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Phyllis’ story: Ready to ‘enjoy life again’ after minimally-invasive back surgery

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Phyllis Allen

A car accident in 2019 left Phyllis Allen with severe back pain.

She could barely walk or stand and couldn’t sit for long periods of time without feeling intense pain. She was essentially a prisoner in her own home.

Fortunately, she knew who she could turn to for help.

Phyllis sought the expertise of Dr. Max Ots, a neurological surgeon with BayCare Clinic.

She was no stranger to Ots. He performed her back surgery almost 20 years prior. “He did an awesome job,” she says.

“Dr. Ots explained so much before the surgery and was always there if I had a question,” she says of her first experience with Ots. “He was very reassuring during the whole time and encouraging that everything was going well. That helped a lot.”

She knew she could count on his expertise once again.

Ots determined Phyllis’ source of pain was her sacroiliac joint or SI joint. There is one SI joint located on each side of the spine. They help a person bear the weight of his or her own body.

Phyllis underwent an SI joint fusion procedure eight months after her car accident. It was a minimally-invasive, outpatient procedure.

“When I got out of recovery and they got me up to walk, I looked at my husband and was like ‘I’m pain free,’” Phyllis says. “It was just amazing that the pain was gone.

“After being down for so long and being in pain for so many months I was just in awe that it was gone, and I was ready to go.”

Phyllis no longer is a prisoner in her own home.

She plans to garden, spend time with her grandchildren around campfires and spend more time with her husband, Tom.

“I am ready to get out and enjoy life again.”

Published: Friday, June 12, 2020
Author: Ashley Scott