ValerieCare: Spine surgery success at Wellstar North Fulton Hospital
Valerie Orff was done with excruciating pain.
After suffering with severe back aches for 30 years, the Roswell resident had tried everything. Massage therapy, chiropractic care and even dry needling. But nothing provided permanent relief — until she went to Wellstar.
When Valerie’s pain, which had been steadily worsening over the past eight years, got to the point where she couldn’t play soccer with her grandchild, dance or sit on a motorcycle (one of her favorite past times), she told her primary care physician she needed a true solution. That’s when Wellstar stepped in.
Personalized Spine Care
Dr. Basheer Shakir, a neurosurgeon at Wellstar North Fulton Hospital, carefully and thoroughly examined Valerie and discovered what had been bringing her discomfort and slowing her down — a disc in her back was degenerating, and one of her vertebrae was moving back and forth on another one, instead of staying in place.
“This was causing back and leg pain that affected her daily activities and quality of life,” Dr. Shakir said.
Dr. Shakir knew Valerie was hesitant about getting surgery. But after spending time getting to know Valerie, and learning about her busy, active lifestyle, the two decided on a minimally invasive surgery that could quickly get her back to her routine.
Minimal procedure. Maximum results.
Valerie’s Wellstar team was able to perform a fusion operation by accessing the disc through her side, without traumatizing the muscles in her back. This shortened her hospital stay, minimized her pain after surgery and accelerated her recovery.
Although she had initially been nervous about spine surgery, Valerie said Dr. Shakir listened to her concerns, presented all her options and explained everything in detail so she knew what to expect. In short, he treated her as much more than just a “neuro patient,” but as a person.
Now, 12 weeks after surgery, Valerie is pain-free for the first time in three decades.
“I put my faith and trust in him, and now I can’t even tell you how good it is to get up every day and go to bed with no back aches. I sleep through the night, go to the gym and lost 15 pounds,” she said.