I have coped with back discomfort for years, but nonetheless managed to work, play vigorous tennis, walk, travel, etc. Last April, I quite stupidly lifted a heavy box, and in the wrong way at that. I blew out my back, causing debilitating pain. I tried physical therapy and pain meds for several months, hoping that would do the trick. By Labor Day, it was obvious that surgery was unavoidable. Through a good friend who is a distinguished physician, I was introduced to Dr. Bernard Rawlins. I checked out both his reputation and HSS's. I had an appointment with him and was immediately impressed by both Dr. Rawlins and HSS. Having served on the board of the Mayo Clinic, I knew great physicians and patient-centered hospitals when I saw them. Both easily filled the bill. Dr. Rawlins operated on me in late September. I am now light years better. I'm able to stand up straight for a change, resume many previously normal activities, sit and sleep, easily walk significant distances again, drive and travel, etc. The recuperation continues with physical therapy and I still experience a little discomfort in my back. But that's gradually going away. I am still unsure about resuming tennis because of all the abrupt twisting and bending. The bottom line is that thanks to Dr. Rawlins and HSS, I have resumed leading a normal and energetic life. Thank you!!!!!