After slipping and falling on ice, Jennifer struggled with low back pain for over 12 years. Jennifer relied on chiropractic care to manage her symptoms, but lived in constant fear of being out of commission every time her back went out. Then one day at work, Jennifer tried to get up from her chair and was stopped short by the worst pain she had ever experienced. As a mother of two preschoolers, Jennifer knew she couldn’t keep living this way. She took her chiropractor’s advice and called Vail-Summit Orthopaedics.
“They were able to get me in right away, within an hour,” remembers Jennifer. “I was adamant about not wanting surgery, and relieved that Dr. Peters wanted to rule out non-surgical options first.” The next week, Dr. Peters prescribed an MRI and steroid shots. “The shots worked wonders” she says and her back got better, but as Dr. Peters explained, there was a strong possibility that the results would not be permanent. The MRI and further testing would determine the root cause of her condition.
The MRI revealed that Jennifer’s pain was coming from ruptured discs in the lower lumbar portion of her spine. The intervertebral discs act as cushions between the bony vertebrae that form the spine, and are filled with a jelly-like substance. In Jennifer’s case, the ruptured disc and jelly were pushing against a nerve root, causing intense pain. Dr. Peters felt that Jennifer was a good candidate for a minimally invasive procedure called micro-discectomy.
It wasn’t long before Jennifer’s back went out again, this time worse than ever. She had to be carried into the office to see Dr. Peters. Jennifer was admitted into the hospital that afternoon for surgery. “By this point, I was more than ready to have the procedure. I had complete confidence in Dr. Peters and his team,” recalls Jennifer.
An expert in minimally invasive spinal surgeries, Dr. Peters performed a micro-discectomy that removed the tiny piece of disc and jelly that were causing Jennifer’s pain. Her incision was 2 ½ inches long. “I had immediate relief after surgery,” says Jennifer. “My experience with Vail-Summit was top notch from the first phone call to the follow-up visits. The staff saw me at my absolute worst, and even on busy days, they were always very accommodating and kind. I never had to wait long.”
Jennifer has returned to her normal activities - chasing her kids, bike riding, hiking and camping. In hindsight Jennifer says she probably wouldn’t have waited so long to see a doctor and to eventually have surgery. “I have more control over my life now; before I felt like my back had control over me.”