Patient Profile

Michael

Profession: Government
Hobbies: Audio Books, Basketball, Cycling/ Mountain Biking, Fitness, Hiking/ Camping, Martial Arts, Music, Reading, Shooting, Swimming, Walking
Doctor: Kushagra Verma

Briefly describe your symptoms and the medical condition that brought you to see the doctor.

I had massively debilitating pain radiating down my left leg and into my toes after simply standing up and feeling like doing so had snapped something connected to my leg. I had already experienced this type of pain pattern, but only when doing certain movements and stretches. This was intensely worse, and over the next few days had progressed to the point that I couldn't sit, stand, lie down, or move without severe pain to my leg. Eventually I found that if I remained standing I could eventually push through minimize the pain. I basically remained standing every day for weeks, lying down to sleep (minimally due to pain) and waking up every morning with severe symptoms that would only diminish when I stood for about an hour. Sitting or lying down for any short period of time would bring the severe leg pain back.

What one or two things stand out to you about your experience with your doctor and their team?

My doctors, Dr. Verma and Dr. Leim, were professional and direct. Their analysis was clearly explained and supported by the findings of my MRI. I am an attorney who litigates spinal conditions as part of my practice, so the doctors encouraged me to read medical literature and studies to help me understand the risks, benefits, and outcomes of the appropriate surgery. I am grateful for this level of respect for my decision whether or not to pursue surgery. They quickly earned my trust and understood quickly that I wanted to pursue the best treatment options for long term success. Their clear and efficient approach to patient care stood out, as well as their friendliness and caring in handling a very painful situation.

What can you do now that you could not do before surgery? Have you been able to return to your hobbies or sports at the same level as pre-injury or at an even higher level?

I am currently recovering weeks after a discectomy surgery. I am already feeling strong and moving freely again, and have started physical therapy. I have always been very active and fit, and there have been no doubts that I will soon be able to return to cycling long distances and maintaining my basic weight lifting routine. I am already feeling a better range of motion than I had had for months before my herniated disc. My movements and walking feel more balanced - without the risk of triggering pain in my leg.

What advice would you like to share with a patient with a condition such as yours who is considering surgery?

If you have a herniated disc in your lower back, there can be many different issues. Surgery like mine may be the best option as it was for my simple herniated disc with leg pain, but there are other approaches that may work better for your condition. The doctors at UW are excellent at providing information and thoughtful, caring attention. Working with them as a team to resolve your issues can be the best part of an otherwise terrible situation.

Please share any additional comments!

I'm excited to return to my active lifestyle. When I do, it will be thanks to Dr. Verma and Dr. Liem!