Testimonials: Spine

Micheal Burkholder – Lumbar & Cervical Fusion Surgeries

I first had the opportunity to meet Dr. Jeffrey Carlson when he performed a neck fusion on my wife. I was impressed by how much he cared for his patients and his great expertise. I myself had been diagnosed with a fractured L5 by the US Army in 1984 and was informed then that I would require a lumbar fusion sometime in the future.

Well, I was finally able to receive Dr. Carlson’s medical review and recommendations for a fusion procedure (L5-S1), which was performed in March 2020. I was out cutting up trees and spitting wood 3 months later, with no limitations or pain.

Then, in August 2021, Dr. Carlson performed a C5-C6-C7 fusion, due to disintegrated disks. I was out umpiring baseball and doing my normal work two weeks later with no or pain. I have not lost hardly any mobility in my neck or back and do not suffer from any more pain.

I highly recommend Dr. Carlson to anyone who is suffering from back and neck pains. Very professional and efficient in his treatment of his patients.

Micheal Burkholder

Anonymous – Cervical & Multi-level Lumbar Fusions

Dr. CarlsonFor years, I have heard horror stories about failed spinal fusions and how some patients were never able to walk again after the procedure, so I was very hesitant to agree to any type of spinal surgery. However, I had cervical fusion, performed by Dr. Jeffrey Carlson several years ago, which was a total success and with no complications or symptoms since that time.

After spinal x-rays and a subsequent MRI confirmed significant narrowing of the lower spinal canal which was causing significant pain and weakness, Dr. Carlson recommended L3-5 lumbar fusion. He and his office staff fully explained the procedure as well as what to expect in the postoperative recovery period as well as possible complications. His staff, especially Trish, his scheduler, provided very clear written instructions and expectations for how long recovery might take. She made all the arrangements in advance for post-op visits by home health care and initial physical therapy and provided the necessary back brace and walker, even before the surgery, so it would be available as soon as I left the surgical center. They did not “sugar coat” the postop pain but assured me that it would be manageable (which it was, with minimal need for more than Tylenol after the first few days).

If anyone had told me that I would be walking a mile or more each day and able to drive after two weeks, I would not have believed them. I hope anyone who is contemplating this type of surgery will not hesitate to make an appointment with Dr. Carlson, as his excellent skills have put me on the road to recovery months before I thought it was possible.

Name withheld at Patient request

Christopher Davis – Lumbar & Cervical Spine Surgeries, Spine Care & General Orthopaedics

Mark McFarland, MDI’ve had the sincere pleasure of knowing Dr. Mark McFarland for the past 15 years. In that time, he performed a lumbar microdiscectomy of my L1-L2, a cervical discectomy and disk replacement of my C6-C7, and repaired a torn meniscus in my right knee. In addition, he’s performed several epidural steroid injections and been my general ‘go to’ for all things orthopedic.

I’ve experienced nothing but excellent outcomes, and Dr. McFarland has always exceeded my expectations. Back & neck surgery is scary, we’ve all heard unfortunate stories, but Dr. McFarland approached my case conservatively, strategically, and professionally. During our visits, I’ve never felt rushed – his bedside manner is excellent, and I’ve always felt he listened to me and had my best interest at heart. He even advocated on my behalf with the insurance company to obtain approval for the procedure he deemed best for my unique situation, in my case a cervical disc replacement (vs a fusion). His team is also great – Shelly Bond has been at OSC for the entirety of my relationship with Dr. McFarland, and I always look forward to seeing her too.

I’ve even taken my elderly parents to see Dr. McFarland for issues they’ve experienced over the years, so clearly there is an elevated level of trust (my 91 year-old mother thinks he’s “wonderful!”)

I feel truly fortunate to have met Dr. McFarland as both an amazing spine surgeon and trusted advisor.

Christopher Davis

William Johnson – Lumbar Spinal Fusion

Dr. CarlsonI had an MRI on my back in 2019. It showed I had some problems and I felt I would likely need back surgery at some future date. I met with Dr. Jeffrey Carlson in early 2020 to see if it was time for back surgery. At that time, I was having more pain in my knee than in the back. He recommended a hip replacement. That turned out to be good advice and Dr. Boyd Haynes did a very successful hip surgery.

On July 4, 2021, I developed severe pain in my back and the back of my legs. I met with Dr. Carlson again and it was time for a Lumbar fusion. He told me 2 weeks after surgery, I would be feeling pretty good. In two months, I would be in good shape.

Things turned out just as Dr. Carlson had predicted. The pain in the back of my legs was gone just after surgery. I am completely satisfied with the outcome of my surgery and consider myself blessed to be feeling so well. My back and legs are pain free.

Keith Johnson – Multi-level Cervical Spinal Fusion

Dr. CarlsonI awoke one morning in May of 2021 with a pain in my shoulder blade which progressed that day to agonizing pain through my shoulder and down my arm. The fingers on my hand were numb and I also had weakness. X-Rays and an MRI showed bulging and compressed C-5 through C-7 disks complicated further by arthritis. Dr. Jeffrey Carlson patiently explained the problem and recommended cervical spinal fusion. The operation was performed at Mary Immaculate in June 2021 and was flawless. The staff at MI was wonderful and very professional. The pain and numbness was relieved immediately and five months later the weakness is nearly gone. I had one day of physical therapy as my recovery was so complete I didn’t need further visits. I am convinced I received the best care available in the world with Dr. Carlson’s min-invasive procedure and with the staff at MI. All I can offer is a humble “Thank You!”

Keith Johnson

Linda Benson – Multilevel Cervical Spine Fusion

It started with shoulder pain, that I could not put my finger on, in April. A cortisone shot in shoulder, no relief. An MRI of my shoulder showed nothing, then the pain disappeared but I could not lift my left arm. Four weeks of physical therapy, was no help. Then, an MRI of my neck showed bulging discs in my neck and I was told only surgery could fix the problem.

I researched for the best spine surgeon and found Dr. Jeffrey Carlson. I had cervical diskectomy on C-4 thru C-7, in August 2021 and have followed his direction and Physical Therapy. I am gaining strength in my arm daily and could not be happier with the results. The experience with Dr. Carlson and his staff was very good and would recommend them completely. I Never had pain after surgery, just a mighty sore throat.

Linda Benson

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

 

Ben Poter – Lumbar Epidural Steroid Injections

After my knee surgery, I started having lower back pain ,which I have experienced in the past. So, again I went to see Dr. Snyder, still in 2013 , and after x-rays and an MRI, it was determined I had Spinal Stenosis, Spondylosis and Sciatica. I have had pinched nerve pain, but it was many years before this diagnosis. I didn’t want to go thru back surgery unless I had to, so my next step was to see Dr. Jenny Andrus to receive Epidurals on each side of my spine in the L-3 and L-4 area.

I went thru these Epidurals two or three times a year, until 2021, when the Epidurals no longer provided the pain relief I needed . Dr. Andrus is a very caring and excellent doctor. 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