Restoring an active lifestyle with artificial disk surgery

KahnPatientJohn_Image_RTFActivity and a zest for living have always been a part of John Hussey's life. In his 20s, he played college football. In his 50s, he was lifting weights three times a week, biking 100 miles weekly in the summer and skiing in the winter.

Those activities kept him fit and brought joy to his life.

"I lost the ability to do all of that," says John, explaining the effects of a spinal problem.

He felt pain in his neck and shoulders, a tingling sensation down his left arm and numbness in his thumb and index finger. The cause was diagnosed as damage to the disk between his C5 and C6 vertebrae.

How did this injury occur? Why was it happening now, when John had been so diligent about his wellness?

"There's nothing that was directly connected to the onset of my symptoms," explains John, who is the chief strategy officer for an educational non-profit organization.

For six months, he tried traditional, less-aggressive therapies to alleviate his symptoms and allow him to continue his active lifestyle. But physical therapy and steroid injections offered little relief.

A local sports medicine specialist referred John to The Ohio State University Wexner Medical Center, where he met Safdar Khan, MD, who specializes in complex spine surgery.

Dr. Khan performed surgery to replace John's injured disk with an artificial disk. The outcome was even better than John had expected. "I was off medications almost immediately and walked one mile the first day after surgery," John says.

Dr. Khan made recommendations to help John work back into his fitness routine. In six weeks, he was biking. In three months, he was pursuing his normal pastimes. Within six months of surgery, he was planning a winter ski trip.

John says he would recommend the artificial disk replacement for others who are experiencing similar spine problems. He was happy with his quick recovery and the overall outcome, including the ability to regain normal flexibility and range of motion.

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