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HEALTH   -   PAIN FREE FOR LIFE
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"I missed work a lot; I missed everything a lot! I could be in bed for two days at a time," recalls Robin R., a 44-year-old wife, mom of 4, SCV resident and nurse. "It was every single day. It was so hard to concentrate because I was just consumed by pain. I was grouchy all the time, so I isolated myself. I didn't want to affect my kids, co-workers and husband. And I never wanted to do anything because I always felt terrible. I would just end up lying on the couch, trying to make it go away."
Hi Dr. Moza. I've got a problem... disc herniation to be specific. I tried the physical therapy and medication route and I didn't get much relief. Unfortunately, I think it's time for surgery. What are my options?
Stacy quietly cried as she explained the toll chronic headache, neck and shoulder pain has had on her life. "It took sheer will power to get through the day," she emotionally recalled, tears streaming down her face. "You try to prepare yourself mentally for the next day because you know the week isn't over yet. You spend your whole day off trying to rest and recover and then it's back to work again."
Hi Dr. Moza. I'm writing today to complain. It seems like every surgeon is saying that they now do "minimally invasive" spine surgery. Is that really true? I'm scheduled for surgery next month and I'm wondering if all "minimally-invasive" surgeons are the same or if there's any difference between methods and results.
Hi Dr. Moza. I've been diagnosed with lumbar degenerative disc disease. Not only am I in pain, but I've got to tell you - this is really affecting my psychological health. I thought I'd feel better once I found out what was causing all my discomfort, but I don't. I'm depressed. I feel like, at only 48, my life is over. I am afraid of not being able to live life the way I want to after surgery, and my quality of life has already taken a hit because my mobility and comfort is much more limited now. My wife is furious at me for putting off surgery, but I'm not convinced that it'll make any difference.
Hi Dr. Moza. Most people write to you hoping to hear that they don't have to have surgery. I'm on the opposite end of that spectrum. I not only know I need spine surgery, I'm looking forward to it. My problem is this: I'm not quite sure how I'm going to fit this into my busy life, let alone pay for it. I'd love to experience the holidays "pain free" for the first time in years. Is that even possible this late in the game?
"I can't help but treat my patients like family - like the way I'd want someone special to me to be treated. I'm always available to them. The philosophy of 'family care' carries through to my entire staff. Here, everyone is treated like they're the most important person in the world," says Dr. Kapil Moza.
Hi Dr. Moza! For the last few years I've suffered with pretty bad sciatica because of a slipped disc. The pain travels from my buttocks and down my leg. Sometimes it's worse than others but I've tried to tough it out. On really bad days I rely heavily on over the counter pain meds, but they only take the pain down partially. My doctor says that enough is enough and it's time to get a referral to a neurosurgeon. I'm not exactly thrilled about surgery; to say that I've been hoping to put it off is an understatement. What might this process entail?
AVORS medical group has already made quite a name for itself since opening its fourth So Cal location in Valencia, thanks in part to the addition of Dr. Justin Heller, a board-certified surgeon who has a firm grip on today's most technologically advanced upper-extremity procedures.
There are doctors... and then there are one in a million doctors who say things like, "Any monkey can write a prescription refill. I have years and years of schooling; I can write a plan!"
Bad news - I've got a herniated disc. I have all the classic symptoms: neck pain, radiating arm pain, shoulder pain, numbness and tingling in my arms and hands... Worse news - I have a high-pressure job and I can't take a ton of time off work to have surgery. What can I do? I'm in a lot of pain.
One of the ironies of suffering from back pain is that so many who do have to drive two hours each way to see a well-respected surgeon. No one likes traffic, but when you're bumper to bumper while coping with an excruciating compressed disc, life can seem... a little unfair.
Imagine for a moment that you need a hip replacement. Or, maybe you don't have to play into this hypothetical; more than 285,000 Americans undergo the procedure annually. Of those, only a fraction of the procedures are performed from the anterior, or front, of the patient's body. The reasoning is two fold; first, a special operating table is required for the procedure. And, second, only the most skilled surgeons are practiced enough to perform an anterior hip replacement with regularity.
Hi Dr. Moza. I was recently told that my herniated disc requires repair which means... I need surgery. I'm not looking forward to the recovery, the hospital stay, the cost or the time off work. I've been assured that my pain and mobility will not improve without this surgery, but I'd really like to know if there's a way to do it that cuts down on "all of the above."
It's funny how life can take you in such different directions - or, in the case of Dr. Justin Sherfey, different addresses. Originally from the rural part of Washington, Dr. Sherfey relocated to Southern California to attend the Western University of Health Sciences in Pamona. From there, it was off to orthopedic residency in Michigan, then a fellowship in adult reconstruction and joint replacement in Canada. For the last decade, he called a small community between Seattle and Portland - Centralia, to be specific - home as he grew his orthopedic practice.
The best sort of physician not only assists you in your recovery; they know what it's like to walk in your shoes. That type of empathy is both rare and wonderful - and it's also available in spades from Antelope Valley Orthopaedic & Rehabilitation Specialists (AVORS) Medical Group co-founder Thomas Nasser, DO.
Hi Doc! I'm a 26-year-old man who has been recently diagnosed with a Chiari malformation. Didn't see that coming! I have been experiencing radiating neck pain, dizziness, nausea and ear ringing. My neurologist suggests that we treat the symptoms with medications, but I'm young and don't want to take pills for the rest of my life. I'd like to consider surgery. I'm otherwise in good health. What do you think?
One of Southern California's Finest Orthopaedic Surgeons Calls SCV home
Q: A few months ago I slipped and fell while hiking. I felt sore afterwards but didn't think any major damage was done and didn't seek medical attention. About a month later, I went into the doctor's office complaining of a nagging back pain. Surprise, surprise. I have a spinal fracture. What I thought was due to my age - or a kidney stone - was most likely the result of my tumble down a mountain. My doctor says that the facture is minor and that it could heal on its own. Is that true? I'd love to avoid surgery, but I don't want this to get worse.
Over a decade ago, two prestigious doctors were being recruited by a hospital for the same slot - by two different recruiters. A comedy of errors transpired, resulting in the medical professionals finding themselves in the office suite both were promised individually.
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