After months of excruciating back pain, OrthoIndy patient, Sue Arnold, decided to make an appointment with a physician. In 2007, Sue visited OrthoIndy and had a consultation with Dr. Michael Coscia, an orthopedic spine surgeon. Dr. Coscia informed Sue that she had degenerative scoliosis as well as spinal stenosis.
Degenerative scoliosis is a condition that refers to an abnormal curvature of the spine and develops as joints in the spine degenerate, which causes the spine to bend. Sue’s other condition, spinal stenosis, is a narrowing of the open spaces within your spine, which puts pressure on your spinal cord and the nerves that travel through the spine to your arms and legs.
Sue had an array of uneasy feelings overcome her when Dr. Coscia told her that she would need a hemilaminectomy and a foramenotomy on her L4 and L5 disk in her spine. Sue was very hesitant about surgery because of her passion for gardening. While she had been in extreme pain in the past, she always seemed to push through and tend to her gardens.
A hemilaminectomy is a highly invasive spine surgery that removes part of the vertebra called a lamina. Each vertebra in your spine holds two laminae, which are bony segments that form the rear of the vertebral arch and serve as a base for the vertebra.
All nerves aside, Sue went in for her surgery with Dr. Coscia and things couldn’t have gone better. Dr. Coscia was extremely proud of Sue for how well she did.
As if spinal surgery wasn’t enough for one person, in 2012 Sue was involved in a very bad car accident. Her car was t-boned and flipped upside down. Somehow, Sue only walked away with a spiral fracture in her right hand. Sue returned to OrthoIndy to get her hand checked out and thankfully was able to let her hand recover using just a splint.
Fast forward to May 2015, when Sue was able to fully get back to caring for her gardens and doing work around her house, she found herself at OrthoIndy once again. She was working outside and catapulted herself off of a ladder. She was extremely confident that she simply fractured her tibia. She came into OrthoIndy to visit Dr. Bruce Rougraff, who specializes in bone tumor and soft tissue oncology. Dr. Rougraff diagnosed and treated Sue with an immobilizer for six weeks.
Three short days later, Sue was able to go out and continue her social life. Sue coordinates volunteers in her herb garden at the White River Gardens, gardens on her own at home, travels to many different countries and exercises. After her last injury from falling off a ladder, Sue lost a lot of strength and mobility in her leg, from the six weeks she was immobilized.
Seven weeks later, Sue started to move around just slightly when she started to experience lower back pain again. Now exhausted of the pain that she thought she had gotten rid of, Sue came back to OrthoIndy but this time she visited Dr. Meredith Langhorst, who specializes in spinal diagnostics and therapeutics. She gave Sue her very first spinal injection into her L4 disk on July 20, 2015. “It was a painless experience,” explained Sue. “I received excellent attention from all staff involved.”
After several tries of the spinal injections and not much pain relief, Dr. Langhorst ordered an electromyography. An electromyography, often referred to as an EMG, is a diagnostic procedure to assess the health of muscles and the nerve cells that control them.
Sue was then sent to physical therapy with OrthoIndy. “Therapy was very helpful with pain relief. Physical therapy taught me the proper way to walk, sit, etc.” Sue is thrilled at the results she has seen in physical therapy. She has follow-up appointments with Dr. Langhorst, regularly.
Sue is now back at work, but with some limitations. She’s back tending to her gardens and has started taking Pilates classes. Sue was even able to travel to Lithuania and Russia this past summer. She is thankful for every single physician she has encountered at OrthoIndy.