Thirty years of back pain (often disabling) GONE!
A decade ago my medical insurance was reluctant to grant me an MRI of my spine, but paid for a local physiatrist who recommend physical therapy without really knowing what was going on in my spine. During some of my PT exercises my back would suddenly send that hot knife stabbing pain and once disabled me for three days. With better insurance I got an MRI which revealed stenosis, spondylolisthesis and a slipped disk. Dr. Semih Gungor, a pain management doctor at HSS, administrated cortisone injections which as he warned might only give me relief for several months. He was right. In my initial visit with Dr. Frank Cammisa we talked options. Other medical professionals with whom I had spoken agreed that stenosis is best treated surgically. When Dr. Cammisa said, “…you’re not getting any younger”, I knew surgery was my best option. December 7th, 2013 was my date with the knife. From the days before the surgery to my release two days later the experience could not have been better. Everything was made clear in a class led by Lisa Briskie, and any questions were answered. Within hours, post-op, a physical therapist got me out of bed and I stood. Later it was a short walk. With my pain meds I don’t recall their names but one name stood out, Lula, my nurse. I will never forget her. In the next two months (totally against my nature) I followed every instruction from Dr. Cammisa’s office to the letter. As good as he is as a surgeon, what I did following his work paid off handsomely. With great care I selected my post-op physical therapist near to my home. Come to find out, he had trained several of the HSS PTs, so I knew he was good. After about three months I was able to resume my work as a photographer, carrying heavy lighting equipment and camera gear (carefully)! Thirty years of back pain, GONE! My plan is to continue for the rest of my life to write to Dr. Cammisa every December 7th (a day which will go down in gratitude) to thank him for his great work.