Stacey's Spine Surgery Story

Stacey – 44, is a full time HR Director and mom. As an avid soccer player, she was constantly active and ran everyday. Her years of athletic sports led her to developed a disc herniation that slowly worsened over time causing her severe low back pain. After years of dulling the pain with over-the-counter medications, she tried everything including Chiropractic, physical therapy, and steroid injections. She eventually found Dr. Carl Spivak, a Neurosurgeon at Hackettstown Hospital, who specialized in minimally-invasive spine surgery. With a less than 1/2-inch incision, Dr. Spivak was able to relieve Stacey’s pain by performing an Endoscopic Discectomy. The pen-size endoscope is a high-definition camera that is inserted with x-ray guidance. The endoscope allowed Dr. Spivak to remove the herniated section of her disc with tiny instruments. This relieves pain and suffering with minimal tissue damage and a same day discharge.

"Well I don't actually know why or how my pain started, because I never actually had a specific back injury. The pain started about 9 years go when I was 35 and from then on it got progressively worse until I could barely get out of bed in the morning. I felt like I was 80; It hurt every single day, so I decided to go see a doctor. I tried chiropractic, physical therapy, and steroid injections. We exhausted all the other options, and the final thing left was surgery. I had no qualms about doing it, whatsoever, because I needed to be out of pain. It had been 8 years at that point.

I really wanted to go to a Neurosurgeon who specialized in back; I didn’t want to go to an orthopedic surgeon. I would absolutely recommend Dr. Spivak, I think he is a phenomenal doctor, and he is also a really nice guy. I immediately felt comfortable with him, so it was kind of a no-brainer. I did get a second opinion in Morristown, but I still came back to him, because he is great!

My surgery was so minimally invasive; I would recommend it to anyone. I have actually recommended him to two other people, who were struggling with back pain. I told them to please go see my doctor, because my back surgery was the best thing I have ever done; Don’t be scared of it.

The first few days after surgery there was really only a few days of true down time. The surgery was out-patient so he wanted you to get home, and the next day he wanted you up and walking around your house. The pain really wasn’t that bad; I was still able to take care of my kids, and my husband did all of the laundry for 6 weeks!

It took me about 12 weeks to start running again, and I have been running every since. It was really phenomenal and now I wake up everyday with no pain. I hardly ever take Advil anymore. There was a period of time, maybe 4 or 5 months after the surgery, where I would wake up expecting my back to hurt and it wouldn’t. Now I have just gotten so used to it, to where it doesn’t occur to me that I was in pain for 8 years. I am basically pain free now, it is just a whole different life.

I would like to thank Dr. Spivak for changing my life and making me pain free."