Adam C. Young, MD
Alan C. League, MD
Albert Knuth, MD
Alejandra Rodriguez-Paez, MD
Alexander E. Michalow, MD
Alexander Gordon, MD
Alfonso Bello, MD
Ami Kothari, MD
Amy Jo Ptaszek, MD
Anand Vora, MD
Andrea S. Kramer, MD
Andrew J. Riff, MD
Angela R. Crowley, MD
Angelo Savino, MD
Anthony Savino, MD
Anuj S. Puppala, MD
Ari Kaz, MD
Ashraf H. Darwish, MD
Ashraf Hasan, MD
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Bradley Dworsky, MD
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Bruce Summerville, MD
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Bryant S. Ho, MD
Carey E. Ellis, MD
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Chinyoung Park, MD
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Christian Skjong, MD
Christopher C. Mahr, MD
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Craig Phillips, MD
Craig S. Williams, MD
Craig Westin, MD
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Douglas Solway, DPM
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Elliot A. Nacke, MD
Ellis K. Nam, MD
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Home |  Patient Stories |  Herniated Disc Surgery: Patricia J’s Story

Herniated Disc Surgery: Patricia J’s Story

For many years, Patricia experienced swelling in her right knee and soreness in her thigh. At times she had very little to no feeling in her legs and feet. She saw IBJI’s Dr. Tomas Nemickas who informed her that what she was experiencing with her legs and feet was caused by a back problem and recommended her to see IBJI’s Dr. Gary Shapiro. Dr. Shapiro is a board-certified orthopedic surgeon who specializes in treating spine problems in adults and children.

Patricia’s daughter took her to see Dr. Shapiro at IBJI’s Glenview doctors’ office in June of 2020. She brought her old MRI’s with her and explained to him what she was experiencing. “I told Dr. Shapiro that I had little to no feeling in my feet and I never knew when my feet would support me when standing up, they felt dead,” she explained.

Patricia remembers the joy she felt when Dr. Shapiro looked at her MRI’s and told her that he could help her. At that moment, Patricia bursted into tears as she finally felt hopeful. “I was just so pleased that he said he could help me,” said Patricia.

Patricia took new MRI’s which showed that she had a herniated disc. With this revelation she and Dr. Shapiro decided that her best option was to schedule surgery. They scheduled a posterior spinal decompression and fusion on her L4-5 disc on September 2, 2020.

“The thought of having this type of surgery done was scary, especially at my age. I didn’t realize it was a three and a half hour surgery. It’s not fun when you wake up from surgery, naturally I was in a lot of pain, but like everything else, the pain went away with time.”

Patricia spent three days in the hospital after surgery. During this time, her physical therapist helped her get back on her feet as she was a bit wobbly. Once she gained stability, Patricia was cleared to go home. She received additional physical therapy visits at home to help accommodate her with mobility after surgery.

Patricia finished her required physical therapy visits and said, “The doctor doesn’t feel I need anymore physical therapy and I don’t feel I need it anymore either. I have a set of exercises that the physical therapist gave me and I do them religiously every day. I am using a walker now but they said I will only need it for a few more weeks, then I can walk on my own.”

Patricia went through many years of horrible pain in her back, legs, knees and feet. “Now, I have my feet and legs back. I’m standing straight for the first time in over 10 years. I will only recommend Dr. Shapiro to everyone I know. I am very pleased by Dr. Shapiro and all of the staff that I was in contact with. They were all absolutely wonderful.”

Patricia is feeling great after surgery. “I feel like some kind of miracle person at the moment. I never in my wildest dreams expected this to happen.” Patricia’s one regret is not going to see Dr. Shapiro sooner, “I feel I would have been fit as a fiddle sooner if I went to Dr. Shapiro when he was first recommended to me in 2008. He would have helped me sooner without going through years of pain and done it right. He’s a wonderful man.”

Gary Shapiro, MD, is a board-certified orthopedic surgeon who specializes in treating spine problems in adults and children.

Tomas Nemickas, MD, provides care for conditions such as rotator cuff tears, shoulder instability and tears of the labrum, meniscus, anterior cruciate ligament and posterior cruciate ligament.

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