Do you need spine surgery?

Sam S – 19 – September, 2008…

In November of 2007 my lower back problems began. At first I had severe lower back pain, but it subsided several days after it began. As I have always been involved in sports and very active, I decided to go lift and play ball with my friends, since the pain was gone. That night I barley made it back to my dorm room. Several days after that I began to experience horrible sciatica down my right buttocks and leg. I had herniated my L5-S1 disc very badly.


Over the next few months I would see countless doctors. I got two epidurals, one in the end of December, and one the beginning of January. They barely helped me. I was constant pain, and was getting by only because of Advil and muscle relaxants. At the end of January I decided I would opt for surgery, and the most important thing for me was to find the right one.

The last week of January I went to see several surgeons. Some of them made me extremely uncomfortable because of their pushiness, which made me question their intentions. But after I spoke to Dr. Antonacci I knew he was my guy. He understood what I was going through, and gave me a detailed explanation of what he would do in the micro-discectomy, and all of the risks involved with the surgery (including the percentage of chance for each possible risk). Unlike the other surgeons I had seen, he explained to me that surgery was not necessary, but that it would speed a two year recovery process (or longer) into roughly a month and a half.

On February 11 I had my surgery. I was amazed when I woke up with no sciatica. It was one of the greatest feelings that I have ever experienced. I was walking the same night of the surgery, and it only helped that my overnight stay in the hospital was so pleasant. The nurses and doctors helped me with anything I needed, and I had my own room with TV and everything.

I am now 9 weeks and 2 days out of surgery, and I feel as if I had never had one at all. I am in the gym 6 days a week working out and getting back into shape (lots of core training!!). Dr. Antonacci truly changed my life, and I will forever be grateful.

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