At 78 years old, the last thing Patricia Mancuso wanted was back surgery let alone a three-level lumbar fusion. But she suffered from agonizing back pain for two years and the once active Diamondhead, MS retiree knew she had to do something.
“I could not stand up, ” she recalled. “It had gotten so bad that I would have terrible numbness in my legs and burning pain from my waist to my ankles.”
Today, she reports that she “does not have an ounce of pain in my back” thanks to Culicchia Neurosurgeon John Steck.
After reviewing her MRI and conducting a physical examination, Dr. Steck broke the news that she in fact needed major back surgery. However, he reassured her, “We’re going to get you fixed up,” she recalls.
“Ms. Mancuso had spinal stenosis which was causing compression of the nerves in her low back and it was causing severe pain in her back and legs and an inability to walk. She also had instability of the spine which further compressed the nerve,” Dr. Steck said.
In a four-hour surgery at West Jefferson Medical Center, Dr. Steck performed a Lumbar Laminectomy, Foraminotomy, and Facetectomy, Translaminar approach for Interbody fusions and Posterolateral Fusion at the L 3, 4, 5 and S1 levels.
After two days in the hospital, she was then transferred to West Jefferson’s Inpatient Rehab Center where she recuperated under the care of Culicchia Neurologist Michael Puente. There, she regained her strength while being cared for after surgery. She also underwent physical therapy including occupational therapy to learn how to dress herself and shower without twisting her back while it healed. According to Neurologist Michael Puente, post-surgery rehab and physical therapy is important to guide the patient through the recovery phase from surgery until they are once again able to resume their normal activities.”
At 78, Ms. Mancuso’s spinal stenosis was affecting her quality of life and activities. With surgical intervention and appropriate physical therapy she was able to regain her independence, Dr. Steck said.
Eight months post-surgery, Ms. Mancuso is doing very well and back to doing what she loves – going out with friends, driving, and serving as a greeter at her church.
“Dr. Steck did a marvelous job. I cannot sing his praises enough,” she insists.