I injured my spine lifting a small boat engine onto my boat, from a floating dock. Twisting and turning, while lifting and lowering 60 lbs. of engine on a moving dock, may not have been the best idea. All of a sudden, I felt a dull pain in my lower back that got worse the more I moved. Soon, I had terrible pain down my left leg, buttock and thigh. In another couple of days, horrible calf cramps and numbness in the foot and leg developed. My leg also felt weak, like it was going to give out on me. I drive a lot for my job as a financial advisor and driving caused pain. Even sitting in a chair watching TV was uncomfortable. I was pretty miserable. My wife made me an appointment at OSC.
I saw Dr. Mark McFarland, who ordered x-rays and told me that, based on my symptoms, he felt I had a disc herniation. He prescribed oral steroids. He also prescribed pain pills and muscle relaxers, which helped me sleep because I only took them at night. He also ordered an MRI of my lower spine to find out if I had a disc herniation or some other spine problem. I had to wait three weeks before an MRI appointment was available.
The MRI showed a large disc rupture in my lower spine. Dr. McFarland recommended an epidural steroid injection to help ease the inflammation. I had the injection and it helped to ease the pain, numbness and cramping, enough to make it bearable, so I could work and get around. Dr. McFarland told me the disc material was really pressing on my nerve and he was surprised I could walk and drive as well as I had been. He recommended an outpatient surgery called a lumbar microsdiscectomy to remove the disc material pressing on the nerve. I agreed that surgery was the best option to help me recover with the least amount of downtime from work. I wanted to fix the problem for good and feel better.
Dr. McFarland performed the surgery at Mary Immaculate Hospital. I felt immediate relief when I awoke from the anesthesia. After a few hours in recovery, I went home the same day. I had an easy recuperation period. I wore my back brace, which didn’t bother me at all, most of the time, unless I was laying in bed sleeping. The Home Health Nurse and the Physical Therapist that came to my house, both said that I was doing so great, they weren’t really needed. Again, I only took pain medication at night to help with sleep. I watched a lot of Netflix, snacked and got really bored. I felt so good, I just wanted to get out of the house. After my two week check up, Dr. McFarland released me to drive and work, with just a few lifting restrictions.
In the three weeks after my surgery, almost all of my previous symptoms disappeared and soon went away completely. It was incredible. I know that people are afraid of spine surgery, but they shouldn’t be! I would highly recommend Dr. McFarland to anyone with spine issues!
On 12/6/17, I started to get sharp pains in my right leg. I saw my PCP on 4 visits over the next week and was told I had a swollen muscle in my back that was causing leg pain. I received 4 medications from my PCP with no improvements. On 12/15/17, I saw my PCP again and was told if my condition didn’t get better to come back the beginning of next year to get an MRI.
That same day, 12/15/17, I went to the chiropractor and was told I had a swollen muscle that was pinching the nerve running down my right leg. At this point, I could not walk 10 feet without collapsing over in pain and walking upstairs was impossible. After several visits to the chiropractor, the pain was no better.
On 12/21/17, I decided to see an Orthopedic specialist. I called OSC ,because of their high ratings, and they scheduled me with Dr. Jeffrey Carlson the following day.
On 12/22/17, I saw Dr. Carlson and he immediately gave a very possible diagnosis that my L5 disc had ruptured, which was pinching my nerve. He ordered an MRI which was done as soon as possible, on 12/31/17. My follow-up appointment was on 1/5/18 for the MRI results. Dr. Carlson confirmed that my L5 had ruptured. He gave me 2 treatment options, with one of them being surgery (microdiscectomy) which would be the most successful of the 2 options. I chose surgery, which was scheduled for 1/16/18.
I went in for surgery on 1/16/18 at 5 AM. I was taken back to the OR at 7 AM, and woke up at 9: 30 AM, completely out of pain and later that morning, walked out of the hospital.
I am 8 weeks post-op and feel amazing. Dr. Carlson is straightforward and straight to the point. Not once did I ever feel uncomfortable with the decision and he answered all of my questions. His staff is AMAZING and make you feel right at home. I thank God for Dr. Carlson and the skills he has been gifted. I hope no one has to go through the pain that I experienced, but if you are, I hope you are reading this and know that whatever decision you decide, Dr. Carlson and his staff will take great care of you. Just follow his orders and restrictions after surgery and you will be back to normal in no time. Thank you Dr. Carlson!
On the morning of July 23, 2017, I woke up to severe pain in my left leg, starting in my hip and going all the way down to my big toe. After initial treatment from my family doctor didn’t fix the problem, I was referred to Dr. Jeffrey Carlson.
He diagnosed me with a ruptured L4/L5 disc and for me, the only recommended treatment was surgery. On August 30, 2017, Dr. Carlson performed a microdiscectomy to repair my disc. The operation was a huge success.
Dr. Carlson prescribed physical therapy for me and I decided to go with OSC’s physical therapy group. I am so glad I chose them. For 8 weeks, Dr. Tom Toothaker and his incredible staff (Fred, Taylor and Zac) put me through intense therapy.
I cannot express my gratitude enough for the professionalism and quality of service I received from both Dr. Carlson and Dr. Toothaker and their staff. As a testament, this past Sunday, March 4, 2018, I ran the One City Marathon 6 months post op! My back has never felt this great in a long time. Thanks to the treatment I received at OSC, I look forward to many more running miles!
My story started over 5 years ago, when I fell on ice and injured my lower back. I went to my PCP, who referred me to many different specialists. After X -Rays, MRIs and many other tests, I was offered no pain management. During this time my left leg was in severe pain and eventually went numb resulting in atrophy. As time, passed I felt hopeless and believed that was how the rest of my life was going to be.
One day a customer told me about OSC and Dr. Jeffrey Carlson. It ended up being the best referral ever! During my first visit, after reviewing my X Rays and MRI, Dr. Carlson let me know surgery was an option, but that it could be done on my time. He then suggested a cortisone shot. That provided temporary relief and I was then referred to Dr. Jenny Andrus for an epidural. I had a trip to LA planned and that provided me relief so that I could enjoy my vacation.
I later received another epidural and then talked to Dr. Carlson about surgery. He answered all my questions and never tried to push me into making a decision. I decided that having the microdisectomy surgery was my best option and that ended up being the best decision I ever made. Dr. Carlson and his team followed up with me and I have had no problems and my quality of life has been outstanding!!
Thanks again Dr. Carlson, and to your entire team.