My symptoms started after a snowboarding accident in February 2011. I was doing an inverted aerial and landed upside down on my head with my arms extended. Initially, the pain started in the shoulder, but then I started to have neck pain.
My symptoms included tingling and numbness down my right arm into my fingers. After numerous MRIs, a herniated disc was found in my cervical spine. I saw various doctors, receiving facet injections and cortisone injections, and I went to physical therapy twice a week for months. Nothing seemed to relieve the pain.
I was in pain 24/7. When you’re in that much pain, it affects all areas of your life, physically and emotionally. The day-to-day grind of being in pain and seeing that nothing was working was the most disheartening. I remember leaving an appointment with one doctor in tears because I felt helpless and hopeless. That’s when I decided to seek out a surgeon and Dr. Jatana came highly recommended.
During our first meeting he could see the frustration on my face and right off the bat we started talking about surgical options. At that point, I was willing to do anything to take care of the pain.
I had a cervical fusion to repair the C5-6 disc on September 30, 2011. After the surgical pain subsided I was pain-free no more than three weeks later and I had no more symptoms.
During my recovery, I set small incremental goals in order to get back to the big one – doing a back flip again on my snowboard. Setting these goals helped me focus my attention and effort, and inspired me to persist through this setback. Exactly one year ago to the day that my accident happened, my friends and I went to the exact location of the accident, and I did my back flip.
I am more than pleased with the surgery and Dr. Jatana. I feel like my old self again, but stronger.