I injured my spine lifting a small boat engine onto my boat, from a floating dock. Twisting and turning, while lifting and lowering 60 lbs. of engine on a moving dock, may not have been the best idea. All of a sudden, I felt a dull pain in my lower back that got worse the more I moved. Soon, I had terrible pain down my left leg, buttock and thigh. In another couple of days, horrible calf cramps and numbness in the foot and leg developed. My leg also felt weak, like it was going to give out on me. I drive a lot for my job as a financial advisor and driving caused pain. Even sitting in a chair watching TV was uncomfortable. I was pretty miserable. My wife made me an appointment at OSC.
I saw Dr. Mark McFarland, who ordered x-rays and told me that, based on my symptoms, he felt I had a disc herniation. He prescribed oral steroids. He also prescribed pain pills and muscle relaxers, which helped me sleep because I only took them at night. He also ordered an MRI of my lower spine to find out if I had a disc herniation or some other spine problem. I had to wait three weeks before an MRI appointment was available.
The MRI showed a large disc rupture in my lower spine. Dr. McFarland recommended an epidural steroid injection to help ease the inflammation. I had the injection and it helped to ease the pain, numbness and cramping, enough to make it bearable, so I could work and get around. Dr. McFarland told me the disc material was really pressing on my nerve and he was surprised I could walk and drive as well as I had been. He recommended an outpatient surgery called a lumbar microsdiscectomy to remove the disc material pressing on the nerve. I agreed that surgery was the best option to help me recover with the least amount of downtime from work. I wanted to fix the problem for good and feel better.
Dr. McFarland performed the surgery at Mary Immaculate Hospital. I felt immediate relief when I awoke from the anesthesia. After a few hours in recovery, I went home the same day. I had an easy recuperation period. I wore my back brace, which didn’t bother me at all, most of the time, unless I was laying in bed sleeping. The Home Health Nurse and the Physical Therapist that came to my house, both said that I was doing so great, they weren’t really needed. Again, I only took pain medication at night to help with sleep. I watched a lot of Netflix, snacked and got really bored. I felt so good, I just wanted to get out of the house. After my two week check up, Dr. McFarland released me to drive and work, with just a few lifting restrictions.
In the three weeks after my surgery, almost all of my previous symptoms disappeared and soon went away completely. It was incredible. I know that people are afraid of spine surgery, but they shouldn’t be! I would highly recommend Dr. McFarland to anyone with spine issues!