In His Own Words
Christopher Hoare, a patient of William Welch, MD, was recently treated for lumbar degenerative disc disease through a lumbar discectomy surgery. He let us know how he's doing.
Lumbar degenerative disc disease occurs when a compromised disc causes low back pain. The intervertebral discs serve as the spine's shock absorbers and can gradually dry out and lose strength and resiliency. This disease can cause discs to become stiff and compacted. When this occurs, nerve impingement, bone and joint inflammation and pain can occur. Disc degeneration is similar to arthritis pain, as it causes a loss of joint space. In some cases, pain can be severe and constant.
Dear Dr. Welch,
I am writing this letter to thank you for restoring my health. The successful result of your lumbar discectomy surgery on March 19, 2014 exceeded all of my hopes and expectations.
My degenerative lumbar spine symptoms appeared suddenly, approximately nine (9) months ago, and steadily worsened. At the time of my first consultation with you, I was unable to walk more than half a block due to numbness and left leg pain. I had exhausted all conservative therapies, including chiropractic care, pain management, physical therapy and even acupuncture. I was taking the maximum daily dosages of three (3) prescription pain medications just in order to function. My symptoms were not improving and, in fact, were getting worse.
Immediately following my surgery at your hands, the intractable leg pain and numbness was gone. In the days that followed, my condition steadily improved. My previous left leg pain and difficulty with daily living activities now seem like a distant memory. As we discussed in one of my follow-up appointments, I have returned to my daily work and leisure activities, including regular workouts at the gym. There is once again no limit to the distance I can walk or bicycle without discomfort. Best of all, I have not needed any pain medication since a day or two after my procedure.
My many thanks to your physician's assistant Diana, the operating room professionals at Hospital of the University of Pennsylvania, as well as the recovery ward nurses, all of whom were tremendous and supportive throughout the surgical operation as well as my overnight stay. But most of all, thank you for your neurosurgical skill and experience in resolving my lumbar condition so completely.
Very truly yours,
Christopher J. Hoare