Melinda Rishforth was accustomed to being physically active. When persistent back pain began depriving her of her many outdoor pursuits, she thought lumbar spinal fusion surgery was the answer. To her dismay, the spinal fusion left her with progressive lower back pain that greatly limited her quality of life and day-to-day activities.
Conservative treatments such as transcutaneous electrical nerve stimulation, massage, pool therapy, physical therapy, and oral medications did not relieve her pain. Two years postsurgery, frustrated and worried, she met with Arthur Jenkins, MD, of The Mount Sinai Hospital in New York City. Melinda told Dr. Jenkins that according to her prior surgeon, her spinal fusion had taken well. But she was still in pain. And her pain — and disability — were worsening.
After assessing Melinda’s symptoms, Dr. Jenkins determined that her spinal fusion had not been successful. He performed an L4 to S1 fusion revision.
Pain-Free, at Last
After several months of recovery and physical therapy, Melinda was finally free of back pain. Imaging studies confirmed that she had healed properly.
Melinda is happy to report that she has returned to rock climbing, hiking, skiing, biking, and kayaking. She has even taken up surfing and tennis. In March 2010, Melinda gave birth to her first child.
“I chose Dr. Jenkins because he had both tremendous passion and experience-based confidence in his ability to fix me,” Melinda says. “He truly wanted me to be able to move on with my life with diminished pain.”