November 4, 2013

Patient undergoes level two spinal fusion

Neck, Back and Spine | Patient Stories

Jillian Dunbar had serious back pain during pregnancy, which turned into severe pain on the backside of her left leg.  The pain was so excruciating that she was hospitalized for a few days a month before delivery.

The diagnosis- spinal fusion

An MRI scan showed a large herniated disc at L5-S1.  Her neurologist referred her to Dr. David Schwartz, an orthopedic surgeon at OrthoIndy.

“After the disc herniated, I had a hard time getting around, especially taking care of my newborn daughter.  As my condition worsened, I lost a lot of sensation in the lower half of my leg and my foot was numb, which caused me to trip a lot and walk with a limp.”

Jillian had surgery in November of 2009, but discovered she had another herniated disc that was affecting her right leg.  She felt like she was missing a lot of her daughter’s early days because she was spending so much time in bed, in pain.

In June 2010, Jillian decided to have a level two spinal fusion at OrthoIndy Hospital.

“All of the staff and nurses were very friendly and kind during each of my visits to OrthoIndy,” said Jillian.  “At OrthoIndy, the staff was very encouraging and I felt very motivated to get up and move around shortly after surgery.  I even got to leave a day early because I was doing so well.”

After surgery

Dr. Schwartz made Jillian feel right at home.

“I feel like Dr. Schwartz listened to me and understood how this was affecting my life as a whole,” said Jillian. “Some physicians in the past didn’t take me seriously due to my age [26] and even blamed my back problems on my weight.   Dr. Schwartz was the only one who saw the problem for what it was.”

Jillian expressed her desire to have another child with Dr. Schwartz and asked him how long she needed to let her back heal.  He told her to give it a year, and exactly 12 months later, Jillian found out she was pregnant with her second child.

“The second pregnancy was a breeze,” exclaims Jillian.  “My back held strong and I was able to get through with zero complications.”

Since the birth of her second child, Jillian has been able to get more active.  She began walking and later took on running, resulting in a 95-pound weight loss.  Jillian trained for the Mini Marathon, running the entire race.

“So many doctors seem to forget that patients are people, people with lives and families,” said Jillian.  “I didn’t ask for these things to happen to me, they just did.  When you’re lost in that moment of darkness filled with pain and frustration, it makes all the difference in the world when you feel like you have somebody on your side, someone that’s there to get you through.  Dr. Schwartz was that person for me.”

To schedule an appointment with Dr. Schwartz please call 317.802.2883. or learn more about back treatment at OrthoIndy.

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.

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Mishay Ellis

By Mishay Ellis

Mishay was the Marketing Intern for OrthoIndy during Summer 2013. During her internship she wrote a variety of articles and blog posts and aided in social media and media relations tactics for OrthoIndy. Mishay graduated from Ball State University in May 2014 with a bachelor’s degree in public relations.

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