November 27, 2017

Spine patient: After back surgery

Neck, Back and Spine | Patient Stories

This post is part of The Ultimate Guide to Back Pain Relief

Eight weeks after Dr. David Schwartz, OrthoIndy spine surgeon, performed lumbar disc herniation surgery on spine patient, Justin Ochoa, Justin shares his experience.

After back surgery, Justin is back to his normal routine. He has been able to help his wife around the house, play with his kids and he has returned to work full time. Justin is also getting ready to open his own business, a gym. The best part about how Justin is feeling, is that he now feels free from back pain.

Originally, Justin Ochoa was diagnosed with a lumbar disc herniation. He tried conservative treatment such as physical therapy and injections; however, he was still experiencing severe sciatica.

Pros and cons of back surgery

Life after back surgery

“So waking up after surgery was a pretty surreal feeling because it was the first time in probably almost 10 years that I didn’t have any sort of shooting pain or numbness down either of my legs or my back; so it was weird because I was also on medication and it was hard to tell what was what. Shortly after that, I was in the recovery room and I came a little bit more to my senses. I realized that pretty much immediately all the symptoms were gone and that I just had some basic soreness from the actual incision itself.

I ended up going home that day. I got, to the hospital at 6 a.m. and I was home by 4 p.m. I walked to the car by myself with the help of my nurses and my wife, which is pretty amazing to be up on your feet basically just a few short hours after the operation with zero pain and just a little bit of natural discomfort. I could help out around the house, I could cook dinners, I could still come to work, coach my athletes and work with my clients.

Nothing really changed except for physical activity that I had to limit, which is totally understandable while you’re in the healing process. But I was amazed by all the things that came back into my life just by having a simple operation and by being able to do things without experiencing excruciating pain.

Currently, I’m eight weeks post-operation and I’m feeling really, really good I’ve been back to work since week two. I have completed all the necessary steps to get cleared by the doctor and make me eligible for physical activity again. I started a rehab program, completed that, then I just started a workout program and I’m currently trying to work my way through that right now.

Overall I feel great to just be back in the gym and have no real limitations that are caused by pain and that’s the first time in a long time that I’ve experienced that. It’s fun to get out here and have fun in the weight room and do the things that I love to do without having to worry about my back limiting me or making it completely impossible for me to do.

On the other hand, I still got to work with clients every single day, I was still able to coach athletes on the basketball court and on the football field every single day. I wasn’t limited in any way by my surgery and that completely surprised me because I had set myself up like I was going to miss a lot of work and then I ended up feeling so much better, so much faster than I could have imagined. It got me right back in to the swing of things.

One thing that has been huge for me during this entire process is that I have been working for the past year to open up a gym and a training facility and getting a surgery towards the end of this process has been kind of an interesting thing. I thought it would set the business back but during that time of recovery I was able to really focus on admin work, getting all the financial documents in place, getting all the legal stuff in place, and so it was kind of a blessing in disguise that actually boosted my business. We’ll be opening our doors right around the New Year at Pace Fitness Academy on 82nd street right across from Castleton Square Mall.”

This is our final video on Justin’s experience at OrthoIndy. In case you missed the before segment on Justin click here; Justin explains why he chose OrthoIndy and how he was feeling before surgery. You can also view Justin’s surgery experience here; Dr. Schwartz explains Justin’s surgery steps.

To schedule an appointment with Dr. Schwartz, please call 317.802.2883 or learn more about OrthoIndy spine.

The Ultimate Guide to Back Pain Relief cover

The Ultimate Guide to Back Pain Relief

Find out what's causing your back pain and how you can treat it with OrthoIndy's ultimate guide to healing back pain.

Read the guide

Megan Golden

By Megan Golden

Megan is the current marketing specialist for OrthoIndy. Megan graduated from Ball State University in 2012 with a bachelor’s degree in public relations and advertising and a communications studies minor and has been with OrthoIndy since then.

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