In mid 2018, my neck began to bother me. I had started CrossFit but did not attribute my pain to an injury. I went to my primary care physician who prescribed physical therapy. Later, I saw a chiropractor for treatment too. Unfortunately, nothing seemed to improve my pain. My condition had gotten worse. I was now experiencing pain down my left arm and was losing the feeling in my fingertips. This resulted in me frequently dropping items that I was holding in my left hand.
I was determined not to give up. Therefore, I researched physicians online. I came across Andrews Sports Medicine’s website. In being aware of their reputation in the athletic world, I felt confident that they could help me. I called the office and was able to get an appointment scheduled immediately with Dr. Christopher Carter, non-surgical orthopaedic physician. I was very impressed with my experience at my first appointment. Right after I saw Dr. Carter, he scheduled for me a MRI same day in the same building. Later that day, he even called me to discuss my results. He explained that I had a disc herniation between C6 & C7. Dr. Carter recommended I make an appointment with Dr. Charles Carnel, non-surgical spine/physician medicine and rehabilitation physician, for a block.
Initially, I felt relief for about 2 months after the first block. The second block only gave me two weeks of relief. By this time, it was miserable to function. I hurt every day and I was having daily headaches. I followed up with my appointment to see Dr. Carter. When I saw him, I was in tears due to the pain.Since over-the-counter medications and the block no longer relieved my symptoms, he referred me to Dr. Andrew Cordover, a spine surgeon at Andrews Sports Medicine.
I was very apprehensive about the idea of neck or spine surgery. At my initial appointment with Dr. Cordover, he explained my options with me that included surgery. At that point, I was not ready to consider surgery. After two weeks and a visit to the emergency room one evening, I experienced extreme heaviness of my head as it felt compressing on my neck and spine. The pain was unbearable. I now realized that it was time for me to have surgery. I could not delay the surgical option any longer. I contacted Dr. Cordover’s staff to schedule an appointment to discuss my surgery.
My journey from initial neck pain to surgery was eight months. Since the cervical arthroplasty, I am proud to report that I am 100% pain free. I feel like I am in a new body. Per Dr. Cordover’s instructions, I gradually stepped back into CrossFit with modifications. It took about 6-7 months post-surgery. Now, I can lift weights above my head without any pain or difficulty and I have full-range-of-motion.
I am so grateful for the care I received from Drs. Carter, Carnel and Cordover and their staff. They worked together as a team to resolve my condition. With regards to my surgery, Dr. Cordover’s staff always followed up with me and encouraged me along the way. I can get back to enjoying my workouts, hiking with my daughters and serving as a juvenile probation officer.