“I drove a truck for 14 years. That’s probably why my back was in bad shape,” explained Beverly Wiggins, a 67-year-old retiree from Scottsburg. She was experiencing pain down her right leg into her foot, and in her lower back. She tried heat and cold therapy and medication to help alleviate the pain to no avail. The pain was so bad she couldn’t walk more than a few steps at a time and ended up in a wheelchair.
Getting to the root of the problem
Beverly first saw a Louisville surgeon who ordered an MRI which failed to reveal the problem. He sent her to physical therapy which also did not lessen her pain. She was then referred to Michael Doyle, MD, board certified neurosurgeon at the Baptist Health Floyd Spine Center by her family physician. Dr. Doyle ordered a second MRI to better focus on the area of pain and discovered that she had a herniated disc.
He explains, “Sometimes it’s easy to miss a disc herniation that is in a less common position on the MRI. When you’re experiencing extreme pain, it’s never normal. You’ve got to keep looking for the cause of it.” He added, “It is also important to know that if you aren’t getting satisfactory treatment you should seek a second opinion.” Within a week of her first consultation with Dr. Doyle, Beverly underwent right L4-L5 microdiscectomy surgery.
In this type of surgery, a small incision is made in the lower back, the muscles are lifted off of the spine and a microscope is used to look at the nerve root. “We removed a huge chunk of herniated disc that was pushing against the nerve. When I saw that, I was confident she was going to get relief very quickly,” said Dr. Doyle.
— Michael Doyle, MD | Board Certified Neurosurgeon | Baptist Health Floyd Spine Center
“I knew that if anyone could get to the bottom of Beverly’s troubling back and leg pain, it was the Baptist Health Floyd Spine Center. They have expert physicians and all of the latest technology to diagnose and treat back pain and provide excellent care.”
— Deepak Azad, MD, MPH, FACP | Internal Medicine Physician | Baptist Health Floyd Medical Group – Scottsburg & Georgetown
Beverly agrees, “After surgery I had immediate relief in my back and leg. I was up walking around that same day. It was truly a miracle.” Beverly’s husband, Joe, added, “It’s hard to watch your wife in so much pain and not being able to help her. We were so thrilled that she was able to walk out of the hospital and return to her canning and gardening right away. I was so impressed with everyone from the Baptist Health Floyd Spine Center.”
“It’s not unusual when a patient has that much leg pain from a compressed nerve to still accomplish good results. I’m happy to see that Beverly can go back to being active and doing the things she enjoys,” said Dr. Doyle.
A herniated disc occurs when the fibrous outer covering has broken or become distended to the point where the disc presses on a spinal nerve, causing pain.
A discectomy is the surgical removal of the disc or portion of the disc that is pressing on the nerve.