Request an Appointment Call us toll-free +1.800.796.0482

Quick Links

HSS Policy

Request an Appointment
Call us toll-free +1.800.796.0482

Erika Kilborn

Merrick, NY

It started gradually, sneakily, over the course of several years. Having to rest more frequently when hiking or walking. Lower back pain becoming more noticeable and needing more than just a couple of ibuprofen to feel better. I blamed it on myself - I'm too fat, I need to get back to the gym more often (even though this was happening WHILE I was going to the gym regularly). Three years ago I finally had to admit that something was really wrong with me. I could no longer stand or walk for more than 5 minutes. I was only really comfortable in a swimming pool. Standing on a line was agony. Walking for too long felt like something was trying to grind right through my hips. This was not normal.

I was lucky. The first doctor I saw diagnosed me immediately. I had an MRI to confirm it and then I entered the world of injections, physical therapy, and pain. Injections didn't really help and neither did PT. I had to have surgery. I was slightly terrified, but Dr. Sandhu was wonderful. I picked him off the HSS website because I thought he had the kindest face, and I was right. He saw me through this and kept me calm. He even put up with my complaining after the surgery, when I was too impatient about seeing results. I think the thing that turned the corner for me was when he put up the pictures of my pre and post surgery MRIs side by side. When I saw my spinal canal looking so clean and clear (think Roto-Rooter) it seemed to make something in my head fall into place. After that, recovery moved much more rapidly.

Now I marvel every day over how much better I am, how much I can do without even thinking about it. I can climb stairs easily, which means I can use the subway again. For over a year I had to use cabs to get back and forth from Penn Station to my office. I can't even bear to think about how much money that cost me. Now I flash my Metrocard and I dash down the stairs like a normal commuter.

I can do the grocery shopping again - without an electric cart! I don't need my chair/cane anymore either, though it still holds a special place in my heart. Without it, I would have been very isolated for 3 years. I can stand on lines again, and I can even clean again! I tore apart my bedroom and cleaned it and it felt great.

I still have pain in my back. I have arthritis in the joints and sometimes it hurts as much as it ever did. But it takes much longer to hit that threshold and I can usually power through it.

This picture was taken on vacation in Vermont in October of 2018. I wasn't all the way back yet, but I was getting close.

I have my life back again and I will always be grateful to Dr. Sandhu and HSS.