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Tom Hanifin

Long Valley, NJ
  • Tom Hanifin in the photo 1

My story is simple. I’m an avid cyclist and have been riding for more than 10 years. Being physically active is important to me and cycling has been an enjoyable way to maintain fitness.

Throughout my many years of athletic activity I’ve had occasional minor injuries that always resolved without medical intervention. However, my riding routine came to an abrupt halt when I suffered a herniated L5-S1 lumbar disc.

Coming to grips with the extent of my injury and the possibility that my riding days might be over were difficult to say the least. I worked through various treatments including physical and massage therapies, and spinal epidurals. In time it became clear to me that I needed a more aggressive approach if I was to ever ride again.

After doing research I settled on a consultation at HSS. Family members had undergone successful joint replacement and spinal surgeries at HSS in the past, so I knew that the culture and standard of care were exceptional.

I met with Dr. Evan Sheha. He listened attentively as I described my situation and wanted to know what goals I had for recovery. At the end of the consultation, we discussed options. I chose the surgical option for a microdiscectomy which he performed at HSS Orthopedics with Stamford Health.

Cycling is an individual sport whereas spinal surgery is a team sport. Everyone on Dr. Sheha’s team knew my condition and goals. I was impressed with careful coordination on the part of everyone on the team.

Thank you to Dr. Sheha, Michael Presterau P.A, and everyone on the care team. Yesterday, I rode my bike for the first time in months. It feels great to be back on two wheels.