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GARDEN CITY, NY, June 29, 2014 /24-7PressRelease/ -- After long suffering with excruciating back pain, Paula Bacso heeded a friend's advice to meet with neurosurgeon Dr. Benjamin R. Cohen at Reconstructive Spine Surgery (www.reconstructivespinesurgery.com) on Long Island. Her meeting at one of the leading spine surgery practices serving New York City changed her life.
Within a few minutes of talking with Dr. Cohen, says Bacso, "I knew he was the doctor who would be doing surgery. It was a perfect fit."
Bacso, a former collegiate basketball star at Boston College with a 14-year career as a state trooper, underwent spinal fusion surgery with Dr. Cohen and is now back on the job at the training academy in Albany.
"Paula's lifetime of athletics and her job as a state trooper, combined with some hereditary issues, resulted in the gradual erosion of one of the discs in her lower back," Dr. Cohen says. "That caused the L5 and S1 vertebrae to constantly rub together, which is why she was in pain."
Bacso says she endured the pain for months, continuing to work even though she had trouble getting in and out of her patrol car.
"I'm an athlete," she says, "so I continued to work. You just suck it up."
The spinal fusion surgery Bacso underwent is a complicated procedure. She had consulted with another spine surgeon in upstate New York, but decided to get a second opinion.
"I did everything he asked me to," she says of the first doctor, "but the pain wasn't improving. In fact, it was getting worse."
Bacso asked some friends if they knew of any spine surgeons on Long Island, which led her to Dr. Cohen.
Reconstructive Spine Surgery specializes in challenging cases, including those that other doctors believe are untreatable. The practice includes a team of 3 surgeons, who each have different specialties. Dr. Cohen, who is certified by the American Board of Neurological Surgery, is joined by Dr. Marc Agulnick, an orthopaedic surgeon, and plastic surgeon Dr. Thomas Davenport.
Now, more than a year after the surgery, Bacso is fully cleared for regular duty as a trooper. She continues to perform the physical therapy exercises that were part of her recovery and works out about 5 times a week. She's stopped the long-distance running she started after leaving college on the advice of Dr. Cohen.
"Basketball and running cause a lot of pounding that is absorbed by the lower back," Dr. Cohen says. "I knew physical fitness was important to Paula but suggested she pursue lower impact activities."
Paula was happy to follow doctor's orders.
"No more pounding," she says. "I stick to the elliptical and the rowing machine. Rowing is a great workout."
Reconstructive Spine Surgery (www.reconstructivespinesurgery.com) is a joint venture made up of 3 surgeons from separate practices specializing in 3 specific areas: orthopaedic surgery, neurosurgery, and plastic surgery. They work together to treat a range of conditions such as spinal trauma, spinal infection, spinal deformity, and spinal tumors. Their multidisciplinary approach allows for the most effective solutions to a variety of concerns, and their commitment to continuing education enables them to provide the most advanced techniques with safe and long-lasting results.
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