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My story

Before developing neck pain and other symptoms caused by a herniated disc in my upper spine, I loved being active. I would lift weights and go to the gym about four to five times a week. I enjoyed walks on the beach and activities on the boat, especially skiing. When the pain started getting worse, it put a stop to all of that. 

The pain was unpredictable and would go up and down in severity; some days were better and some days were worse. But it was always there. I found myself not being able to move my neck; I would have a lot of headaches and a lot of neck pain. I couldn’t sleep, I couldn’t drive — I was just not able to function on a normal basis.

As a music teacher, my job involves a lot of movement that I couldn’t perform. I would have to take days off from work just to deal with the pain. For an entire year before surgery, I didn’t go to the gym or the beach. Pretty much my activities were going to the movies and sitting.

Getting the help I needed at Florida Spine and Joint

I’d attempted all of the recommended conservative treatments, including chiropractic care, physical therapy and injections. My care team and I both knew it was time to make surgery a serious consideration when my last round of treatment didn’t work at all. 

What stands out the most about going to Florida Spine and Joint for my procedure is that the staff was absolutely amazing. Even the simple things, like reminding me of my appointments and rescheduling if I ever needed it. My surgeon, Dr. Hess, was wonderful too. I underwent a discectomy and fusion in my upper spine, and he explained everything to me in detail of what was going to happen during the surgery and afterwards. 

It was really fantastic. I felt like they really, really cared for me and what I was going through. So it wasn’t just like “OK, I’m going to a doctor’s office and I’m going to see a doctor and their staff,” but instead I felt genuine concern in interacting with the staff. When they called, it was “Hey are you OK? We’re calling to make sure you’re OK.” They were very caring. You don’t see that a whole lot nowadays.

My recovery and returning to normal life

Now I can move my neck — I can look to my left and right. So much of the stiffness is gone. I can now drive and do so many everyday movements comfortably. I feel that I am so much better now and I’m getting back to who I am, getting normal in the period of time since my surgery.

I would recommend Florida Spine and Joint to my friends and family, and anyone else, because I can see the before and after. The before was constant pain, not feeling comfort, not being able to do anything. Now I’m starting to be able to see and feel the difference. People will say, “Wow, you look different, your neck is higher.” Because before it had visibly collapsed. I was not doing very well at all. 

I really do recommend Florida Spine and Joint Institute. Dr Hess and his assistants went above and beyond the call of being a doctor — he was very concerned about my health and was truly a doctor who cares. Everything, from the service to the quickness of the procedure, was just outstanding. And that’s from the bottom of my heart.  

Reach out to learn more

You don’t have to keep living with the pain. Start the same treatment journey as Denise and contact the caring team at Florida Spine and Joint Institute today.