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Home > Medical Services > Neurosurgery > Barb's Story
A disc in Barb’s lower spine (L5-S1) was deteriorating, which can happen over time. But, the terrible pain and the unknown of when her back would give out led her to Mercy.
“I was diagnosed with degenerative disc disease about five years ago by my primary doctor but, at the time, it wasn’t bad enough to have surgery,” Barb said. “Recently, the pain got so bad that I couldn’t put on my socks and shoes. My disc was basically gone, and that’s when we started looking for surgery options.”
After being referred to Mercy Neurosurgery Clinic, Barb met with Steven Schopick, MD, who specializes in the lower spine.
Based on her symptoms and X-rays, Dr. Schopick recommended the lumbar artificial disc replacement surgery, which is a new procedure the Mercy Neurosurgery Clinic is performing. Barb was the first patient to have this procedure at Mercy.
The lumbar artificial disc replacement surgery involves removing the unhealthy disc and replacing it with the artificial disc. This surgery allows the patient a quicker recovery time and more flexibility versus a spinal fusion surgery.
“I would definitely recommend the lumbar artificial disc replacement surgery,” Barb said. “I was surprised that I could get up by myself after my surgery; I didn’t need a walker or cane.”
After her 10-day check-up with Dr. Schopick, Barb went back to work.
“Dr. Schopick was very professional and answered all my questions,” Barb said.
She recently came in for a six-week check-up and will come again in another six weeks for X-rays. In the meantime, per Dr. Schopick’s recommendation, Barb walks two miles every day with her husband after work.
If you have back or neck pain, visit www.mercycare.org/pain for a free assessment. Mercy’s Pain Clinic can help guide your next course of action to relieve your pain.