The day after the local world-class surgeon who had done my first two spine surgeries fired me because my case was ‘too complex’, I scoured the HSS website for some hope. While there were several excellent surgeons to select from, Dr. Shereez Qureshi’s research focus, expertise in minimally invasive spine surgery, and overall profile seemed tailor made for my situation.
As a very happy former HSS patient (2009 total knee revision), I was hopeful that if anyone could offer me some choices and hope, it would be HSS. Dr. Qureshi and his staff did both! At the end of the initial video consult with Dr. Qureshi, I asked him to estimate what sort of pain relief he thought he might be able to provide with his proposed single level L4-L5 fusion. The alternative offered by the local neurosurgeon and neurosurgery was a 5 level fusion, lifetime pharmacologic cocktails, and marginal pain relief. Without hesitation, Dr. Qureshi stated he could achieve the same relief I experienced following recent pain blocks. Further, he suggested the unique fusion approach he proposed would halt the rapid lumbar degeneration triggered by the previous two spinal surgeries and allow me to return to all physical activity. While the pain blocks temporarily resolved 100% of my pain, I shook my head and silently thought, yeah right. I’ll be grateful for 20% relief and the ability to walk a couple miles without crying.
Surgery was September 2020. True to his word, I am fully fused, have slowed the degeneration, and best of all, I am 100% pain-free and functional! I am happy to report that I easily walk 3-5 miles on the beach several days a week, row, do Pilates, lift weights, and move through my days and nights with ease, confidence, and a ton of gratitude.
Thank you falls short, but thank you Dr. Qureshi, Dr. Wetmore (anesthesia), Sarah, Leena, Sharyl, and the many caring, compassionate, and professional HSS team members who helped restore my ability to get back to living!