Karen Hershberger – Multi-level Lumbar Spine Fusion Surgery

Image of Dr. Jeffrey CarlsonMy first encounter with Dr. Jeffrey Carlson, a little more than a year ago, was to try and find relief for unrelenting low back pain. A previous primary provider had suggested that there was nothing wrong with me.

On the first visit, Dr. Carlson did X-ray’s and confirmed that the only thing he could do for me was surgery to fix my problems with my Lumbar 1-5, and Sacral spine . He set me up for pre-op tests,  told me why I needed the surgery and allowed for my questions. It was a lot of information to absorb, since I was not expecting to have surgery.

I read about Dr. Carlson in the flier in the office and felt that he was among the best. His pre-op nurse (I am sorry that I have forgotten her name), was also excellent and very reassuring. She told me what to expect, gave me pre-op instructions, for the day of surgery, what to expect as far as pain and pain management post-op. She was right on the mark, really severe pain the first six weeks, with pain management. She was so on the mark with that.  She was right and more pain management was given.

There was Physical Therapy at home for a couple of weeks.  The PT also gave me instructions. PT progressed better than ever expected, they were kind, as well as helpful. I graduated from home therapy ahead of schedule. The PT evaluator told me he never would have thought that I would progress that fast from the initial evaluation.

I had procured my durable medical supplies from a variety of sources. I was able to buy a brand new potty chair from a thrift store, as well as a new walker and shower chair. These were really reasonable ($10.00 to about $30.00). I did buy the elevated toilet seat. Get these supplies as soon as you find out about surgery, you will need them.

After graduating to the outpatient OSC Physical Therapy Clinic, and overcoming challenges with therapy, they got me back to functioning by myself and being independent.  My daughter was able to take off two weeks to care for me at home. That seemed to be the perfect amount of time, to have someone with you after surgery.

Thanks to Dr. Jeffrey Carlson, the Pre-Op Department and his other orthopaedic staff, my back has a new lease on life. I am very grateful to Dr. Jeffrey Carlson and his expertise.