From Dr. Mueller’s Case Files: Relief After Unsuccessful Back Surgery

I recently had a very interesting case, which I feel is important to share with my patients and the Louisville community as a whole. I always try to help my patients avoid surgery whenever possible, but sometimes people don’t come to me until after they’ve already had what they consider to be an unsuccessful surgery – meaning – the procedure gave them no relief from the pain that had been plaguing them. No names will be mentioned, but I feel that this man’s story can help others:

Recently, a very prominent man in the Louisville business community was referred to me. He was truly at wit’s end. He’d had back surgery the previous year, in which his surgeon removed the back of all five of his lumbar vertebrae – which, needless to say, is a major surgery with significant recovery time. He underwent this surgery with the implication that his level of daily pain and discomfort would be markedly reduced.

Fast forward several months, well after he healed from this major surgery, and he has NO CHANGE in his pain whatsoever….ZERO.

When I questioned the man on what types of physical therapy his surgeon recommended he try BEFORE resorting to surgery, he replied that the surgeon did not recommend anything in advance of this major procedure. I liken this to someone going into their doctor for weight loss surgery, and the doctor recommending the surgery immediately, before suggesting an appropriate regimen of exercise and diet in hopes of avoiding a costly, painful and possibly dangerous procedure.

Fast forward a bit further, and in three visits with me, the patient is seeing marked relief. Of course there is no guarantee that it will last forever because of all that is going on with him (including the unsuccessful surgery he had), but he is encouraged, grateful and very thankful that someone referred him to me.

Moral of the story: do ALL of your research on alternatives before resorting to back surgery. You must be your own best advocate!

-Dr. Mueller