Testimonials: Spine – Cervical Discectomy

Westley Stark – Cervical Fusion and Discectomy Surgery

Image of Dr. Mark McFarlandSerious neck pain and some lost range of motion brought me to OSC to see Dr. Mark McFarland. Dr. McFarland was very helpful by answering all of my many questions, while diagnosing my problem and recommending a course of action.

After some initial conservative measures, we decided to proceed with a Cervical Fusion and Discectomy. As a professional pilot, I was a bit nervous about such a procedure. When the surgery day came, everything seemed to go like clockwork and the results were amazing. Less than 10 days after the surgery, I was back up flying again. At the three month point, I was given the go ahead for any and all activities. My neck no longer hurts and I have 100% of my range of motion. I even grew a quarter of an inch (LOL).

I am very grateful for Dr. McFarland’s skill and professionalism as well as all the staff at the Orthopaedic & Spine Center.

Westley Stark

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.

 

Brenda Bannister – Cervical Discectomy

Image of Brenda BannisterOn September 27, 2017, Dr. Jeffrey R. Carlson performed a Cervical Discectomy at the Surgical Pavilion, Mary Immaculate Hospital. Dr. Carlson cut under my neck (less invasive ) which was an outpatient surgery. I had no complications thanks to the great team under Dr. Carlson’s direction.

I have to say because Dr. Carlson is a Christian (for me that’s important), so many Christians in the community know of him, and raved about his work in the surgery. I felt at ease and wasn’t a bit scared going into the surgery. My neck was pushing down on my spine and that had to be corrected. I felt so calm and relaxed knowing that those “expert hands that God has blessed” were doing my surgery.

My surgery was successful. I am such a crusader for Dr. Carlson and will spread his name every where. He is an excellent doctor and Ms. Kay and the rest of the staff are great on the team. I am very blessed to have been sent to Dr. Jeffery R. Carlson.

Brenda Bannister

Karen Levy – Cervical Discectomy Surgery

I have had neck pain for about 15 years. It got worse with each passing year. I tried the Chiropractor doctor and also did PT.

I found Dr. Jeffrey Carlson through a friend.  He suggested a Cervical Discectomy on C5, C6 & C7. As soon as I came out of surgery, the pain was gone! I just had the normal recuperation from surgery and that was it!

I have to say, this was a very easy surgery to recuperate from. I wish I had done this years ago. I am still pain free and my neck feels wonderful. I will be going back to him for lower back surgery in the near future. Thank you, Dr. Carlson!

Karen Levy

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

Patricia Ricks-Armstead – Cervical Fusion Surgery

I had been experiencing neck, back and shoulder pain with a numbing and tingling, radiating down my right arm for quite some time. My 2016 holidays were spent in excruciating pain. After many x-rays and MRI’s, I was finally diagnosed with a herniated disc and pinched nerve in my neck. I was sent to see a neurosurgeon who told me that I was not a candidate for surgery and my only treatment option was cortisone shots. I sought a second opinion on the recommendation of two people who had been treated by Dr. Jeffrey Carlson, and I am so ecstatic that I did.

He explained to me that the only way to alleviate my pain would be through surgery, because the bulging disc was pressing down on my nerve causing pain and a shot would not help. He said it was like stepping on a water hose…unless you alleviate the pressure on the hose, the water can’t flow through. So, the disc had to be removed and replaced with a titanium plate.

Dr. Carlson calmed my fears about having the surgery, and here I am now, 6 weeks after my surgery, back at work and pain free.

Thank you Dr. Carlson and the staff at OSC. Your professionalism and kindness means so much.

Patricia Ricks-Armstead

James A. Randall, III – Cervical Spine Fusion

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I had neck surgery performed (by Dr. Jeffrey Carlson) on July 11th of this year (2016). It’s only been 5 weeks since then and I feel great. There Is absolutely NO PAIN and I have complete range of motion. I actually don’t feel like I ever had neck surgery. He is definitely GOOD at what he does!!!

James A. Randall, III

John Blascak, Jr. – Spine Surgery

Physician: Dr. Carlson
John P. Blasak Jr.
My name is John Blascak and I am from Newport News, Virginia. I am 35 years old, going to Riverside School of health careers to start a career as a Physical Therapist Assistant, and my hobby is weight-lifting. I was seen by Dr. Carlson for severe neck and shoulder pain. Dr. Carlson discovered, thru an MRI, that I had three bad discs bulging on my spinal cord. The bulge was huge and involved discs C5, C6 and C7. Dr. Carlson was excellent at listening and addressing all my concerns.

Dr. Carlson knew how much pain I was in, and that I only had a month off before returning to school, so he made room in his busy schedule to help me. His nurse, Kay Dame, went over everything I needed to set up and answered all my questions. I was scheduled for a cervical discectomy on August 12, 2013. Dr. Carlson was there to visit with me before surgery and took his time going over the procedure and once again addressing all my concerns.
After my surgery, I was surprised at how fast I was up and moving. I was sitting up in bed and standing, even pacing the hospital room floor. Only two hours out and I was eating a burrito from the cafeteria. I was able to walk down the hospital hallway and while out walking, Dr. Carlson walked up as he was coming to check on me. I was doing so well, I did not have to stay the night at the hospital. My throat only had mild pain; I was eating my normal diet that same night.

While I was in my six week recovery, I had no problems. I was even going to the gym and walking on the treadmill only two weeks out of surgery. I even took a trip to Baltimore MD on 9/7/2013, less than four weeks post-op. If I had any questions, Dr. Carlson’s nurse, Kay Dame, was only a phone call away to aid me in my questions. And she would even call to check up on me. I went through the six week healing process with no problems, and the scar is hardly noticeable. People do not notice it until I point it out.

I was cleared to go back to everyday living on 9/27/2013, and I have a full range of motion in my neck. I can freely look up, down, left, right and check blind spots while driving. I was cleared on 9/27/2013 and on 9/28/2013, I was in the gym bench pressing 225 lbs. for 10 reps with no pain or soreness.

Dr. Carlson gave my life back to me and made me 100% again. I am no stranger to surgeries, but this by far was the best surgical experience I have ever had. This surgery was also the first to restore me to my complete prior level of function. Before having the surgery, everyone said that Dr. Carlson was the best, and now I am walking proof to what he can do. Thank you Dr. Carlson for giving me my life back!

Dianne Spears – Spine Surgery

OSC Physician: Dr. Carlson
My name is Dianne Spears. I am originally from Hudson Falls, New York, but have lived in the Tidewater area for over 40 years. During those years, the Orthopaedic and Spine Center (OSC) has been a place I could count on to remedy the damage I did to multiple body parts. For example, Dr. Boyd Haynes has repaired for me two rotator cuff and two meniscus tears.

On October 21, 2013, I fainted and fell, hitting my head. The doctors at the Bon Secours Harbour View Emergency Room determined that I fainted due to sinus bradycardia or slow heartbeat rate. This diagnosis was confirmed by a Tilt Table Test (TTT) ordered by Dr. Robert Accettola at the Cardiac Diagnostic and Treatment Center. Dr. Accettola gave me a prescription to balance my blood pressure and heart rate; and, he indicated that it was very important for me to immediately address the increasing pain in my neck and arm apparently caused by the accident.

My first thought was of the OSC. I made an appointment with Dr. Jeffrey R. Carlson on November 1, 2013. During this appointment, it became frighteningly apparent that I was unable to lift my right arm away from my body more than about 25 degrees. The MRI Dr. Carlson ordered at the Open Imaging Center confirmed that joint arthrosis and mild to moderately severe disc narrowing, dessication and bulging was causing compressing on the nerve controlling my right arm from the 5th cervical disc in my neck. My husband and I love ballroom dancing, but I was afraid I would be unable to dance very well again.

However, Dr. Carlson recommended a surgical procedure called Anterior Cervical Discectomy and Fusion (ACDF) that he performs three or four times a week. Although I was overwhelmed by the injury and the procedure, I was reassured by the confidence Dr. Carlson and his staff demonstrated.

Kaye Dame, Dr. Carlson’s Surgical Scheduler described that the ACDF would be performed at the Surgical Pavilion at Mary Immaculate Hospital. She carefully went over pre-surgery instructions and preparations which further reduced my anxiety. She also indicated that Dr. Carlson ordered Personal Touch Home Care Nursing, Physical Therapy and Medical Equipment at my home following the surgery.

On December 4, 2013, Dr. Carlson removed the disc material between my C4, C5, C6 and C7 vertebrae through a small incision in the front of my neck. He replaced the material with bone grafts held in place by a small metal plate with screws to enable the bones to fuse or heal together. To aid the fusion, Dr. Carlson ordered a bone stimulator which was delivered to my home a week after the surgery.

As I write this testimonial, it has been 18 days from the surgery. I must say my overall experience was much easier than I anticipated. That is, Dr. Carlson’s process from beginning to end was superb. My pain was managed amazingly well in the hospital. The hospital staff was very responsive to helping me through the night after surgery, but were less so during the morning shift change.

I was able to stop taking pain medication at home five days after the surgery. I only have a tiny line on my neck at the surgical site that is fading fast. I have full range of motion and I am building strength in my right arm. I am happy to report that my husband and I were able to dance at our Christmas parties this year.

Leonora del Rosario Reiley – Spine Surgery/Physical Therapy

After a subpar experience in every way with another local orthopedic group, I finally caved in to my mother-in-law’s advice and made an appointment with Jeffrey Carlson for chronic neck and shoulder pain that had plagued me for over a decade.

I was amazed at the facility. MRI’s and x-rays on site–no traveling to second locations for the aforementioned tests. Efficient billing practices and fast turnover of workmen’s comp and other potentially frustrating forms that come with the medical territory.

Dr. Carlson’s expertise and compassionate manner is evident at every phase of treatment. I feel confident in saying that The Orthopedic and Spine Center is comparable to anything big cities or famous medical facilities, such as Duke or Johns Hopkins, have to offer. After ruling out every other possible treatment, Dr. Carlson performed an anterior cervical diskectomy that went without a hitch, and I have been pain-free since.

I have also used the physical therapy services at OSC and have found them to be excellent. I underwent two rounds of grueling PT at another PT office, so was very pleased when Dave Durham came up with a completely different routine from those I had been prescribed before that banished my symptoms quickly. More important, I can do this routine easily at a gym should my symptoms reoccur.

While I can’t say I look forward to future dealings with OSC, I at least know that I will have the very best care, should I need their expertise down the road.

Sincerely,

Leonora del Rosario Reiley