Testimonials: Spine – Lumbar Fusion

Ben Poter – Multi-Level Lumbar Spinal Fusion Surgery

My next step was back surgery, which I dreaded, but it had to be done. I didn’t want to wait too long, in case it caused more damage to my back . I went to see Dr. Jeffrey Carlson for a consultation to check out my options. After talking to Dr. Carlson, it was a go and plans were made for a Lumbar Decompression and Fusion of the L-3 thru L-5.

I felt very comfortable around Dr. Carlson and knew he was the one I wanted for surgery. I looked on the internet for an animated video of my type of surgery, because I didn’t want to see the real thing and this gave me an idea of what was going to be done . It amazes me how a person can do this kind of craft, but I’m glad it can be done.

My surgery was June 1st of this year and on June 2nd, my pinched nerve pain was gone and as of today, I still have no pinched nerve pain . It was an outpatient surgery, which surprised me. A few friends of mine have had back surgery many years ago and they had a hospital stay and had to sit in a straight back chair for many months during their recovery.  My recovery wasn’t bad and I took only a few pain pills during my recovery. Now I’m doing yard work and whatever I want to. I still get a mild lower back ache, which I don’t mind and I will sit for a few minutes, then continue with whatever I was doing. I’m more than happy to have occasional mild back ache compared to what I had before my surgery.

If you need back surgery, it can be a scary thing but a consultation is painless and like it did for me it may set your mind at ease.  I would definitely recommend OSC and any of the doctors I saw during my eight year journey. I now consider OSC my one stop shop for joint pain.

Ben Poter

 

Brenda Botsford – Multi-Level Lumbar Fusion

I have been waiting to write this testimonial until the very end of the recovery process. My wife has always had minor back pain, sometimes it was worse the others, but she always managed to deal with it. Usually, she went to her chiropractor and, after a visit or two, the pain went away, or at least she didn’t mention the problem. Early in July of 2021, she began to complain about her back again and decided to try the chiropractor like she had always done in the past. Also, she tried doing stretch exercises at home as the pain became worse every day.

By July 17, the pain had become so bad, at times, she was having trouble just walking, sleeping, or sitting. The pain would not go away no matter what position she tried.  The only position that seemed to ease the pain at all was the “fetal position”. I took her to the ER at Portsmouth Naval Hospital to see if they could do anything for her on that day. The doctor there was not a specialist in the area of back pain and was a young inexperienced Lt. who seemed scared to do anything about it other than give my wife some Tylenol.

After the long, painful ride home, I decided to go “on line” and see what I could find in the way of back specialists, since this was obviously not my wife usual back pain problem. This is when I found the Orthopedic & Spine Center web site, I also found some other centers that specialized in nothing but back and spine issues. I really wanted to get several doctors lined up for their opinions, my feeling was that I wanted to get this right the first time! After I called OSC, they were able to get my wife in for an evaluation of her problem on July 19th. which impressed me. This was when we first met Dr. Jeffrey Carlson.  Every day the pain was getting worse and she was not eating or sleeping much. July 22 was the soonest that OSC could get her in for an MRI.

July 29th was the follow up appointment for the MRI results. Dr. Carlson reviewed the results and immediately found the problem – two vertebra had become misaligned and the nerve was being pinched. By this time, the pain was to the point where my wife was not eating or sleeping, no position made the pain any more tolerable.

The surgery date was set for August 17th, which seemed like an eternity for my wife to be in constant extreme pain. The following day, July 30, my wife was in such extreme pain, I took her back to the OSC center and asked if there was anything they could do to ease the pain until the surgery date. This is where Trish came into the picture, she is the scheduler for the surgery dates, she is also the main point of contact for questions that patients may have. After a short notice visit that Friday July 30th with Dr. Carlson he went to Trish and said the date needed to moved up if at all possible. Trish made it happen, the new date was August 3rd. By this time my wife had lost 20 lbs. and was in constant extreme pain, she was very appreciative of the new date for the surgery that Trish had been able to work out.

Tuesday morning, August 3rd my wife and I were at the hospital, the whole process went exactly as we had been told by Trish, no surprises at all. Dr. Carlson worked his magic and as soon as my wife came out of the anesthesia the nerve pain was gone. Apparently, my wife had a bit more trouble than most patients coming out of the anesthesia, so my waiting time was double of what I was told to expect, but she was in good hands. My wife ended up staying the night in the hospital due to this issue, but it was just to make sure that she was doing good before being released. By 3:30 pm the next day, I had my wife in the car headed home and the nerve pain was all gone.

The next two weeks, my wife spent at home just taking it easy and enjoying the fact that I was waiting on her hand and foot. August 16th was the first of several follow-up appointments with Dr. Carlson, X-rays were taken so he could see how her spine was doing and he was very pleased with her progress.

Now “fast forward” to September 21.  We went to the initial evaluation for my wife’s physical therapy following the surgery. It has been a long seven weeks since the surgery, but my wife is doing fantastic, the only pain she is experiencing is the area around the incision is still a bit sore and sensitive. Dr. Carlson said that her recovery is going great and this is to be expected, everybody recovers at a different rate.

This has been a “life-changing event” for my wife, there is no way she would have lasted in the condition she was in. I cannot thank the crew at OSC enough for their skill and services that they perform, I don’t think that they truly realize what they do on a day-to-day basis for people that are in the situation that my wife and I were in!

Our many thanks,
Larry and Brenda Botsford  

 

John Young – Multi-level Lumbar Fusion

I thank Dr. Jeffrey Carlson and his staff for the work that was done on me:
(a) I could not stand for 3 minutes/now I can stand for 30 minutes
(b) walking with my back bent/ walking now straight up
(c) again, thank you for the quick repair to my back
(d) I have told others about the great work you can do.

John Young

 

Bill LaManque – Lumbar Fusion Surgery

I had a lumbar fusion on June 8th of this year, performed by the McFarland team. Every step of the way exceeded my expectations. Dr. Mark McFarland listened to me, answered questions, and explained in a way that made me comfortable with the whole process.

I had a lumbar fusion six years earlier (different hospital and doctor), my leg and foot have bothered me ever since. Don’t get me wrong, that surgery was necessary, and I was much better off after the 1st procedure than before. However, over the six years, the pain and numbness worsened. My primary care doctor talked to me about going back to my previous surgeon. I asked if he could provide another referral, he sent me to Dr. McFarland at OSC and I am very thankful!

I don’t want anyone to think that this surgery is easy. I was very sore for about two weeks (mostly my left leg). However, the numbness in my foot was gone almost right away. Within a few days, I did not need the walker, and a few days after that, I could walk a mile or more. Also, I took no pain medication once I left the hospital (24 hours after the surgery) except for Gabapentin. Within a few weeks, I was finished with that too!

By the Fourth of July, I was pain free and medicine free! Incredible! I even sleep thru the night now, for the first time in about 12 years. It has truly changed my life for the better. I am in my 50’s, and I can’t remember the last time I felt this good.

Thank you, OSC! Every member of your team has helped me in different, but meaningful ways. I am very grateful to have found each of you. Please feel free to share my contact information with any hesitant patients. I would be happy to talk to them about my experience with your team and the procedure.

Sincerely,
Bill LaManque

Jennifer Brugliera – Spinal Fusion

Dr. Carlson

In December 2019 I was on crutches struggling to walk due to synovial cysts and severe spinal stenosis caused by degenerative disk disease and spinal instability at 49 years old. I spent 2 years using physical therapy, myofascial release, and huge daily modifications to manage my symptoms and stay mobile. Last December the pain began to be unbearable again and I started to search for new providers and found OSC and Dr. Carlson. I poured through all these reviews and his online blogs and then scheduled a consult. Bringing my last 2 MRI’s and a complete history of everything I had done to date to combat my issues, I was blown away by his confidence and knowledge on exactly what we needed to do. I tried a steroid injection, but it did not hold and was scheduled for a double lumbar fusion OUTPATIENT! Dr. Carlson is a PRO. He is going to do an excellent job, but the really hard work is preparing prior to surgery and being dedicated to your post-surgery exercise and diet (high protein and supplements). Dr. Carlson’s team is like a well-oiled machine from Trish in scheduling to the Home Health Nurses and Physical Therapists (Kristen rocks!) I am now 6 weeks post op, out of my back brace, continuing my STIM machine daily for 2 hours, and starting in person physical therapy to address some lingering muscle soreness. I can walk 2+ miles a day easily, perform all my physical therapy and feel like a brand-new version of me! I am so lucky and blessed to have found Dr. Carlson and TRUSTED him completely to do this. I have had an amazing recovery by putting a lot of time and effort into every phase of the process. If you need spinal surgery Dr. Carlson is the BEST. Get a consult and you will feel the same…living in pain does not have to be an option anymore.

 

Jennifer Brugliera

Graffie B. Edler, Jr. – Lumbar Spinal Fusion Surgery

I’ll make this short and to the point. My name is Graffie B. Edler Jr. I had been having minor lower back problems for years but dismissed it as sciatica. As the years went on, my occasional numbness turned to pain. Eventually, my pain got to the point I couldn’t dismiss it any longer. I decided to seek a chiropractor which helped very little but did reveal my problems were more than sciatica. I had my chiropractor refer me to a neurologist because the spinal pain was getting unbearable.

Moving forward, my chiropractor referred me to Dr. Jeffrey Carlson. After sitting down with him and going over all options it seemed spinal fusion was my best option. Yes, I had friends and family tell me ( “No don’t do it. You’re talking about your spine “). The fear they had was something would go wrong. I had that same fear but put my trust in my supreme being and Dr. Carlson. After surgery, I spent one night in the hospital for observation. I felt muscular discomfort from surgery but no spinal pain. My recovery consisted of light exercise with no bending, lifting, or twisting. After six weeks of light exercising, I started the recommended physical therapy.

Now, I’m happy to say I’m back to work pain free. I have thanked Dr. Carlson several times for being a knowledgeable and skilled surgeon. If you can relate to this testimonial. I recommend you at least have a consultation with Dr. Carlson.

Graffie B. Edler, Jr.

Timothy Williams – Lumbar Fusion Surgery

Jeffrey Carlson, M.D.

I am in NO Pain. That alone is amazing. I’ve been in pain like 5 years. Now with this lumbar fusion performed by Dr. Jeffrey Carlson, my back feels stronger and I feel my posture is better. I’m 6’1″ tall and now I think I stand a little straighter. I’m six weeks post-op right now. I’m so happy I no longer have a “bad back”.  Thanks!

Timothy Williams

Bob Bowman – Multi-level Lumbar Spinal Fusion Surgery

Dr. Carlson with OSC SignI found Dr. Jeffrey Carlson through a referral from a family member. I knew I needed back surgery but I wasn’t happy with my current doctor.

With my MRI in hand, I met Dr. Carlson in March of 2020. I was impressed with his thorough explanation of what was happening in my lower back, he showed me on the MRI that I had 3 discs gone and one on the way.

He scheduled me for a four-level fusion procedure, then four days before my surgery, the hospital canceled all elective surgery due to the COVID-19 PPE shortage. Dr. Carlson tried to push the surgery through since I was in a lot of pain, but we had no choice but to wait. The wait was almost 6 weeks, Dr Carlson’s staff did all they could to keep me as comfortable as possible during the wait.

Finally, my surgery date was rescheduled and all went well.  In a matter of weeks, most of the pain was gone. Now after 4 months, I am pain free and enjoying retirement!  Thank you, Dr. Carlson and staff!

Bob Bowman

Tonya Thomas-Gray – Multi-Level Lumbar Spinal Fusion

Dr. Carlson in the operating roomI spent years with neck & back pain, misdiagnosing, physical therapy, etc….and not LIVING! I promised my husband on NYE 2018, we would not focus on neck/back pain, but redirect to find answers. WE DID IT!! This MAN was patient (not his virtue), understanding and truly SUPPORTIVE! He was my voice when I didn’t have one, picked me up when I couldn’t stand and fed me when I didn’t want to eat!

So eternally grateful to Dr. Jeffrey Carlson! On 9/4/19, Dr. Carlson performed a Lumbar Spinal Fusion Surgery to repair disc damage impeding my spinal cord. Best decision of my LIFE! The first 3 days…when I tell you PAIN….that is an understatement! 19 staples later…I lived with REGRET! Guilt all through me…feeling vulnerable & helpless! I prayed so hard…asking for strength… repeating, “I won’t let you down! I will LISTEN & FOLLOW! I remember my dear friend quietly sitting on the phone letting me cry. All those emotions released, turned into WILL-POWER!

The outpouring of support to my family was LIFE-CHANGING! There were three people who never left my side…GOD, my Husband & my Mom! They never gave up on me! My Husband was worried, my Mom was tired & my children were confused! GOD made the path, Hubby walked beside & Mom kept me uplifted in prayer!

My Mom is the ROCK of our family (tears)! She did what she does well which is make chaos CALM! She consoled our children & did her Grandma duties EXCEPTIONALLY!  When I tell you my relationships & friendships were tested…I got on EVERYBODY’S nerves … it wasn’t pretty, easy or nice. but their commitment was undoubtedly STRONG! It clearly opened my eyes to my PRESENTATION, PURPOSE & most importantly the PROMISE made to GOD! FOLLOWING WITHOUT QUESTION!

I love the circle I’m standing in today- PAIN FREE, NO GUILT , with NO REGRETS! THANKFUL & BLESSED for the GIFT of LIFE! Surrounded in PEACE & HAPPINESS:) THANK YOU FROM THE BOTTOM OF MY HEART, DR. CARLSON!!!

God works MIRACLES! Through Him, Nothing is Impossible! I am a BELIEVER! THANK YOU, THANK YOU, THANK YOU!!!

Tonya Thomas-Gray