Patient StoryNov | 2 | 2020
Amy's Story: How complex spine surgery with Dr. Hershman relieved Amy of the daily pain from scoliosis
Condition: severe idiopathic scoliosis and severe foraminal stenosis
Interests: fitness, tennis, cooking, reading, traveling
"I was diagnosed as a young teen with scoliosis. I wore a brace for a short time, but I never thought much about my condition until I was about 52 years old. Severe pain set in then, limiting my activities and quality of life."
"I sought help and advice from orthopedists, physical therapists and pain management specialists, and I had several procedures done including injections and radio frequency ablations. After short periods of relief, the pain would come back even stronger. I realized, with the guidance and advice of Dr. Hershman, that the only way to obtain long term relief would be with a surgical solution. At first we talked about a three level fusion, but then after further discussions, and realizing that I would most likely need additional surgery in the not-too-distant future, Dr. Hershman offered a more comprehensive solution with the possibility of longer term success."
"On October 6, 2020, I underwent a major surgery at Mass General Hospital in the capable and talented hands of Dr. Hershman. He performed the following procedures:
- Posterior Spinal Fusion T9 to pelvis
- TLIF L4-L5
- Lumbar decompression L5-S1
- Type 1 posterior column osteotomies T9-L5
- Application of auto and allograft
"While the recovery has been, and continues to be, very difficult, I can already tell the surgery was a great success. The severe presurgical pain in my lower back and down my left leg and into my ankle is gone! I walked a mile before breakfast five days in a row less than a month after my surgery, either with my walking sticks around my house or on the treadmill at the gym. Prior to surgery, I could not walk a hundred yards without having to stop, doubled over in pain."
"I am so exited to continue healing and to get back to the activities I love doing. I know my flexibility will be altered, but my future looks so much brighter without all the pain involved in my daily life. I am so grateful to Dr. Hershman and his capable and kind team for changing my life for the better!"
- Acting Chief, Orthopaedic Spine Service
- Director, Adult Spinal Deformity & Spinal Reconstruction
- MGH Orthopaedic Spine Surgery Fellowship Site Director