Over the past five years I had two previous surgeries at HSS for Dupuytren's Contracture on both hands. Both surgeries were successful and the care that I received at HSS was truly remarkable. Both pre-op and post-op care was of the highest quality imaginable. I play guitar, so keeping my hands in working order is a priority.
Back in April of 2017, I stared to experience some shooting pain down my left shoulder and arm. I went to our local orthopedic center, where I had an MRI and an EMG of my left shoulder and arm. The results were inconclusive. In January of 2018, something shifted and the pain level went to a 8-9. The guitar went back in the case and I went back to the local orthopedic center. This time I had an MRI of the neck area that showed a disc collapse of C5-C6. The spinal surgeon recommended a bone fusion which, I was told, might cost me 10 percent of my range of motion. I decided to research my condition and quickly discovered that there existed an alternative to fusion, a procedure called a cervical artificial disc replacement. Their website provided a list of certified physicians, none of whom were in my area. I looked immediately for someone at HSS and found Dr. Russel Huang. His credentials were stellar and he accepted my health insurance. I called his office, sent my records and in no time had an appointment for a consultation. Not everyone is a candidate as is recommended for candidates 67 years of age or less who can pass a bone density test. Fortunately, I qualified. Dr. Huang and his assistant took as much time with me as needed to explain the procedure -- our consultation lasted a full hour. In reviewing my MRI he also discovered a problem between C6-C7 and encouraged me to have everything taken care of at once. I ended up having two discs replaced in my neck and no bone fusion. I'm able to turn my neck comfortably 180 degrees with no pain, something I haven't been able to do for the past fifteen years! After the surgery I wore a neck brace and couldn't drive for two weeks. One month after surgery I was back to playing guitar and traveled to San Miguel de Allende, Mexico where I went on a 4 mile hike at 7000 feet. I continue to enjoy my newfound freedom of pain-free neck movement and I have Dr. Russel Huang and his wonderful staff to thank. Had I not gone to HSS, my final outcome would have been very different.