I was in my late forties when the pain in my neck started getting worse. When my left arm went numb I really got worried, so I went to see my chiropractor. It had been a year since my last visit.
I was diagnosed with a severely herniated disc. My chiropractor told me about a seminar he just attended on disc replacement, a procedure I had been reading about for years. I contacted Dr. Jatana at Denver Spine and went to see him the next day. Dr. Jatana said that disc replacement was FDA approved for the lower back, but not the neck. He told me about a clinical trial comparing disc replacement with fusion surgery, and even though the trial was for a limited number of patients, he managed to get me in. I am now part of a study that will hopefully make this procedure available to the general public in a few years.
My surgery was done early on November 22, 2005. I was out of recovery by noon and walking at 4PM. On December 1, they took off the hard collar and put me in a soft collar, and cleared me to drive! Three months later I was snowmobiling. Today I am pain free and I feel great, even at work or when I’m horseback riding.
Dr. Jatana is a wonderful surgeon and his positive attitude helped make my recovery easier. I recommend him to anyone facing the same decision I had to make. This surgery changed my life. You don’t have to live in pain. You do have options.