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Charlene R. Small – Spine Surgery

Physician Name(s) – Dr. Haynes and Dr. Carlson

My name is Charlene R. Small (retired teacher). I live in Mathews County, VA. My problem started in June 2012. It was like a “Charlie Horse” in my right leg, just below my knee. Dr. Haynes put me on muscle relaxers and then therapy. I had a MRI which showed a slight tear in one of the lower vertebrae. Things improved and I was released on August 20th.

Well on August 23rd, I reached to pick up something and I thought I would never get up. The next day, my husband and I went to SC to help our grandson celebrate his 6th birthday. When we returned home, I called and got an appointment with Dr. Carlson. The next week, I had the lumbar shot. I steadily got worse. I couldn’t get up and down without a pain level of 10+.

I returned to see Dr. Carlson on September 28th. Since I had tried everything, the result was surgery; and I said when! Surgery was on October 2nd. It was a good decision. (My lower vertebrae (3 & 4) were tied together for alignment and spaced with rods). The surgery went well and I came home on October 5th.

Being an active person, walkers, potty chair and shower chair were all new to me. I had never had surgery. I had Home Health Care (Personal Touch – wonderful) and returned to Dr. Carlson on October 12th for a check-up and to get my 17 staples out. He said I was doing well and to walk. I could get rid of the walker. I started walking. By the first of November, I was walked 1 1/3 miles a day. (Remember to wear your brace all of the time). I had not taken a pain pill since October 20th.

I returned to Dr. Carlson on November 16th. Things were looking good and I started Physical Therapy. I used the Sentara group in Mathews – excellent). I will complete therapy on January 7th. I return to see Dr. Carlson on January 4th. I believe I am steadily improving.

My advice to anyone is listen to the Doctor and talk to someone who had had your problem. I did and still listen to them.
Take baby steps, listen to your therapists and do your exercises. I returned to the YMCA on January 2nd, but took things slowly. Just because you feel good, one must not over-do! AND wear your bone stimulator.

The physicians and staff at Orthopaedic & Spine Center are truly dedicated people. They really want you to be healthy.

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