GARDEN CITY, NY, September 22, 2013 /24-7PressRelease/
-- Stooped and in excruciating pain, Elizabeth turned to the Long Island spine specialists at Reconstructive Spine Surgery in New York (www.reconstructivespinesurgery.com
) for help. She suffered from "flat-back syndrome," a degenerative ailment that Dr. Benjamin R. Cohen said could only be corrected by complicated spinal surgery.
"Elizabeth is an extraordinary and resilient patient," says Dr. Cohen
, who recommended a 2-stage, 3-part procedure to correct the woman's condition, called sagittal imbalance. "Even in the best of circumstances, the type of surgery she required is complex, with a significant risk of complications."
Dr. Cohen is a neurosurgeon who, together with an orthopedic surgeon and a plastic surgeon, offers a unique multidisciplinary approach to find the best solutions for spinal surgery patients.
Elizabeth, a nurse whose husband is an internal medicine physician, was well aware of the risks involved. She had tried epidural injections, but the relief was only temporary and her condition was getting worse.
"By the time I went to Dr. Cohen," she says, "I was desperate."
But spine surgery near New York City would have to wait. Before she could undergo surgery, Elizabeth was hospitalized with pericarditis, pneumonia, and related ailments. Finally, Dr. Cohen determined she was healthy enough to undergo the grueling procedure.
The operations occurred 3 days apart. The first lasted approximately 13 hours, the second 10 hours. Her recuperation progressed as expected. She spent about a month in a rehabilitation facility and then was able to go home. Her pain and posture improved significantly within 6 weeks of surgery, and she was taking minimal pain medication.
About 4 months after the surgery, however, Elizabeth was diagnosed with breast cancer. She underwent a bilateral mastectomy and started chemotherapy. Of all the challenges she faced, beating cancer proved to be the stiffest test.
"The chemo throws you for a loop," Elizabeth says.
Her persistence, however, paid off. By the time she returned to Dr. Cohen for a 1-year follow-up appointment, she was finished with chemotherapy, and says she felt "90% better" than she did prior to undergoing spine surgery. Less than 2 years later, her cancer was in remission, and she experiences only minimal back pain.
"I'm so lucky; he gave me back my life," Elizabeth says. "When you're suffering with the kind of pain I was in, you are so desperate you will do anything. He is such an amazing surgeon. I am back to being me."
Reconstructive Spine Surgery (www.reconstructivespinesurgery.com
) is a joint venture made up of 3 surgeons from separate practices specializing in 3 specific areas: orthopedic surgery, neurosurgery, and plastic surgery. They work together to treat a range of conditions including spinal trauma, spinal infection, spinal deformity, and spinal tumors. Their multidisciplinary approach allows for the most effective solutions to a variety of conditions, and their commitment to continuing education enables them to provide the most advanced techniques with safe and long-lasting results.