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Brian Carlsen – Cervical Spine Fusion

I suffered complications (severe numbness, tingling, weakness, and pain) from bulging cervical discs for about three years. During the year before cervical fusion (C6/C7) surgery, I was calling out sick from work, missing family events, and not sleeping well because of the pain and discomfort. I had gone from doing 50 push-ups in one minute to not being able to do a single push-up at all.

After several medication trials with my PCP, we found a combination of two that managed the pain (one was a low level narcotic that required a “pain contract” with Riverside for re-fills), and reduced the numbness and tingling, but no amount of working out and medication allowed me to regain my strength. My PCP and I decided that though the pain was managed, the weakness and atrophy were concerning enough that surgery should be strongly considered.

Several people at my place of employment, as well as colleagues from other agencies, had been to see Dr. Jeffrey Carlson for similar issues and spoke very highly of him and OSC as a whole. He is also highly-rated by several entities when searching his specialty and the Hampton Roads/Tidewater areas on the internet. I therefore saw no need to re-invent a wheel that was already rolling wonderfully and made an appointment.

At this point (03/02/2017), I am about 4 months out from surgery. I have no pain, only about 10% of the numbness and tingling I had before, and my strength is increasing steadily (I\’m up to 10 push-ups before failure, but have only been cleared for exercise for about two months).

All the staff at OSC are very professional, efficient, and personable. I never felt pressured toward any decision and was always given the straight facts about my condition, and what could and could not be expected with and without surgery. Scheduling of the surgery was at my convenience and paperwork for my employer (FMLA) was coordinated with ease via e-mail and phone calls. This last part was about the best part of the entire experience, 2nd only to dealing with Dr. Carlson about my condition, as I have had many surgeries and absences from work requiring FMLA paperwork and it has always been most difficult and stressful trying to get a third party to do things the way your employer wants or will accept.

As a result of my experiences with OSC, I will continue to use their services for all of my spine and orthopaedic issues and will recommend them to anyone seeking care within the entire realm of their services.

Brian Carlsen

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