November 26, 2018

Patient undergoes back surgery for a herniated disc and finds relief

Neck, Back and Spine | Patient Stories


As a high school athletic director and varsity baseball coach, Greg Marschand spends a lot of time preparing outside athletic facilities. While preparing for softball season in the spring, Greg spent time building a portable fence for security and fan entrance.

To build the fence, chain link sections have to be pulled off the bottom stems to allow the fence to stand up. The force required to pull off the links caused something in Greg’s back to give out.

Greg knew something was wrong when he couldn’t bend over and walking became difficult. Greg went to a chiropractor, but the adjustment provided no relief.

“Basically everything I normally do on a daily basis was affected. I could not even bend down well enough to put on socks or shoes,” said Greg. “Sleeping became a huge chore. Many times I would have to try and walk around because lying down was near impossible.”

It got to the point where Greg’s entire right leg would go numb after he walked even a few steps. If he wanted relief, he knew he needed to see a doctor. He went to his local hospital and had an MRI. It was clear that Greg had blown a disc in his back out and it was resting on a nerve in his right leg.

The local doctor recommended Greg travel to Indianapolis and see Dr. Kevin O’Neill, an OrthoIndy spine surgeon. Greg set up an appointment right away.

Back surgery

Dr. O’Neill determined that Greg would need back surgery to relieve his pain.

“Dr. O’Neill was very understanding and extremely professional as my options were narrowed down to one…back surgery,” said Greg. “I hurt so bad, I pleaded for him to perform the surgery right on the spot.”

However, because of the medicine Greg was on, the surgery had to be arranged after he stopped taking the medication for a period of time.

“Greg had a large disc herniation in his back that was causing severe nerve compression. It had already been going on for about two months prior to his appointment, and he was barely getting around due to the pain,” said Dr. O’Neill.

“I talked to him about a relatively new procedure, a minimally invasive nerve decompression and fusion. After reviewing his imaging with him and explaining this procedure and what to expect, he was anxious to get it fixed.”

Recovery after back surgery

After Greg’s surgery with Dr. O’Neill, he experienced immediate relief. He stayed one night in the hospital and returned home the following day.

“Greg’s surgery went very well, and he felt the relief right away. Since I used a minimally invasive approach, I was able to avoid traumatizing the muscle as much as the more traditional approach,” said Dr. O’Neill.

“This allowed him to bounce back pretty quickly. From there, he did a great job sticking to the rehab plan and getting himself fully recovered. I’m so happy for him to be able to continue doing what he loves.”

Now Greg is able to get back to his usual activities. As someone who is constantly outdoors working, Greg now has no limitations on what he can do.

“Being a high school baseball coach, I am elated to be able to throw batting practice on a daily basis, hit fungo’s, rake the diamond, lift anything needed and basically do all I could do before,” said Greg. “I have experienced no pain and no issues at all. I was off all medications one week after the surgery and have never taken any medication for back pain since. Dr. O’Neill did a fantastic job and I would highly recommend him to anyone.”

To schedule an appointment with Dr. O’Neill, please call 317.802.2429 or learn more about OrthoIndy Spine and Dr. O’Neill.

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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Megan Golden

By Megan Golden

Megan is the current Marketing Team Lead at OrthoIndy. Megan graduated from Ball State University in 2012 with a bachelor’s degree in public relations and advertising and communications studies minor and has been with OrthoIndy since June 2012.

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