After Years of Debilitating Back Pain, a Wife and Mother Gets Relief

After Years of Debilitating Back Pain, a Wife and Mother Gets Relief

After multiple unsuccessful lumbar spine surgeries, a 31-year-old wife and mother gets relief from severe pain from an intrathecal pump implant.

Three years ago, 31-year-old wife and mother of three, Melissa Collins was struggling daily with severe, chronic back pain. On the recommendation of her neurosurgeon, she made a life-changing decision to undergo lumbar spine surgery. Unfortunately, the surgery didn’t resolve her pain, which led to two additional surgeries. With the pain persisting, Melissa became more frustrated and sought the help of multiple doctors to find relief.

“The pain got worse and worse, and I became more depressed.” says Melissa. “I was basically told that the only thing left to do was to try and manage the pain. I was left broken both emotionally and physically.”

Frustrated and exhausted from the chronic pain, Melissa was connected with Dr. Kiran Patel of The Spine and Pain Institute of New York. After carefully evaluating Melissa’s history, Dr. Patel tried multiple treatment options, including injections and medications. Nothing seemed to work. Yet, Dr. Patel was determined to find the right treatment that would help end the chronic pain and enable Melissa to get her life back.

“The worst part of being in chronic pain is how people judge you because you have to be on narcotic medications,” explains Melissa. “I have been treated poorly because I’ve needed medication just to get out of bed. I felt like I wasn’t myself. My wonderful life was gone and was replaced by a life of constant pain, depression, anger and guilt.”

After attempting several therapies, Dr. Patel suggested an intrathecal pain pump trial. The trial involved injecting a small amount of an opioid pain medication into the spinal space. The trial was successful, and for the first time in three years, Melissa felt relief.

With the success of the intrathecal pain pump trial, Dr. Patel referred Melissa to Dr. Mitchell Levine, Director of Spine Surgery within the Department of Neurosurgery at Lenox Hill Hospital. The surgery to implant the pump was scheduled for September 18, 2015. Dr. Patel kept in touch with Melissa, and she answered her questions, even the day before the surgery. The surgery was a success, and Melissa was finally feeling better.

“I would tell anyone who is suffering from chronic pain to contact the physicians at Lenox Hill Hospital,” says Melissa. “Dr. Patel and Dr. Levine gave me something that I never thought was possible – a light at the end of a very dark tunnel. My intrathecal pump is giving me my life back. I will forever be grateful to Dr. Patel and Dr. Levine, [nurse practitioner] Keriann Tomlinson and Lenox Hill Hospital. There are no words to truly express how thankful I am to have had this amazing team care for me. Thank you from the bottom of my heart for never giving up on me, giving me hope and giving me my life back.” 

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