Conditions + Treatments
I am a 44 year-old, long-time team member of Andrews Sports Medicine and Orthopaedic Center, recently celebrating 21 years with the practice. Over the years, I have remained physically active, working out and training consistently 3-4 days per week, most recently in the Les Mills fitness program. While I’ve remained relatively healthy over the years, I have had minor injuries that have been evaluated and treated by our Andrews Sports Medicine team. Fortunately, most all of these injuries were able to be treated through non-surgical, conservative treatments.
In April of 2014, I hurt my lower back at the gym while on the leg press machine. After a few days of pain and discomfort, I knew the issue wasn’t going away, so I made an appointment with Dr. Ricardo Colberg. Dr. Colberg confirmed I’d strained my lower back and decided a trigger-point injection was the best form of treatment. Fortunately, after the injection, I was back to 100% within a few days, with no more pain and even returned to my normal exercise routine that included high-impact steps, burpees and weight training.
In May of 2015, I was planting a tree in our yard and tweaked my back once again. The pain and discomfort continued to increase, starting with initial pain in my lower back that progressed to pain sitting down, numbness, limping and dragging my leg/foot. I made an appointment with Dr. Colberg and he determined I had a compressed sciatic nerve. Dr. Colberg recommended physical therapy; however, after of 4 weeks of PT, I had no relief.
At that point, Dr. Colberg recommended an MRI and confirmed I had a protrusion on my L5 S1 vertebrae. At this point, my pain, numbness and limping continued to worsen and I had been unable to work out in weeks. At this point, I realized how much I missed the competitiveness of trying to keep up with the 20 and 30 year-olds in my Les Mills classes, which made me depressed and very desperate to get better. Dr. Colberg suggested a spinal block to see if I could experience some relief. Dr. Carnel did a spinal block and I had 2 wonderful days of relief, however, on day 3 the radiating pain and constant discomfort returned.
Dr. Colberg, feeling all conservative forms of treatment had been exhausted, determined it was best for me to be referred internally to Dr. Andrew Cordover. After reviewing my MRI and physical exam, Dr. Cordover confirmed a protrusion on my L5 S1 vertebrae, spondylolisthesis of the lumbar spine, and degenerative disc disease. I went in for surgery on August 13, 2015 and Dr. Cordover performed a discectomy. I felt immediate relief after the surgery; however, I was advised to very limited activity the next 3 months. While I was grateful the pain was gone, I missed working out very much; however, I decided to go on the most strict diet of my life and over time began feeling healthier.
Finally, Dr. Cordover fully released me, with no physical activity restrictions, in late November, 2015. I immediately got back into my 3-4 day per week Les Mills fitness routine. I started participating in all favorite classes – Body Attack, Body Pump, CXWORX, RPM and Step Circuit. Now, eight months post-surgery, I am in the best shape of my life. I am training harder, eating healthier, feel more athletic and have lost 30 lbs since my surgery!