that ended in very good results with elimination of lower back pain.
Thanks Dr. Carlson!
My name is Tammy. In April 2017, I had a Lower Lumbar Laminectomy (Discs 2-4 surgery) from a different medical facility. Unfortunately, my chief complaint that I had expressed to that doctor (I found out was in disc #4-5) was not treated and I was still having the same issues. So, I made an appointment with Dr. Jeffrey Carlson for a consult.
During the consult, he made me feel confident in him about what was needed to be done. The information he showed me concerning my issue allowed me to make an informed decision. I gladly made the decision to have the surgery.
Upon my post operation (post op) visit, Dr. Carlson advised me to walk. I have a treadmill in my workout room, I started out walking a mile a day then, walking/running one mile in 17 minutes (see video MP4 Dec. 04, 2019).
Upon my 6 week “post op” appointment I walked into his office, walking upright and strong. Dr. Carlson was so pleased with that. I’m now getting Physical Therapy to help me get back to normalcy and I plan on doing my exercises and head stands again. Thank you Dr. Carlson, you are truly lead by God, I am so happy with how this surgery turned out!
I am a physically fit, 61 year old female and I had been dealing with sciatica for 4 years. It started with a pain in my left calf. I tried massage therapy, TENS unit, and physical therapy. My GP referred me to OSC. I chose Dr. Jeffrey Carlson because I have several neighbors who had successful back surgery performed by Dr. Carlson.
During my first visit, back x-rays were taken right in his office. The next step was an MRI, which could have been done at the OSC, but due to a 10 day insurance approval wait time, I had done closer to my home.
At my next visit with Dr. Carlson, he evaluated my MRI and anticipated that I would need surgery, but said there was no rush. To get relief, I scheduled an epidural cortisone shot at the OSC. The first shot gave me great relief and I was so pleased! Within 2 weeks, I developed sciatica on the other side. The second shot provided no relief. The sciatica pain increased to the point that I cancelled a vacation and decided to schedule surgery.
Dr. Carlson chose to perform a PLIF – Posterior Lumbar Interbody Fusion on October 29, 2019 at Bon Secours, Mary Immaculate in Newport News. Just before surgery, Dr. Carlson asked if I was ready to get this Sciatica taken care of and the next thing I knew, I was out of surgery, awake and 100% of my sciatica was gone! I was able to leave after a few hours of recovery.
I am now 6 weeks post surgery. I feel great! I teach 6 fitness classes a week and have 10 personal fitness clients. I was able to teach classes 1 week after surgery.
I have had conversations with two other individuals at my church who also had back surgery at other spine centers. In comparison, I feel my care was superior. In particular, my follow up care includes a Bone Growth Stimulator device that has proven to speed up bone fusion. My two friends did not have this as part of their therapy.
I continue to make gains in range of motion and flexibility through 6 weeks of physical therapy prescribed by Dr. Carlson. If you are contemplating back surgery, I can give Dr. Carlson a resounding vote of confidence!
I am a 49 year old from Williamsburg, VA. I am very active and my exercise routine includes long distance running, biking and cross training. Three years ago, I started having neck issues that eventually caused numbness in my fingers, shooting pain in my neck and stiffness so bad I couldn’t turn my head from side to side. After exhausting all my options, including Physical Therapy, chiropractic care, dry needling and massage, I went to see Dr. Jeffrey Carlson.
An MRI showed I had degenerative disc disease affecting C5-C7. We tried several steroid injections, which didn’t help at all. Finally, we decided on surgery. THEN my insurance company balked and refused to cover it. Dr. Carlson and his staff went way beyond the call of duty with multiple appeals and peer-to-peer consults. They really went to bat for me! After nearly a year of appeals, I was approved for a two-level fusion (C5-6 and C6-7).
Dr. Carlson and his staff fully prepared me for the surgery. I understood what to expect before, during and after surgery. They explained everything, and answered all questions I had, no matter how small.
The surgery was out-patient. I wore a neck brace for two weeks, and followed all instructions. At the end of two weeks, I was able to walk up to 2.5 miles without any problem. I am 7 weeks out now and my activity level has increased nearly to the level it was before I was in so much pain. I am currently in physical therapy to regain neck mobility. My muscles need to learn how to stop protecting my neck so it can turn again!
I hope I never need another surgery, but if I do, I would not hesitate to call Dr. Carlson. He’s a top-notch surgeon who clearly cares about the well-being of his patients.
Hello there everyone, my name is Ms. In Suk Bolton from Hampton, Virginia. My physician’s name is Dr. Jeffrey Carlson, Orthopaedic Surgeon at the Orthopaedic & Spine Center in Newport News, Va.
The reason that I went to see him was because, for over 5+ years, I have been battling and dealing with really bad Sciatic Nerve Pain, which was the result of having no bone cartilage in between my 4 lower lumbar discs in the spinal column. As a result, the spinal cord was being pressed and rubbed which was causing me to have the really bad Sciatic Nerve Pain in my back and which went all the way down to my right foot.
I used to get Epidural Steroid Injections done at Sentara Pain Management and in the end, they weren’t helping my problem. So, I decided to go see Dr. Carlson at the Orthopaedic & Spine Center thanks to one of my co-workers recommending him and I must say that all the staff and nurses are very kind. Spoke with Dr. Carlson and explained what was going on with my Spinal Column and asked what options were available.
Dr. Carlson stated that he would recommend surgery and a process that was called Spinal Fusion Surgery, where basically they replace the bad disks that were causing pressure and discomfort on my Sciatic Nerve and would fuse with metal rods and bolts. I was at first very scared and very nervous, but thankfully, I had my son here and Dr. Carlson both helped to keep me at ease.
After having the surgery, I look back and I am glad and very grateful in Dr. Carlson for fixing me up. Now I must say that I have no more Sciatic Nerve Pain in my leg anymore and thanks to the Spinal Fusion Procedure, my Spinal Cord is now straight and I can now say that … “I have my life back!” At first, 1st week is the toughest week after surgery because of being in pain but afterwards, the 2nd week and on it get’s much easier. Do not lose faith or hope. It does get much better, trust me.
If anyone is going through Sciatic Nerve Pain and thinking about getting surgery, I highly recommend Dr. Carlson. He is one of the very best and will explain everything in a calm manner and help put you at ease. Thank you to everyone at Orthopaedic & Spine Center for giving me my life back!!!
After Dr. Jeffrey Carlson replaced my second knee, it seemed to heal more slowly and I was dejected. Dr. Carlson wisely took me out of in-home physical therapy and assigned me to Dr. Tom Toothaker at OSC Physical Therapy. I had used them for years and felt comfortable with my OSC PT family of providers.
Tom took my case on personally. His daily encouragement and motivation caused me to try harder and we were able to celebrate the small steps together!
My appointments are at 7:00 AM and I’m not a morning person, but Autumn at the front desk is and she greets each one of us with joyful encouragement. Then Rachel, Tom’s assistant, keeps the session rolling with her positive attitude as we exercise together.
I would like to encourage you to not be afraid of the pain and stress that normally comes with Physical Therapy. You can trust the family at OSC PT to treat you as their most important patient throughout your sessions!
In the spring of 2019, I noticed muscle mass disappearing in my lower left leg and loss of strength. After going to my PCM, which happens to be the US Navy since I am retired military, I got a referral out of the USN system to see a Spine Surgeon. I picked OSC, even though it is a long drive and traffic is terrible getting there from Va Beach. Boy, am I glad I did.
Got an appointment with Dr. Jeffrey Carlson within a week of contacting them, when I contacted some Docs here in Va Beach, I was told it would be at least 4 months.
Got my MRI done, some back x-rays and met with Dr. Carlson. He gave me what options were available. He did not push surgery, but that was one of the options. I selected surgery, as I had been down the PT road and had been dealing with Sciatica nerve pain several times in the past. I felt surgery was the best option to resolve the bulge disk issue.
After surgery, there were times when I had some numbness and some sciatica pain, but after about four weeks all resolved and no pain or numbness.
Dr. Carlson explained to me everything to expect and it was exactly how he said it would be.
I am very happy and satisfied that I used this practice, Dr. Carlson and his staff were very easy to work with and very informative.
I highly recommend this practice. In the past, when I needed some work on my knee, Dr. Boyd Haynes did it and he was outstanding as well. If you want professionals that are also a pleasure to work with, contact OSC.
John De Mille
I would like like to thank Orthopaedic & Spine Center for providing outstanding service. I reached out to Shannon Woods (from out-of-state) with many questions about a potential surgery. Despite not being a current patient, Shannon and Dr. Jeffrey Carlson showed compassion and took the time to answer my questions. Based on I my experience I would highly recommend OSC.
I went to Dr. Jeffrey Carlson because I was in severe pain and could hardly walk. Dr. Carlson found that I had tendinitis in both hips, which also caused pain in my knees and legs. His Physician Assistant, Tonya, gave me cortisone injections in both hips. Dr. Carlson sent me to Physical Therapy, across from his office.
Dr. Paige Tretter and Josh Hancock, PTA, worked together and instructed me in strength training exercises…they were very dedicated. Those exercises were the BEST thing that’s happened to me. I’m NO longer limping, can walk normally and they took the pain away. A BIG “THANK YOU” to everyone!!!
I was suffering with back pain for about three years from a pinched nerve. Dr. Jeffrey Carlson gave me an option that would relieve my back pain issue. I had the laser surgery done on 3/25/19. I am now pain free, with the help of surgery and physical therapy.
I feel free of pain. I want to thank Dr. Carlson for a job well done.
Dorian J. Johnson