After suffering with undiagnosed scoliosis for years, patient Kim TerBeek is finally able to do many of the things she loved to do.
Scoliosis, or curvature of the spine, can occur at any age—even adulthood. A primary care physician or spine specialist should be able to detect the condition. But, that wasn’t the case for Kim TerBeek.
“I saw several doctors and none of them said I had scoliosis,” TerBeek says. “I even had two back surgeries and was still taking 10 to 15 pain pills a day for the pain. I couldn’t do simple tasks like vacuuming. Then I saw a doctor in Holland, Michigan, who told me I had a 46-degree curve in my spine and that it was the worst case of scoliosis he had ever seen.
“He couldn’t help me, but he referred me to Dr. Frank LaMarca. He said Dr. LaMarca was one of only six doctors in the United States who did the kind of surgery I needed.” Continue reading →
“I pretty much remember everything,” says 20-year-old Taylor Janssen about the July 2015 day that changed his life. The University of Michigan Ross School of Business student dove into the lake by his house after a volleyball, but a shallow spot in the water made for a much more complicated day.
Taylor’s friends pulled him out of the water, called his dad and they were on their way to the hospital, where U-M neurosurgeons worked to stabilize his cervical injury.
“I just went out for a day on the lake, and it changed my life,” Taylor says.
Taylor’s dad, Mark Janssen, now looks at the risks people take in a different way than he used to.
“It just takes one mistake to alter your life forever,” Mark says.
When his doctors asked Samuel Jones to rate his back and spine pain on a scale from 1 to 10, he said it was 15 to 20. And it’s no surprise. Jones, a retired patent agent from Midland, Michigan, had had an operation to repair a ruptured disc in 1974 with no further problems. Then, when he came back in 2014 from a wonderful vacation with his family in Hawaii, everything was different.
“I went from a little pain now and then to excruciating pain,” Jones says. He couldn’t walk without help. He couldn’t go up or down stairs. To make matters worse, it was hard to diagnose his problem because his previous quadruple bypass and pacemaker prevented an MRI. Continue reading →
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