"I had lived with chronic back for more than ten years. I had tried physical therapy, chiropractic therapy, and pain pills, but the relief never lasted long. I had ridden horses since my early teens. I had accepted back pain as a part my life. But, last year my left leg began to go numb several times a day and after different physical activity or inactivity. My back pain and leg numbness grew steadily worse and debilitating. Regardless of my back pain and my leg numbness, I continued to ride horses and practice dressage, a riding sport that is physically demanding and requires both legs to ride. As the pain and numbness grew worse, I recognized that riding horses was becoming more dangerous. I realized my worsening physical condition was causing me to have trouble engaging in many other physical activities and undermining my quality of life. Despite the pain and leg numbness, I very much wanted to continue to ride, especially since I had purchased a great riding partner a year or so earlier (a nine year old warm blood dressage horse). So I was very motivated to seek treatment. I discussed my condition with my personal physician and sought treatment with other medical specialists and I came to the conclusion I needed to seek a surgical option.
I met with Dr. Aryan in April 2012. After consulting with him, I believed surgery was my only solution, even though I understood that surgery might not help me fully recover the feeling in my left leg or cause my back pain to cease. But, I knew the only way I could ever possibly continue to ride my Beau would be to have surgery. On May 22, 2012, Dr. Aryan performed spinal surgery on me: fusing five vertebrae (L2 – S1). Twelve hours after surgery, I was up and walking the hallways of the surgery center with no numbness in my left leg! Ten days after surgery, I was walking a mile a day; a week after that, I was walking at least two miles a day with absolutely no numbness in my left leg. A month after surgery I was able to cease taking any medication for pain. Three months after my surgery, I walk at least two miles each day and I actually enjoy physical therapy! I can feel myself getting stronger every day with no numbness in my left leg. Best of all, I am totally pain free! I am very confident that I will continue to recover and once again I will be able to ride dressage with my riding partner, Beau. I am very thankful that Dr. Aryan agreed to perform surgery on me. I am also very grateful to him and his great staff for giving me a pain-free back, a numb-free left leg, and a future as an equestrian!" -- Carol P.