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Candace Weiss

Bethlehem, PA
  • Candace Weiss in the photo 1
  • Candace Weiss in the photo 2

<p class="p1">I experienced excruciating lower back pain from June 2010 to November 2012 as a result of congenital scoliosis, spinal stenosis, and underdeveloped vertebrae. Although I had been diagnosed with scoliosis when I was 15, surgery or a brace was not offered to me as an option. Unfortunately, many spine surgeons in my area did not want to operate on me as an adult because of the severity of my scoliosis, with my spine curving at a 75 degree angle to my left side and the end of my spine twisting around the underdeveloped vertebrae. I have always loved to swim at my gym's indoor and outdoor pools as well as walk to my bank or to the store near my house, but that became increasingly difficult to do. A surgeon in Bethlehem referred me to the Hospital for Special Surgery, but the surgeon he suggested did not accept my health insurance at that time and their office referred me to Dr. Federico Girardi, whose practice did accept my insurance. I made the appointment with Dr. Girardi in August 2012, and had set a surgery date. After many phone calls to reschedule surgery numerous times, I finally had spinal fusion November 2, 2012, just four days after Hurricane Sandy hit the East Coast! Thankfully, I was able to keep the date of surgery. I spent 15 days at HSS and another three and a half weeks in in-patient rehabilitation at Moravian Village in Bethlehem, PA, since it is closer to my home in Bethlehem. I also did outpatient physical therapy in February 2013, and had been back in the swimming pool by March 2013. I realized I didn't need to walk with a cane anymore on my dad's birthday that year (March 24, 2013, which was also Palm Sunday that year), and by Easter Sunday (March 31st 2013), I was walking into church without a cane much to the amazement of my friends and pastors! It's been a little over two years since I had surgery, and I'm about 98% back to normal. I'm even shoveling snow (within reason, and I will make my brothers or dad shovel it if it's more than I feel I can lift safely.) I love to cook, love to swim, and love to take a walk or take my friends' kids to the park to play baseball or climb on the playground equipment.</p>