Amy Tascarella

Southside, AL

Conditions + Treatments

Medical Icon Degenerative Disc Disease

I grew up in Western Pennsylvania and once I married, and my husband graduated from college, we moved to the South so that he could advance with his degree. He wanted to continue to better himself in his career so we continued to move around for his job. We settled down in Southside, Alabama and have been here for 14 years. We have 2 grown children, a daughter and a son, who live nearby and they have blessed us with 4 grandchildren.

Before I had my surgery, I loved to swim laps in our pool and be outdoors. Early on, my husband was always away for work so I was by myself a lot. In the free time I had, I loved to swim, cook, and clean around the house. I did a lot of mowing and camping as well. Luckily, my son lives close by so I was able to have some company and help while my husband was away. 

I had 2 previous back surgeries, the last one being August of 2021. For my first surgery, I had devices put in my back and they broke when I fell through a lounge chair out by our pool. This was about a month after they had been put in. They added screws and fusion and I was in pain constantly everyday until I went to take my granddaughter to daycare and met the lady that worked there and she recommended Dr. Andrew Cordover at Andrews Sports Medicine. My recent injury was a very severe ruptured disc in my spine. 

There was severe pain that occurred after the incident, but I tried to put it off as best I could because I didn’t want to have another surgery. The pain kept getting worse and I lost all ability to swim and I couldn’t stand up for more than 5 minutes before the pain would kick in. I couldn’t do the things I loved anymore. 

I take my son’s daughter to daycare every morning so he can go to work here in Birmingham. One day when I was dropping her off, I was really struggling to get her out of her car seat. The lady that was working that day saw I was having trouble and asked what was wrong. I told her I had been having a lot of back pain and it was getting worse. 

I was recommended to Dr. Cordover by a lady at my granddaughter’s day care. I was skeptical at first since it would possibly require me to have a 3rd back surgery. But Dr. Cordover was wonderful and so was his staff. His PA Daryl was excellent and I could tell each and every person who works there really cares about you and your condition. 

My experience with Dr. Cordover was wonderful. I had this calming feeling about him and I knew from talking with Beth at the daycare, that he would be a great doctor for me to see. She had nothing but great things to say about him considering she had surgery with him before. Previously, before making an appointment, I had gone to my endocrinologist and I had pointed out that I had begun to feel weak on my right side. My toes started to feel different too. He said that was a spinal issue and I needed to see a spine surgeon right away. 

When I met Dr. Cordover, I knew he was going to be able to help me. I had an MRI done on a Friday and was called back that next Monday. The person I spoke with said she had 2 morning appointments for me to choose from and I thought about waiting until the afternoon so my husband could be with me. She then repeated her options to me and I knew then and there I needed to deal with my pain and my problem head on. I couldn’t wait any longer because it would continue to get worse. I had emergency surgery the very next day. 

The recovery process and life since my surgery has been wonderful. It has been a complete 180 from where I was. I was extremely hesitant about having another surgery but once I did it, I knew it was the right decision. I feel so much better and if I had to have another surgery, I would do it again. Dr. Cordover truly helped me. I can now do a lot of things I couldn’t do. I can cook in the kitchen, stand, and walk again. I have an Apple watch and I can complete all of my daily goals which I couldn’t do before.

I go back for a follow-up appointment in May and I am hoping they will tell me I can start swimming again. The surgery really helped me and the pain hasn’t been near as bad as before. I can now walk up to 2 and ½ miles every day and I can get back into doing yoga and at home exercises. I couldn’t do any of this for the last 4 or 5 years. 

I would definitely recommend Andrews Sports Medicine to family and friends and already have! I always tell people I know that have back issues to go and make an appointment at Andrews. My husband tells his co-workers the same thing as well. I always tell people not to wait. I got a fountain to put out by our pool and I received it as an early Mother's Day gift this past weekend. The man who sold it to us went to Andrews for his knee. He just loves Andrews and everyone I talk to has had nothing but great things to say. 

Living here in Gadsden, I will always go to Andrews Sports Medicine for any type of injury that I have and I know I will be well taken care of. If anyone is second guessing about their injury, the staff at Andrews are very open and everyone from the staff at the front to the staff in the back is there to help you. I hope to inspire others who are going through the same thing to face the pain head on because it truly changed my life and helped me to get back to doing the things I love! 

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Andrew M. Cordover, MD, MS
Andrew M. Cordover, MD, MS View Bio