I have dealt with back problems for much of my life and it kept me from truly living. Doctor after doctor turned me away because they just didnt know how to help me. That is until I found Dr. Simpson and Tuckahoe Orthopaedics.
I was born with scoliosis, but I didn’t know for a long time. We didn’t have screenings in school back then. As it turns out, I didn’t find out about the curvature in my spine until I was in a car accident in my 20’s.
The back pain, though, didn’t really start until after I had my second child. At 37-years-old, I was dealing with severe sciatica and was unable to lift things. I saw two surgeons while living in Philadelphia, but they didn’t have the technology available to feel comfortable operating on my back.
My pain became even more severe after I moved to Virginia in 1997. My primary care doctor did a MRI and diagnosed me with scoliosis, as well as, spinal stenosis and degenerative disc disease. The older I got, the worse it hurt.
I started receiving epidural injections to try to relieve the pain. They helped but the relief was only temporary. I reached out to other doctors and when they saw my scans they wouldn’t touch me.
To make matters worse, things got tougher. I was diagnosed with cancer and had to do chemo treatments. During this time, I developed severe hip pain and eventually had to have my hip replaced in between rounds of chemotherapy. All the while my back pain worsened to the point where I was nearly crippled and I was forced to retire due to the pain.
Luckily, after an unfortunate encounter with another orthopedic practice and an intimidating surgeon, my primary care physician recommended I make an appointment with Dr. Simpson at Tuckahoe Orthopaedics. Instantly, I felt comfortable with him. I talked to him about my fears and told him about my previous experience with the other doctor. He put me at ease and walked me through the process in a very calm way. He assured me that things would be okay, but I was looking at a long recovery. He also pointed out how much my positive attitude would help in the healing process.
I had an extensive thoracolumbar spinal fusion to correct the scoliotic deformity on Oct. 1, 2014. It was an intense surgery but was also very worth it. Despite a few minor setbacks along the way, the team at Tuckahoe Ortho helped me stay positive.
Now, I’m pain-free and I feel like I have a higher quality of life. I can work out and move around. I might not be able to pick up heavy objects, but I have the stamina to live my life again. I have the tools to help me accomplish daily tasks. I can walk and go out to dinner and actually sit in a restaurant. I can even go to the movies.
Looking back, Dr. Simpson gave me my life back. He was wonderful to work with and I was never afraid at any point along the way because he talked me through everything that would happen. He and his team were supportive during my post-operative course.
Its such a scary feeling to go to a doctor and have them tell you that they cant help you, or worse, that they wont. You worry you’ll have to live like this forever. Thankfully, Dr. Simpson is devoted to his patients and he made me feel comfortable and confident to proceed with the surgery. Now, I’m able to live pain-free and have returned to doing things that I love.