2016 was an amazing year for me; it was my first season with the New York Mets and I was on track to have the best offensive year of my career. But I couldn’t ignore a lingering injury that had started in 2012 when I was still in Pittsburgh. I had a herniated disc in my neck that was causing pain down my left leg and back. I had always treated the pain with physical therapy and exercise, which worked well for a while, but I knew that it was only a matter of time until I couldn’t play with the injury. I felt vulnerable on my leg and ankle and didn’t want to risk additional injury.
In August 2016, I met with the Medical Director of the Mets and HSS orthopedic surgeon, Dr. David Altchek. He was fantastic and we talked about what could possibly be going on based on my symptoms and the potential courses of action. Dr. Altchek recommended that I meet with one of the best spine surgeons in the country, Dr. Frank Cammisa. They made the process so easy by communicating all my options – including surgery – to overcome this injury. Together, we decided that surgery was the best choice, so in September 2016, Dr. Cammisa performed a discectomy at HSS.
I could tell right away that the surgery was successful. Within the first three days, that nagging pain was completely gone. The staff at HSS was incredible and had me walking around a few hours after surgery, and I started rehab just a few weeks later. Within three months, I was back to my normal routine of exercise and weight training, pain free! I finally felt the best I had in years.
I couldn’t be happier that I chose HSS for my surgery. I had a lot of options, but the common denominator was that they have the best doctors and staff, so I knew I was in the best hands. Knowing how great Dr. Altchek and Dr. Cammisa are reassured me that I was doing the right thing. I feel as good as I ever have, and my MVP is Dr. Frank Cammisa.