News & Events
When 17 year old Tanner from Decatur started experiencing daily leg pain, she initially thought she was being too active. Between her job in a doctor’s office, working out regularly at the gym, and her daily walks with her dog, Callie, that seemed like a reasonable assumption. In addition to her typical activities, Tanner had recently been helping a friend pack to move. She hoped the pain was related to her over-exertion and would resolve with a little rest. Unfortunately, the pain worsened and became an ongoing hardship.
Tanner endured discomfort for four months before she went to a chiropractor. Unfortunately, that visit brought only a short respite from her pain. Steroid packs and acupuncture didn’t bring relief, either.
Family trips were canceled as she dealt with debilitating back pain. She was unable to sit through long car rides or enjoy short walks. Tanner started to feel depressed about missing out on life.
Tanner’s mother Kacey, a nurse, was desperate to find a solution for her daughter’s pain. Finally, at the recommendation of a colleague, she and Tanner visited the office of Dr. Larry Parker, a well-known and respected TOC spine surgeon.
Dr. Parker was able to quickly diagnose the source of Tanner’s troubles as sciatic pain due to a slipped disc, which was pinching a nerve. The solution would require surgery… Tanner knew this was her opportunity to find relief and scheduled her surgery within two weeks of that visit.
“I was really afraid for her to have any procedure done to her back, but we felt we had exhausted all other options.” Kacey recounted. Thankfully, consistent communication from Tanner’s surgeon helped relieve her parental anxieties. Dr. Parker called Tanner’s mother before the surgery to discuss previous successes he had with similar cases. He also spoke with her the morning of the surgery and after it was complete to report on the procedure’s success. Tanner was released to go home after a couple hours. “Looking back, I wish we had considered the procedure much sooner,” Kacey said.
After two weeks of rest at home, Tanner was back at work and enjoying her life totally pain-free. “Before I had surgery, I thought I would have to miss my Senior Trip. Now, I feel 100% better. The Senior Trip is booked and I’m Bahama bound!” Tanner said.
Dr. Parker and TOC are very glad to have been a part of Tanner’s recovery. We wish her well as she and Callie enjoy an active life once again.
TOC stands ready to create many more positive outcomes for our patient family with our excellent team of Spine Surgeons: Drs. Blake Boyett, Larry Parker, John Rodriguez-Feo, Calame Sammons, Brian Scholl, Morris Seymour, and Murray Spruiell. In addition, physicians Steven Buckley and Michael Lawley, TOC’s pediatric orthopaedic specialists, treat spine issues in children ages newborn to 14.
(A version of this article was originally published in TOC’s Winter 2018-19 newsletter.)
“Tanner woke up from surgery with immediate relief. We would recommend Dr. Parker to anyone having back pain.”
– Tanner’s mother, Kacey
“It is highly unusual to see this kind of injury in someone so young, but fortunately, I’ve had lots of success with these operations and patients of all ages are able to resume their normal lives. It’s so rewarding to see someone recover and enjoy life as they want.”
– Dr. Larry Parker
TOC Spine Surgeon
It’s common knowledge that the spine serves many important functions: it helps you stand tall, sit comfortably, and move with ease. Whether you are a football player or a retired school teacher, spine injuries can be devastating. Nobody likes to have a “pain in the back”. You want to take good care of your spine to maintain your quality of life, mobility and independence.
Some common and not so common spine issues:
Issues with discs. Injuries can occur in any section of your spine: Neck (cervical), Thoracic (mid-back), and/or Lumbar (lower back). These discs can herniate, tear, and degenerate. The causes of such injuries vary greatly. Degeneration and tears can happen with normal wear and tear from aging, while herniation can be the result of lifting, twisting, pulling or some other movement.
Pinched nerves. A nerve can become pinched if there’s too much pressure on it. That can be the result of something pushing on it, like muscle, tendon, cartilage or even bone. When a nerve is pinched it can cause tingling, numbness or discomfort.
Sciatica. The sciatic nerve runs along your back and down to the legs. When that nerve sustains an injury, it can become very uncomfortable. Pain can be felt in the back, legs, and bottom, and the discomfort has been known to hinder common, regular motion.
Scoliosis. Kids, adolescents, and those suffering from arthritis might find that their spine has developed an abnormal curve. This curve can create pressure and discomfort that may affect the back and lower extremities.
There are multiple approaches, both surgical and non-surgical, that can treat these spinal issues. TOC physicians Blake Boyett, Larry Parker, John Rodriguez-Feo, Calame Sammons, Brian Scholl, Morris Seymour and Murray Spruiell handle surgical options to address spinal issues; and physicians Brian Carter, Michael Cosgrove, Craig Lincoln, Vandana Maladkar, and Saranya Nadella specialize in non-surgical interventions for spinal issues. Physicians Steven Buckley and Michael Lawley, TOC’s pediatric orthopaedic specialists, treat spine issues in children ages newborn to 14.
Non-surgical approaches include:
Bracing. Some patients find stability and comfort with a corset-like brace. The brace goes around the back and stomach and can provide additional support where needed.
Injections. There are several forms of injections that can bring relief. A Facet injection is primarily performed for chronic neck and back pain due to spondylarthrosis. An epidural injection may provide relief from radiating arm or leg pain caused when a nerve in the spine is inflamed or compressed (“pinched nerve”).
Medication. Pain and inflammation can often be managed with prescription and over-the-counter medications. These may include steroids and narcotics.
Physical Therapy. Trained practitioners, with exercise, active therapy, massage, electrical stimulation, heat, ice, or ultrasound, can help alleviate spinal discomfort.
Pay attention to your posture and stretch regularly. Move carefully, with intention and watch for signs your spine might need attention.
100 Best for Spine Surgeries in 2017
At TOC, we have your back and are here if you need us.
(A version of this article was originally published in TOC’s Winter 2018-19 Newsletter.)
4 Easy Stretches for your Shoulders
Whether you’re picking up grandbabies in a big bear hug or throwing the winning touchdown, everyone needs to be able to move their shoulders through their normal ranges. You can improve your flexibility through range-of-motion (ROM) exercises. Stretch out your shoulders with these four basic movements.
ROM Flexion: Slide your arm up a wall, with your palm facing out as you lean toward the wall. Hold that for 10 seconds, and repeat it five times, twice a day. Alternate each arm.
ROM External Rotation: Keep the palm of your hand against a door frame with your elbow bent at 90 degrees. Turn your body from the fixed hand until you start to feel a stretch. Hold ten seconds, repeat five times and do this twice a day. Alternate each arm.
ROM Towel Stretch: With interior rotation pull your arm up behind your back by pulling the towel up with your other arm. Hold for ten seconds, repeat five time and do this set twice a day. Alternate each arm.
Corner Stretch: Stand in the corner with your elbows at shoulder level, leaning forward to stretch across your chest. Hold for ten seconds, repeating five times for two sessions a day.
For more tips, visit AthletesGuide.VisitTOC.com, your online guide to Sports Medicine.
(This article originally appeared in TOC’s Winter 2018-19 Newsletter.)
Christmas: The After Hours Clinic will be OPEN on Saturday, Dec. 22 from 8:00 am – 11:00 am; and CLOSED Monday & Tuesday, Dec. 24-25.
New Year’s: The After Hours Clinic will be OPEN on Monday, Dec. 31 from 5:00 pm – 8:00pm; and CLOSED on Tuesday, Jan. 1.
TOC wishes you and your family a safe & happy holiday season!
The After Hours Clinic will be CLOSED November 22 & 23 for Thanksgiving and will be OPEN Saturday, November 24, from 8-11 am. We wish you a very happy Thanksgiving holiday!
If you’ve ever watched an episode of HGTV, you’ve probably seen excitement over a house with “good bones”. That’s because even TV personalities realize that bones are the strong foundation for success.
3 Easy Exercises and Joint Strengthening Tips For Your Hips & Knees
Everyday life can be very demanding on your body’s joints, so it’s especially common for athletes to feel occasional pain in those areas. If you need a joint issue addressed, TOC has a specialist for you. Meanwhile, here are some helpful conditioning exercises our physicians recommend to keep your body strong. These exercises use just your body weight, no equipment needed! Continue reading “TOC Fit Tips: Hips & Knees”
TOC’s Dr. Leberte and his family delivered your generous donations to Parker City, FL, which is about 19 miles from Mexico Beach. As you can see, there is extensive damage there. The aid workers they met are a super group from California, and the supplies, especially the water, were greatly appreciated. Thank you.
While TOC is no longer collecting donations, there are still plenty of opportunities to keep the relief effort going. Click here for more information: Hurricane Relief on al.com