patient stories

Karen McCoy

Karen Got Her Life Back—And Her Green Thumb!

In December 2018, Karen McCoy was decorating her Christmas tree when she bent over to adjust an ornament and suddenly couldn’t move. She ended up with the most severe back pain and muscle spasms that she’d ever experienced. The diagnosis? A severe bulging disc that could only be fixed with a full spinal fusion. Karen didn’t want such invasive surgery and turned to the experts at the Northern California Spine Institute for another opinion. Right away, they told her they could take care of her back pain with a less invasive laminectomy, and everything fell into place lickety-split.

Before her surgery, Karen’s pain was so severe that she had no feeling in her left leg from the mid-calf up to the thigh. She couldn’t sit for more than five minutes without her leg seizing! Thanks to the surgeon’s expert hand and her physical therapy treatment, now, only six months later, she has feeling up to her knee and has returned to her garden. After being bedridden during the spring and summer of 2019, Karen is enjoying exercising her green thumb this year!

“From start to finish, the whole team was fabulous,” Karen says. “They allayed all my fears and concerns. I would tell anyone, hands down, to go to them.”

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