I am a 49 year old from Williamsburg, VA. I am very active and my exercise routine includes long distance running, biking and cross training. Three years ago, I started having neck issues that eventually caused numbness in my fingers, shooting pain in my neck and stiffness so bad I couldn’t turn my head from side to side. After exhausting all my options, including Physical Therapy, chiropractic care, dry needling and massage, I went to see Dr. Jeffrey Carlson.
An MRI showed I had degenerative disc disease affecting C5-C7. We tried several steroid injections, which didn’t help at all. Finally, we decided on surgery. THEN my insurance company balked and refused to cover it. Dr. Carlson and his staff went way beyond the call of duty with multiple appeals and peer-to-peer consults. They really went to bat for me! After nearly a year of appeals, I was approved for a two-level fusion (C5-6 and C6-7).
Dr. Carlson and his staff fully prepared me for the surgery. I understood what to expect before, during and after surgery. They explained everything, and answered all questions I had, no matter how small.
The surgery was out-patient. I wore a neck brace for two weeks, and followed all instructions. At the end of two weeks, I was able to walk up to 2.5 miles without any problem. I am 7 weeks out now and my activity level has increased nearly to the level it was before I was in so much pain. I am currently in physical therapy to regain neck mobility. My muscles need to learn how to stop protecting my neck so it can turn again!
I hope I never need another surgery, but if I do, I would not hesitate to call Dr. Carlson. He’s a top-notch surgeon who clearly cares about the well-being of his patients.