Testimonials: Neck Procedures

Melanie Johnson – Physical Therapy for Post-Surgical C-5 Nerve Palsy

 

On Dec 9, 2019, Dr. Jeffrey Carlson performed a posterior cervical laminectomy and inserted four rods in my spine to relieve compression of my spinal cord. The surgery went well and as always, Dr. Carlson did a great job. However, after I woke up, I found that I couldn’t use my left arm. I had a complication called a C-5 palsy, which means because the nerves between that cervical vertebrae had been compressed for so long, they had been damaged and I was going to have to “re-learn” how to use that arm.

I had physical therapy at home for about five weeks. It was determined it could be up to a year or more for me to gain the use of my arm. Mid-January, I was released to PT at OSC’s Physical Therapy Center and saw Dr. Paige Tretter for an evaluation. At that time, I could lift my left arm at about 25 degrees in front of me, couldn’t bear any weight on it or lift more than a couple of pounds. A program was set up for me and I began working with one of the therapists for about three weeks and he did a good job. But after that, I began working with Fred Wintermantel, LPTA.

Fred Wintermantel, LPTAOver the next four months, Fred worked the program that was set up for me, but he went above and beyond during each appointment to adapt therapy for me that met my specific needs to help continue healing for my neck and to help me regain the use of my arm. He would always ask how I was feeling when I came in. He would listen, really listen, and then work through my program and add or take away exercises that would better help me progress. My exercises were often difficult & sometimes painful, but I always felt encouraged to push through as I felt comfortable. Another helpful thing he did was to explain WHY we did some of the exercises we did. He would explain how using certain muscles or movements were going to help me heal. g with at the moment, because he always gave 100% to each patient, but this just shows the commitment to what he does.

Each month I would follow up with Dr. Tretter to see if I should continue my therapy. She, too, is committed to the care of her patients and always supported me continuing until we felt I was doing well enough to work on my own. She was often amazed at the progress I was making each month knowing what my prognosis was initially.

Dr. Paige Tretter

After four and half months of therapy at OSC with Fred, I am now able to lift my arm over my head, bear weight on my shoulder, use weights in my exercises and have close to 100% mobility in that arm. I still have numbness and have to limit the weight I lift/carry with my arm and believe I’ll get to 100% , but I know that had I not worked with Fred over these last months, I would be nowhere near I am now in my healing process

The skill, heart and motivation he has for his patients is not often seen and OSC should be thankful for quality employees such as Fred Wintermantel, LPTA and Dr. Paige Tretter .

Melanie Johnson

 

 

Make an appointment with Dr. Carlson or Dr. Tretter, or Fred or another OSC provider by clicking the “Request Appointment” button below or by calling (757) 596-1900.  

 

Lee Carter – Cervical Discectomy

Image of Dr. Jeffrey Carlson

I injured myself while pulling back my crossbow. It caused a horrible pain in the back of my shoulder that radiated into my left arm. I went to my PCP and he prescribed prednisone and a muscle relaxer. After a week, the pain was about the same. A friend suggested I see Dr. Jeffrey Carlson.

I met with Dr. Carlson and told him what had happened. He said it sounds like I had a ruptured disc in my neck and may need surgery. I had an MRI on October 25, 2017 and a follow up with him on November 2. By then the pain had completely gone away. I thought I was home free until he told me I did have a ruptured disc, that it was pressing on my spinal cord and I needed immediate surgery or  risk being paralyzed in the event of a bad car accident. Obviously, not what I wanted to hear, but made the decision at that moment to have the surgery.

I had the surgery, known as a Cervical Discectomy, on November 8th. It was an out-patient procedure . In simple terms, the soft tissue between the vertebrae is removed, a bone graft is used to support the vertebral bones and a small plate is screwed in to support the spine.  After 6 days, I was completely pain free. Other than a small incision in the front of my neck, I could not tell I even had surgery.

I had a follow up with Dr. Carlson on November 20th. He said I could resume my regular duties but not to lift more than 20 pounds. After another follow up on December 21, all restrictions were removed. After first meeting Dr. Carlson, I was talking with my neighbor. I told her about my injury and she said “you need to see Dr. Carlson”. I believe she had spinal fusion surgery. She had nothing but good things to say about him. I highly recommend Dr. Carlson.

 

Lee Carter

Williamsburg, Va.

 

Barbara Summers – Epidural Steroid Injections, Cervical Discectomy Surgery & PT

I injured my neck 30 years ago and lived with pain and numbness in my left arm, hand and neck every day. I went to multiple doctors, to include two other orthopaedic offices, and no one offered any help or relief until I visited Orthopaedic and Spine Center.

My first visit with Dr. Jeffrey Carlson offered me hope, he immediately explained why I had the pain and numbness and explained what my options were. I had cervical spinal stenosis, degenerative disc disease and an herniated nucleus pulposus.

I opted for cervical epidural injections with Dr. Jenny Andrus initially, as I feared having surgery. Dr. Andrus was wonderful and the injections helped for a while, just as Dr. Carlson explained.

After having the injections over a period of three years, I finally decided to talk with Dr. Carlson about surgery. He explained that, for relief of my diagnosis, I would require a cervical discectomy of my C 4-5 and C 5-6. He took the time to explain everything that I would experience and he eased my fears of having the surgery.

I had the surgery on December 6th, 2016, and immediately upon waking up from the surgery, the numbness in my left arm, hand, and neck was gone. I cannot remember the last time I had total feeling in my arm, hand and neck.

The pain that I experienced prior to the surgery was gone, Dr. Carlson was an angel. Dr. Carlson performing this surgery was the best decision I could have ever made, I feel like a new person. Prior to this surgery, I lived with pain every day of my life. I no longer have that pain. Thank you, Dr. Carlson!!! You are truly an awesome doctor and surgeon!!

After surgery, Dr. Carlson sent me to OSC Physical Therapy. I attended Physical Therapy for six weeks, under the care of Dr. Andrew Osowski and Fred Wintermantel. The Physical Therapy staff was awesome and I can now turn my neck and use my left arm fully again. Dr. Carlson and the OSC staff are wonderful.  I have recommended Dr. Carlson and OSC to many people and will continue to do so. Thank you again to Dr. Carlson and his staff, Dr. Andrus and her staff, and OSC Physical Therapy staff.

Barbara Summers

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.