Patient StoryDec | 12 | 2020
Karen's story: How Dr. Harold Fogel and the team at the Orthopaedic Spine Center got Karen back to the things she loves
After falling down, Karen experienced debilitating pain. An incorrect diagnosis and months of PT led her to seek out Dr. Harold Fogel and his team at the Orthopaedic Spine Center for a second opinion.
Condition: Protruding disc between L4 and L5 causing extreme pain and lack of mobility
Interests: travel, psychology, music
"I accidentally fell in a CVS parking lot in June of 2020. When I got up I knew I had done something serious because of the amount of pain I was experiencing. I went to my PCP in Nashua, NH and was misdiagnosed with bursitis. This was really unfortunate. The misdiagnosis was followed by three months of intense physical therapy and pain. Because the treatment was based on a misdiagnosis, my situation was not improving at all. I decided to "start over" at Mass General in order to find out what the correct diagnosis and treatment were. I had a liver transplant at Mass General in 2012 and knew they were the best. I had not gone to Mass General originally because of COVID-19 concerns.
"At Mass General, I initially met with Karissa Comfort, an outstanding PA working with Dr. Fogel, who proved he was an amazing surgeon. They ordered extensive x-rays and MRI. They determined the problem was not bursitis at all. It was a protruding disc between L4 and L5, which was rubbing up against the nerves close to my spine and causing extreme pain and very limted mobility. I decided I wanted the problem fixed once and for all. They advised me to get one round of cortisone shots to ease my pain prior to my surgery date, which was November 17th. The pain was eased while I waited for my surgery - it is worth it to wait for the best, that is for sure!
"They had a cancellation and asked if I wanted to move my surgery up to November 11th. I was thrilled. I just knew they were staying on top of everything in treating my particular case. Dr. Fogel performed the surgery on November 11th, and it was a complete success! I was up and walking around the next day! Although I had pain at the incision point, which was expected, I could feel that he had fixed the problem which caused the pain, numbness and lack of mobility.
"The follow-up treatment post surgery was just as outstanding. Karissa followed-up with me right away to see how I was feeling. Dr. Fogel and Karissa were invested in ensuring my recovery went as smoothly as the surgery itself. I saw Dr. Fogel recently for a 30-day follow-up visit. I walked from the Yawkey parking lot to his office no problem! I am literally cured!!! I now know that if you want the very best, you need to go to Mass General Orthopaedics for Spine… without question."