March 28, 2024

Watercolor Artist Overcomes Brush With Serious Nerve Damage In Her Neck

OrthoIndy News

Pamela Blasius cleverly managed to overcome a challenging medical situation, all thanks to the skillful care provided by Dr. M. Craig McMains. 

Retired from a lifelong retail career at 73, Pamela was a perpetual whirlwind of activity. She immersed herself in various pursuits, from the delicate strokes of watercolor painting to tending her flourishing garden, even dabbling in selling her own artwork. Her vibrant lifestyle took an unexpected turn when she began experiencing numbness in her left arm, radiating from her neck. This posed a significant challenge for Pamela, as she was naturally left-handed. Concerned, she finally sought medical attention, fearing it might be arthritis. It turned out to be a damaged nerve in her neck requiring treatment.  

Recalling her initial diagnosis, Pamela remarked, “The first doctor I consulted warned that I was just one severe car accident away from becoming paraplegic.” Paraplegia, characterized by paralysis of the legs and lower body, loomed as a stark possibility. 


In pursuit of a second opinion, Pamela turned to the OrthoIndy Spine team based on a trusted friend’s recommendation. Under the expert care of Dr. McMains, she confronted her fears about surgery and made the decision to proceed.  

Pamela underwent an outpatient procedure, which meant she did not require an overnight stay. To her amazement, she experienced minimal post-surgery pain, and her numbness vanished almost immediately. Reflecting on her experience, she shared, “Entering the surgery room was daunting, but emerging from it, it became clear that it was the best decision I had ever made.”  

Following the procedure, she wore a neck brace for a brief two-week recovery period, after which she quickly regained her independence, returning to driving and her regular activities. Pamela added with satisfaction, “I did not even need the full course of painkillers, which was wonderful! There have been no lingering numbness or issues, and I feel significantly better than before.” 


Pamela underwent a procedure called arthrodesis, a surgical technique that involves the fusion of adjacent bones to immobilize a joint. She had nothing but praise for the surgical staff at OrthoIndy.  

“My experiences at OrthoIndy have consistently been exceptional. Every doctor exudes a great personality, and the overall environment is top-notch. During my three visits, Dr. McMains made me feel as if I were the sole focus of his attention. Facing spine surgery can be intimidating and nerve-wracking, but Dr. McMains possesses a remarkable ability to instill a sense of comfort and ease during discussions. I would not hesitate to recommend Dr. McMains to anyone in need of his expertise!” 

“Doing the correct surgery and doing it well is only part of the treatment,” Dr. McMains shared. “You must be a physician first and surgeon second, always. Taking the time to explain my thought process and listening to what the patient really wants is critical. Pamela was a perfect patient and I’m so happy she’s done so well!” 

Schedule an appointment 

Call us at 317.802.2000 to schedule an appointment or make an appointment request online. 

If your injury or condition is recent, you can walk right into one of our OrthoIndy Urgent Care locations for immediate care. For rehabilitation and physical therapy, no referral is needed to see one of our physical therapists. 

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