Back to Life
Spine Surgery Can Be an Option for People
of All Ages
Arthur Daoulas swims six days a week to stay in shape. Just last year, he underwent back surgery for spinal stenosis.
||To learn more about options in treating back and neck pain, join Corey Wallach, MD, Ziad Yafi, MD, Thomas Raley, MD, Joseph Logar, DPT, and patient navigator JoAnn Gallop, RN, on Aug. 18 at 7 p.m. at the Westin Alexandria, 400 Courthouse Square, Alexandria. Call 855-My-Inova (694-6682) or visit us here to register
Corey Wallach, MD, serves on the board of directors for the American College of Spine Surgery. Last year, Becker's ASC Review publication recognized him as one of the top 50 spine specialists in America.
Arthur Daoulas, 79, puts people even
half his age to shame. At least six days
a week, 50 minutes at a time, the Mount
Vernon resident walks briskly or swims
nonstop laps. He's even helped his son
remodel a bathroom.
But in early 2010, Daoulas was in
unrelenting pain. "I had always kept
active, but for close to a year, the pain
in my lower back and right leg got
progressively worse," he says.
Daoulas was diagnosed with spinal
stenosis, a narrowing of the spine that
can cause pain, numbness, weakness
and problems with coordination.
Although reluctant to have surgery, he
was determined to get on with his life.
After consulting several physicians,
Daoulas put his trust in Corey Wallach,
MD, a board-certified orthopedic surgeon
and Medical Director of the Inova Spine
Institute at Inova Alexandria and Inova
Mount Vernon hospitals. In May 2010,
Daoulas underwent a limited incision
open surgery that relieved pressure on
his spinal nerves and stabilized his spinal
Age should not be a deterrent, Dr.
Wallach says. "Patients are increasingly
active into their 70s and 80s and are
maintaining better overall health," he
notes. "As such, more treatment options
are available to them. As I often tell
people of all ages, there is not one
treatment option that is best. Rather,
there is one treatment option that is
best for each patient."
Daoulas was gratified by the care he
received during his three-day stay at
Inova Mount Vernon Hospital. "I knew
Dr. Wallach had done a wonderful job,
so it was reassuring to have skilled and compassionate professionals handle mypost-operative care," he recalls.
The first few days following a procedure are vital to a patient's success. "Our nurses and therapists at Inova Alexandria and Inova Mount Vernon hospitals are integral in educating, encouraging and assisting patients throughout every phase of their postoperative recovery," Dr. Wallach says. "Without their expertise, we couldn't achieve our high rate of success with spine surgery."
Daoulas urges other seniors to consider spine surgery and to not dismiss a smaller hospital merely on the basis of size. "Your experience depends on the competency of your surgeon and the staff," he says. "My life is beautiful now, so I say, 'Go for it.'"