The full-blown pain Jesse Manarang lived with for two years began gradually. It started in his early 40’s, with tingling and numbness in the index, middle and ring fingers of both hands. Then the pain began and spread, moving to his elbow, then shoulder, then neck.
As a dialysis tech at a north suburban hospital, Jesse had a physical job. After lifting patients for twelve hours, he came home exhausted and in pain.
His wife, Mildred, recalls, “Work, really everything, was so hard for him. He was getting depressed. He’d always been an athlete and loved basketball and lifting weights, but he couldn’t do his job or things he used to enjoy. He couldn’t drive our kids, both active in sports, to events. He couldn’t mow the lawn. He had to give up coaching our son’s football team. I was doing what he couldn’t and it was tough on all of us.”
Jesse finally made an appointment with IBJI-Libertyville orthopaedic specialist, Dr. Peter Thadani for elbow and shoulder pain. Dr. Thadani treated him conservatively using cortisone injections and epidurals, but when those failed to relieve the pain and Xrays of the shoulder showed narrowing of the spine’s cervical discs, he referred Jesse to his Libertyville colleague, spine specialist, Dr. Stanford Tack .
After an MRI, Dr. Tack diagnosed Jesse with a degenerative joint disorder of the cervical spine.
Says Dr. Tack, “Jesse’s condition was the result of genetics and weak disc structure. It wasn’t caused by trauma or injury, but there was clear early degeneration or herniation of several discs.”