In 2005, I started experiencing back pain that affected me on a weekly and sometimes daily basis. I continued to pass it off as the natural aging process and never sought medical treatment.
In 2011, at the urging of my close friends, I reluctantly decided to go see a doctor. He diagnosed me with degenerative disc disease in my spine. As part of a conservative treatment plan, the doctor prescribed physical therapy, which provided some temporary relief. Unfortunately, the PT became less effective over time. The next form of treatment was pain blocks, which provided 6 weeks of pain relief. During the next couple of years, I had a total of 4 pain blocks, and I resorted to the fact my debilitating back pain was my new normal.
In August of 2015, my husband, Brian, told me one of his longtime, business associates, Gina Lindley (whom works at Andrews Sports Medicine), was having surgery for her degenerative disc disease. Over the following weeks and months, Brian continued to follow-up with Gina to see how she was feeling and progressing. Being the good husband, Brian would periodically update me about Gina’s progress. I’d become accustomed to hearing – “Gina’s pain free now”; “Gina’s exercising again”; etc;
In July of 2016, Brian shared that Gina was nearly 1-year post surgery and was loving life! As for me, I was continuing to “tough it out.” My life had turned into one I did not enjoy. I’d get up and go to work every morning (confined to setting down to alleviate my back pain), stop at the grocery store a couple of times per week and quickly rush home to lay on the sofa to get much needed relief. It became so painful to stand, that I could not exercise and didn’t attend social gatherings and functions because the pain was unbearable and not worth the effort.
One afternoon after speaking with Gina, Brian pulled up Gina’s “Comeback Story” on the Andrews Sports Medicine website. As I read Gina’s story, I initially felt like and I was reading my own – the constant back pain, limited lifestyle, depression. However, Gina’s story had a happy ending! THERE WAS HOPE! Brian reached out to Gina and asked if she would speak with me, which she gratefully obliged. Gina shared details of her “Comeback Story” and how Dr. Andrew Cordover had changed her life for the better one year earlier.
Feeling confident, I made an appointment with Dr. Cordover. During my initial office visit (July 22, 2016), Dr. Cordover reviewed my MRI, conducted a physical exam and learned about my 10+ year “battle” with back pain. Dr. Cordover confirmed what I had learned more than 5 years ago – I had degenerative disc disease as well as spondylolisthesis. Dr. Cordover recommended surgery – lumbar laminectomy & fusion. Dr. Cordover discussed both surgical and non-surgical options VERY, VERY extensively. He also thoroughly explained the risks of surgery in general as well as that of spine surgery.
I went in for surgery on August 22, 2016 and Dr. Cordover performed a discectomy. Like Gina, I felt immediate relief after the surgery; however, I was advised to very limited activity the next 3 months. At my two week post-op appointment, Dr. Cordover released me to drive and nearly 2 months later I was released to exercise with a few brief walks per week. Per our family tradition, during our most recent Thanksgiving dinner we went around the table sharing what were thankful for. I proudly shared that I was thankful for Dr. Cordover helping giving me my life back!
As I am typing my “comeback story”, I am 5 months post-surgery. I am happy to say Dr. Cordover DID give me my life back! Lastly, I have nothing but positive things to say about Dr. Cordover’s staff as well as the wonderful staff at St. Vincent’s. Overall, I had a great experience and recommend Dr. Cordover, Andrews Sports Medicine and St. Vincent's Birmingham to everyone!