Patient Stories

Following a rollerblading accident three years ago that led to the degeneration of discs in her neck and back, Lisa suffered back pain so severe that it was interfering with every area of her life.  Determined to resume her active, athletic lifestyle, Lisa tried everything from physical therapy to acupuncture in hopes that something might alleviate her pain. 

After visiting several physicians who recommended traditional open back surgery, Lisa grew frustrated.

“I just wasn’t willing to do the traditional surgery and be on my back for six months.  With four boys at home and two dogs to care for, I couldn’t afford that route.”

Then, Lisa’s physical therapist referred her to a OrthoVirginia's physician. 

She recalls, “I felt like I had exhausted all my options and had resigned myself to the fact that I was just going to have to live with the pain.  But when I met my OrthoVirginia physician and he presented an innovative, minimally invasive option, it was such a turning point for me.” 

In December of 2006, Lisa’s physician fused the degenerated disc in her back with an artificial disc using the XLIF procedure.  She describes her experience, “I had the surgery on Thursday, and by Monday I was up and around cooking dinner.”

Amazed at how quickly her pain went away and how swiftly she recovered, Lisa excitedly joined her husband on a strenuous five-mile hike in St. Martin only three months after her procedure. 

“That vacation was like my first real test to see if my back would hold up, and I felt great.  I kayaked for two hours, went bike riding…and the hike!  Most of the people who were on the trip and hadn’t had back surgery couldn’t even do that hike!”  

With the aid of physical therapy to accelerate her recovery, Lisa has now resumed nearly all of her athletic activities and is on course to begin jogging again soon. 

“I don’t know who’s happier now—my husband or me.  I had been so miserable because I couldn’t do anything.  You’re so limited with an injury like that.  But, my physician and the XLIF procedure really changed my life.  I feel like I can get back to my life, and I am so glad to be able to do that.”