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Carol's story: Getting her life back with spine surgery

03/19/2018

Three years ago, Carol developed severe sciatica down her left leg that became extremely unbearable.  After toughing it out for about a year, she suffered a broken pelvis due to early onset osteoporosis that put her sciatica and back pain into a tail spin. She went through rehabilitation and physical therapy, but her back issues remained the same and she was in terrible pain for most hours of the day.

Making a connection with the right spine surgeon

“After much consideration I decided to seek help from a surgeon, as I needed my life back,” Carol said.  “I spent many, many months interviewing surgeons some of whom were very nice but unable to assist and others who were very standoffish.”

Eventually, a friend recommended that Carol meet with Ashley Rogerson, MD, a spine surgeon in Spine Center at Tufts Medical Center.  “I am so thankful that something in the universe sent me to her,” Carol said. “Dr. Rogerson is amazing and I will tell anyone who will listen, which I do.  From the moment I walked into her office I had a connection with her and her team.  She is friendly, confident, caring, direct and funny, all characteristics which, for me, make an outstanding doctor.  And, her team is second to none.”

Keeping at ease

Dr. Rogerson ran all of the necessary scans and tests to determine the best approach for Carol.  She explained Carol’s unique condition and what could be done to improve her quality of life.

Dr. Rogerson also explained all of the risks associated with the surgery that she recommended for Carol and answered all of Carol’s questions without sugarcoating anything. “She was honest about the complete procedure from the moment I got to the hospital through recovery,” Carol shared.  “After my initial meeting with her I knew she was my doctor and that I would be going through with surgery.  I never hesitated, as I just knew she would be able to help me and she did.”

Because she was nervous about the surgery, Carol met with Dr. Rogerson several times prior to surgery. And although she knew it was the right thing to do, she still felt a bit nervous when the day of surgery came.

“Dr. Rogerson was right there with me before we went into the operating room and explained everything to me,” Carol explained. “She was able to hold my hand and ensure me everything would go well and left me feeling comfortable with the decision I made.  At that moment she was my doctor and my friend.”

Getting her life back

Surgery was eight months ago and although, as Dr. Rogerson explained it would be, recovery was very tough, Carol is doing great. 

“I am able to walk normally, exercise, swim, travel and live my life, things I never thought I would do again,” Carol said. “With the exception of normal every day back pain that comes with being in my fifties I am pain free and I have Dr. Rogerson to thank.  Not a day goes by where I do not think about how lucky I was to have been led to her.  To this day, my friends and co-workers comment on how great I am doing and for this I have a standard answer.  I had/have the BEST DOCTOR EVER!”

An illustration depicting a man with back pain.

Spine Center key contact information:

Neurosurgical Spine Team: 617-636-5858; Orthopedic Spine Team: 617-636-4548; Pain Management Team: 617-636-6044; Physiatry Team: 617-636-5631