We call it conventional wisdom because it gets passed down over the years, from person to person. But sometimes, relying on that wisdom isn’t necessarily a wise choice—and if you want to make a change, you need to break with convention.
That’s the experience that Daniel Schmalzried had when it came to dealing with the excruciating back pain and constant numbness in his left foot and leg. He had spoken to doctors, physical therapists, and other professionals, none of whom believed that his pain could be fully relieved. When he started thinking about spine surgery, family members and acquaintances warned him that it was a bad idea—everybody seemed to know someone who had had a difficult experience.
“Most of them were all referring to the older way of doing the surgery, and the way people used to go through the stomach to get to the back and things,” Daniel recalls. “Everybody just said “Don’t do it, don’t do it. You’ll, you’re still going to have major pain after the surgery, you’re better off just to live the way you are.” But Daniel was to the point where he “just wanted something done.” He kept researching his options online, and that’s how he found the Spine Institute Northwest.
“I was skeptical,” Daniel says. “But once I talked to Dr. Kamson and he explained in detail what was gonna take place, I had no second thoughts about it. I was ready to go that day.” Two weeks later, Daniel had minimally invasive lumbar fusion to create space where the disc was so worn away that the bones were grinding against one another. Another bulging disc was trimmed, and stem cells were injected at the surgical site.
The difference that Daniel feels post surgery “almost feels like a miracle,” he says. ” I felt it immediately waking up after surgery, because I could feel my left foot, and I could wiggle my left toes. And that was the first thing I told my wife. I mean it makes me want to cry.”
Listen to more of Daniel’s story, and hear why he believes that if you’re suffering from chronic back pain, “something can be done for you:”