Testimonials: - Dr. Mark W. McFarland

Nikki Kuhn – Spine Fusion Surgery

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In June 2015, I first saw Dr. McFarland for severe back pain. After physical therapy and epidural shots, it was was decided that surgery was my option. Dr. McFarland told me exactly what to expect with my spinal fusion. Dr. McFarland saw me and my family after surgery and assured us all of how the surgery went. Dr. McFarland and Erin gave exceptional care and assurance.

Nine months later, I’m a new person. No more pain. Thank you so much for giving me my life back. I would recommend Dr. McFarland to anyone.

Nikki Kuhn

William Benton – Spine Surgery

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I just want to say that my lower back was in bad shape. and I was in a lot of pain ,then I went to see Dr. McFarland and he took one look at my MRI and said he could fix that and I would not have anymore pain. After waking up from major lower back surgery, I had no more pain and was back to normal in six months. Dr. McFarland is the best at what he does and you should feel blessed to have him for your doctor.

William Benton

 

William Kranz, Jr. – Spinal Cord Stimulator for Pain

Drs. Mcfarland and Sureja

I was referred to Dr. Sureja for chronic foot pain due to Neuropathy. After finding a combination of non-narcotic pain medicines, I began to get relief in my feet.

I have always had back pain. After several epidural injections, Dr. Sureja referred me to Dr. McFarland to discuss the possibility of receiving a Spinal Stimulator implant. At that time, I was unable to stand up straight. I went with the implant and knew as soon the temporary implant procedure was done that the permanent implant would be successful.

That was several years ago and the stimulator has changed my life. The follow up care with Boston Scientific is awesome. You call and within a day they can adjust the settings. Thanks to Dr. Sureja and Dr. McFarland, I now have a better quality of life and can enjoy retirement.

Gene Mason – Spinal Cord Stimulator for Pain Relief

My name is Gene Mason and I am 89 years old. I had three back surgeries 50 years ago and have been plagued with back problems ever since.

Two years ago, back pains had reached the point where I felt the need for some sort of corrective action. I had about a year of epidurals and physical exercises. They were effective at first, but only for a short period of time. The neurosurgeon in Williamsburg referred me to the University of Virginia for treatment. The surgeon there told me that, though I needed surgery, my age made the risks too high to perform. I was referred to a pain clinic in Charlottesville and after 6 months of treatment, I was still taking 2 tablets of oxycodone daily, when the doctor told me that he had done all he could for me and suggested that I look into treatment by Spinal Cord Stimulation. He said that a one week trial period would be required to determine if I would be a good candidate for permanent Stimulator implantation. I was told by the doctor who does trials here in Williamsburg, that he had reviewed my MRIs and had determined that I would not be a candidate for final surgery.

My family doctor knew of the work done by Dr. Raj Sureja of the Orthopaedic and Spine Center and referred me to his office. What a blessing! Dr. Sureja ordered new MRIs and determined that I could be a candidate for final surgery and proceeded to perform the trial period surgery. After one week, the results indicated that I would benefit from permanent implant of the Stimulator. Final Spinal Cord Stimulator surgery was performed by Dr. Sureja’s associate, Dr. Mark McFarland. That was 5 months ago. I wish I could say that I no longer have any pain whatsoever, however, I have some good days and some bad days, but the best thing is that I seldom take any medication for the pain I experience. I have read that a 50% reduction in pain is considered successful treatment. By that standard, my surgery has been very successful.

Dr. Sureja, his associates and his staff have shown themselves to be a very caring team, whose sole purpose is to make the patient as pain-free as possible. They have all been very professional, yet very friendly in interfacing with me, the patient. The same can be said of the technical representatives of Boston Scientific who do the programming of the Stimulator.

For others, who have been in a situation similar to mine, I heartily recommend consulting with Dr. Sureja and the Orthopaedic and Spine Center.

Ernest E. Mason

Kelly Etrata – Knee and Shoulder Pain

Erin Lee is the best at her job! She is always pleasant, makes you feel comfortable, takes her time with you, and is truly understanding. She has given me numerous injection shots in my knees and shoulder. Today she gave me one in my foot. ]-: I was extremely nervous because of the last injection I had in my foot (from another doctor at another facility) did not go so well. I expressed my concerns, and she reassured me and made me feel comfortable, talked me through it and needless to say it was painless. Erin Lee is a tremendous asset to OSC and Dr. McFarland (who is also great).

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I always ask if Erin will be doing the injection, which probably isn’t fair to the others, but if she’s not there, I’m not having anyone else do it (well, Dr. McFarland did one injection for me while Erin was out and I was Ok with it). She is extremely talented and gifted at her job. Thanks, Erin Lee for all you do! You are the best!!!

David Wooten – Spinal Cord Stimulator for Chronic Pain

I have the highest regards for O.S.C., Dr. Sureja and Dr. McFarland. They have taken extreme care in seeing to my well-being, the latest, the installation of a spinal stimulator, which in the testing stage, was a godsend.

Pamela Ausborn – Spine Surgery

About a year ago, I went to Dr. McFarland’s office for the first time. I was suffering from pain in the back, legs, and feet. My regular doctor referred me to him because he thought I was suffering from sciatica nerve. Dr. McFarland told me that I had spinal stenosis. I had three choices:
1. Physical Therapy
2. Pain meds
3. Surgery
He did not rush me to make a decision. He let me do what I want instead of pushing me into something I was afraid of (which was surgery). I tried the first 2 choices and they did not work for me. So, in October, 2013 I had the surgery. It was the best decision I made. I have my life back, pain free. This office staff and my doctor put it all together and made my life worth living again. My husband and I are retired and now we are able to do things – before a simple walk or standing was unbearable. I can play with my grandson again. Thanks to all the staff and most important, Dr. McFarland. Also, Shelly is a blessing to me!

Rachel Jackson – Knee & Neck Surgery

I have been fortunate to have Dr. McFarland perform surgery on me on three different occasions. The last was recently when he performed surgery on my neck. His professionalism and performance has been amazing. It has been amazing how my recovery has been following knee surgery and neck surgery. I highly recommend him to anyone. Don’t be afraid – he really cares.

Don Hollomon – Hip Replacement Surgery

At OSC, they call him ‘the bionic man.’ All told, Don Hollomon has had neck fusion, both knees replaced and hip replacement. As Dr. McFarland describes it, “Each of those procedures puts metal in your body – metal knees, metal hip and a plate and screws in his neck. He’ll be patted down every time he tries to fly.”

Despite having all those procedures, which also include a rotator cuff repair, today Don Holloman describes his physical condition this way: “When I was young, there were 600 things I could do – and I did them all, including marathon running. Now, with all these reparative operations, I can do 400. I don’t worry about the 200 I lost – I concentrate on the 400 I can still do and thank OSC every day for them!”

At 65, he includes running in the 200 things he no longer does; but among the 400 he continues to do are climbing up on the roof, cutting the grass – and zip-lining: strapping himself into a parachute harness and sliding down a line at a speed approaching 30mph, at a hundred feet above the ground. “It’s quite thrilling,” he says.

“Don’s one of those guys who’s always been very active,” Dr. McFarland notes, “and he’s worn out his joints because of it. He’s got a lot of arthritis.” His initial visit to OSC was for rotator cuff issues. “I was in really bad pain,” Don remembers. “I did some research and got a recommendation, and saw Dr. Coleman. He checked it out and did the repair.”

Some time after that surgery, Don began experiencing significant pain in his neck – so significant, he recalls, “that I literally thought I was going to die. I had muscles that weren’t working in my arm, numbness and tingling, and excruciating pain. I even began redoing my will, I was so convinced I wasn’t going to make it.”

Don admits he put off visiting any physician until he could tolerate no more, but when he saw Dr. McFarland in January of 2008, the surgeon described a procedure that would eliminate his pain: a bilateral cervical fusion. “He made it sound as simple as a tonsillectomy,” Don says. “He assured me it would take care of all my pain. And it did.”

Once his neck was resolved, Don was able to concentrate on the growing pain in his knees. “At one point, I couldn’t get my knee in the car without physically grabbing my leg. I went back to Dr. McFarland,” who immediately recognized the bone-on-bone pain syndrome and told Don he needed to have both of his knees replaced. Having heard what he calls “horror stories” about knee replacement recuperation, Don knew he didn’t want to go through that twice. He told Dr. McFarland he wanted both done at the same time.

Bilateral knee replacement is a very rare surgery, Dr. McFarland says. “We do it only 3 or 4 times a year. It’s really for patients who are medically healthy, and who will be aggressive about therapy. It’s a much, much tougher recovery, and there can be complications with bilateral knees if people aren’t motivated to do the work. But with Don, I had no doubts. He’s a former military man; he’s tough and he’s very strong – and he’s got a good support system at home. I had no doubt he’d push right through it.”

“I remember the most important thing Dr. McFarland said to me,” Don says. “He told me that after the operation, there’d be nothing I could do to break my knees. That took away all my limiting factors.” Following the surgery in May 2008, Don stayed in the hospital three days. He acknowledges the recovery was painful, but entirely manageable.

He very quickly returned to an active lifestyle, but by 2010, Don realized the pain in his hip had become an impediment. His visit to OSC resulted in another pioneering procedure: in August, he became the first patient in Virginia to undergo a hip replacement – as an outpatient. “The direct anterior muscle-sparing approach made this surgery possible,” Dr. McFarland explains. “The procedure had become so minimally-invasive, and our anesthesiologists so effective at controlling post-operative pain – and of course, considering Don’s recuperative history – that I was convinced there was no reason he’d need to stay overnight in the hospital.”

Don remembers the day well: “They put my foot in a boot, and put me on a special table so Dr. McFarland could go in to my hip through the front. He didn’t cut anything but skin – so much better going in through the back of the hip with all the muscles that would have to be cut. Afterward, I had zero pain in the hip.” And best of all: “Later that day, the therapist asked if I could stand and walk a bit. I hadn’t taken any pain medication because I wanted to see what it would feel like after the anesthesia wore off.” Don accepted a walker from the nurse, and headed down the hall to the nurses’ station, where he surprised them by lifting the walker over his head and taking several steps. “My hip never did hurt,” he says.

Fourteen days after the surgery, he sent OSC a photo of himself walking down a set of stairs, totally disregarding the handrail. Later, he posted a video of himself, defying anyone to tell which hip had been replaced. Even Dr. McFarland had to look twice.

Not everyone has Don Hollomon’s stamina – or bravado – but today, Dr. McFarland doesn’t hesitate to offer out-patient surgery to his hip replacement patients, if he feels their health, motivation and support systems are appropriate. “It was a natural decision for Don,” he says. “He’s got that great supportive home environment, and he’s a trouper.”

It may well run in the family: several months later, Dr. McFarland replaced Don’s 87-year old mother’s hip. Janet Hollomon had had hip surgery years ago following an accident, with a resulting 5/8” shortening of her leg. Not only did the surgeon replace her hip, he realigned her leg and corrected the shortening within 2-3 millimeters. Today, she walks without a cane, without a walker – and without a limp.

Dr. McFarland isn’t surprised at her result. “Each patient is an individual,” he says. “The procedures themselves are pretty straightforward – you go through the same steps as surgeons to implant the devices each time – but a lot of how patients recover is based on how they follows our directions after the surgery. Some patients don’t necessarily comply with everything we want them to do, and that can impact their outcome.”

He adds, “I typically don’t take patients to surgery unless I really feel that that they need surgery, and unless I really feel they’re healthy enough or compliant enough to have a really good outcome. At OSC, we want to see people do well – we want to see them happy. There are a lot of other options for patients we know aren’t going to have that type of outcome, so more than anything, I have a more conservative philosophy when it comes to surgery.”

As for ‘the bionic man,’ he has a message for anyone who’s been living with arthritic or orthopedic pain. “There’s no reason to suffer,” Don Hollomon says. “Don’t be afraid, and above all, don’t put it off.”

Margaret E. Bailey – Ankle Fracture/Spine Surgery/Knee Surgery

Physician Name: Drs. Coleman, McFarland, and Snyder

My story: A few years ago after breaking my ankle and not knowing any orthopedic doctors, my friend recommended Orthopaedic & Spine Center. Dr. Coleman saw me immediately and gave me advice to reduce the chance of putting pins in. I followed his advice and with his great care I have not had any aches, pains, or problems with my ankle. When I developed back problems other government physicians gave me treatment options that would only be temporary, if they found the problem. I again called OSC where I met Dr. McFarland. He removed 4 bone spurs off my spine. He was honest and told me I would always have some pain, but it would be manageable (and it is). Then I had to have knee surgery which Dr. Snyder performed. I am 74 and active. Thank you all. If you have a problem, don’t hesitate to call – they are caring and they listen. I hope I won’t need their services again, but they will be the first call I make.