Patient Success Stories

Spine Surgery - Cervical | Spine Surgery - Lumbar | Minimally Invasive Spine Surgery | Artificial Disc Replacement - Cervical

Back in action after artificial disc surgery helps relieve neck and shoulder pain

spine surgery montana, spine surgeon montana, success story spine surgery montana, artificial disc surgery montanaDoug’s career as a truck driver offered him many opportunities to see different parts of the country. Over the years though, Doug started struggling with back and neck pain. Some of his symptoms could be attributed to normal wear and tear on the body, while others were likely due to a car accident.

Doug wanted to remain active and tried many different conservative care options for his symptoms — including physical therapy, massage therapy and chiropractic care. All of these treatments offered some temporary relief.

Several months ago, Doug noticed worsening pain on his left side in his neck and shoulders. His neck and shoulder muscles remained very tight and he had reduced range of motion. Doug could not lift his arm past the height of his shoulders. He found that standing, sleeping and walking were all becoming more difficult. He also experienced frequent headaches and took ibuprofen regularly.

Doug was referred to Dr. Gus Varnavas, a fellowship-trained neurosurgeon. He made an appointment with Dr. Varnavas and was impressed from the beginning by the helpful and friendly office staff. At his appointment, Dr. Varnavas examined Doug and ordered diagnostics.spine surgery montana, spine surgeon montana, success story spine surgery montana, artificial disc surgery montana Upon receiving the results, the neurosurgeon took Doug back to his office and together they reviewed the results. “He pointed out on my X-Rays what was wrong and then described in detail his suggested treatment,” Doug says. Doug was diagnosed with cervical spondylosis without myelopathy, two herniated discs and radiculopathy.

Ready to find relief from his symptoms, Doug decided to move forward with the spine surgeries and he wanted Dr. Varnavas to be his surgeon. Dr. Varnavas performed an anterior cervical discectomy and fusion at C5-6 and placed an artificial disc at C4-5. The surgeries were successful and Doug immediately felt relief. “When I woke up from surgery, I could reach for the ceiling again - this was not possible before surgery,” Doug remembers.

He was careful to follow the post surgery instructions provided by Dr. Varnavas and the medical staff. Dr. Varnavas also referred him to a spine specialized physical therapy center. About six weeks after surgery, Doug started physical therapy where he is learning exercises to help strengthen and loosen the muscles in his left shoulder blade and left side of his neck.

Today, Doug is happy to have substantial relief of his pain symptoms and continues to return to more of his normal activities.

Click here to download a pdf of how Dr. Varnavas helped Doug find lasting relief from cervical spondylosis and herniated discs.



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Need an Appointment?

Gus Varnavas, MD — at Community Hospital of Anaconda — specializes in the treatment of back and neck pain and strives to help people return to activity. Request an appointment with Dr. Varnavas in his office in Anaconda, MT.