A Physician’s Experience of Dr. Akbarnia’s Expertise, First-Hand
However, as the years passed, his episodes of pain became more frequent and intense. “I was then diagnosed with spondylolisthesis and had a third surgery to relieve my pain. Unfortunately, this surgery did not go as well,” said Dr. R.
Soon after this surgery, which he later found out had destabilized his spine, Dr. R. experienced a catastrophic collapse of his spine. “I was in severe pain. My MRI revealed that I had lost all my discs from L2-L5, I had spondylolisthesis in two places, and my spine was stuck at a 45 degree angle resulting in a 3-inch loss of height.”
Not wanting to return to the doctor who performed the previous surgery, Dr. R. made an extensive search for a new surgeon. “I knew the minute I met Dr. Akbarnia that he was the best,” recalls Dr. R. “Not only did he have technical expertise and years of experience, he had a wisdom about him that really impressed me. He also gave me one of the most thorough physical exams I have ever had. He even included a neurologic exam and sent me to a neurophysiologist who mapped the nerves of my spine.”
“He took my x-rays, measured my spine, and then sat down with me to talk about my options. Instead of just telling me what to do, we collaborated on a treatment plan. He made sure I understood what needed to be done and listened to my opinions. Now, I know I am a doctor too, but this wasn’t just professional courtesy. He’s like this with all his patients.”
At the completion of his surgery, Dr. R. regained 1½ inches in height and is pain free. “My recovery was remarkable, considering the complexity of the surgical procedure,” Dr. R. recalls. “I was standing within 48 hours, walking on day 3, and back home by day 10.” His recovery continued at home. “It took about 6-7 months for my usual energy levels to return and for me to be able to do all my regular daily activities. I was actually very pleased.”
Today, Dr. R. is back to his active lifestyle. “Most people my age who have had 4 spinal surgeries would just call it a day and retire. But I feel too good!” Dr. R. still has some discomfort at times, but he is able to manage it with a variety of traditional and alternative treatment options.
“I have absolutely no regrets about going to Dr. Akbarnia,” says Dr. R. “He and his team at the San Diego Center for Spinal Disorders work very well together. They make sure the patient has all the information he or she needs. I never had a problem getting in touch with him or his staff. They were all very responsive and considerate. I recommend him to many of my colleagues and friends.”
“If I could have done anything different, I would have gone to him first and not bothered with those other surgeons!”