Hiking The Tetons Two Weeks After Minimally Invasive Neck Surgery

Stephanie Trani, 42, of Downers Grove had no time for neck pain. As a mom to three kids, an active volunteer, regular exerciser, and employee at a local homeless shelter, she forced herself to keep going through years of nagging neck and arm pain.

“I tried to bear with it,” Trani explains. “I had too much to do every day so I kept telling myself, ‘This too shall pass.’” But it didn’t. And earlier this year, she experienced was she calls ‘a bad turn.’ 

“One day I had sharp nerve pain going down my arm,” she says. “I couldn’t sleep and could hardly move. I knew that this pain was different.”

She sought help from a chiropractor, then another, who performed a variety of therapies, but she didn’t get any relief. The treatments were so painful that she was often in tears and went home with migraine headaches. Finally, her chiropractor admitted something wasn’t right and that she should seek different treatment, possibly for a herniated disk in her neck.

The Right Treatment

Trani went to her primary care physician who ordered an MRI to get a proper diagnosis. The imaging confirmed a herniated disk and her physician explained that surgery was the best option to relieve the debilitating pain.

“I didn’t waste any time and called a friend who works at Rush,” Trani explains. “He hands down recommended Dr. Kern Singh at Midwest Orthopaedics at Rush and I was so happy that I got in to see him the very next day.”

During her initial appointment with Dr. Singh, Trani appreciated his calm, reassuring manner, and thorough explanation of the minimally invasive outpatient procedure he uses to treat herniated disks: a minimally invasive artificial cervical disk replacement. During this procedure, he uses tiny instruments inserted through a very small hole in the neck to remove portions of the herniated disc and relieve pressure on the spinal nerve column. Dr. Singh then replaces the damaged disc with an artificial disk like those used in a total hip and knee replacement except much smaller in size.

“Because she had a disk herniation in her neck, Ms. Trani was an excellent candidate for an outpatient minimally invasive artificial cervical disk replacement,” Dr. Singh explains. “I reassured her that she would have instant pain relief, go home the same day, and wouldn’t lose any movement.”

Immediately Pain-Free

And that is exactly what happened. Following a 30-minute surgery at the Rush Oak Brook Outpatient Center, she rested for six hours and went home later that afternoon to recover. She was finally pain-free.

“The anesthesiologists and nursing team are phenomenal at the Rush Oakbrook Surgery center,” Dr Singh explains. “Through a multi-modal analgesia protocol, we can do minimally invasive diskectomies, laminectomies, fusions and disc replacements on an outpatient basis. Furthermore, the surgeries are done with very little to no narcotics and most patients are off pain medications two to three days after surgery.”

Just two weeks after surgery, Trani enjoyed a hiking trip to the Tetons and Badlands with her family.

“I literally had surgery 14 days before my trip and I had no pain,” she says. “I was keeping up with my husband and kids. Even the long car ride wasn’t a problem.”

Trani credits Dr. Singh and all the care providers at the Rush Oak Brook location with her successful minimally invasive neck surgery – and freedom from pain.

If you have been told that you need spine surgery and would like to make an appointment with Dr. Kern Singh, call 877-MD-BONES or schedule online.