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Success Stories

Nonsurgical Patient Success Stories | Surgical Patient Success Stories

Tanya - Paramedic gets back to life with Kenai Spine

When she is not busy working as a paramedic and occupational health advisor, Tanya enjoys running, hiking and going to the gym. She started feeling pain on the right side of her neck about five years ago, but Tanya didn’t think too much of it at first. As the months and years went by though, she noticed her once mild neck pain becoming more frequent and at times incapacitating. “I also began feeling numbness in my hands and fingers; and some pain in my arms,” Tanya remembers.

She decided to go to an orthopedic physician for relief from her symptoms. The physician ordered an MRI of her cervical spine and after reviewing the results of the MRI, talked with Tanya about treatment options for her condition, including injection therapy and spine surgery. Tanya wanted to exhaust other conservative treatments first, including natural joint supplements, physical therapy and massage.

spencer back to life after spine surgery in kenai alaskaThe non-surgical care did offer some temporary relief. Unfortunately, Tanya’s pain always returned and continued to worsen. ”I began experiencing severe headaches, nausea, and pain that radiated into my arms and occasionally into my feet and legs,” Tanya says. Her symptoms were interfering with her normal lifestyle.

Tanya returned again to her physician and because her condition had not improved, he explained to Tanya that surgery would likely be necessary eventually. She was still not ready for spine surgery. Her physician prescribed some pain medication to help her with sleep at night.

Tanya continued to work but found herself counting down the hours until she could return home and take some medication for pain relief. Activities like running and hiking were now impossible, she was unable to even do her grocery shopping. Because of the drastic change to her lifestyle, Tanya began struggling with depression. She was ready get back to her active lifestyle.

A friend of Tanya’s told her about Dr. Craig Humphreys, a fellowship-trained spine surgeon, relocating to Soldotna. She made an appointment with Dr. Humphreys at Kenai Spine. At her appointment, Dr. Humphreys reviewed her medical history and then ordered xrays and an MRI of her spine. The results showed that Cervical Spondylolsis at C4/C5 was causing her pain and numbness symptoms. Because Tanya had exhausted nonsurgical care already, Dr. Humphreys talked with her about the spine surgery that would treat her degenerative cervical spine. Tanya was ready to enjoy life again and decided to have the spine surgery.

Dr. Humphreys performed the spine surgery and fusion. Tanya was relieved to feel immediate relief from her pain and numbness symptoms. She was able to get out of bed and walk the day after surgery. Tanya gradually increased her activity level.

“I have my active life back, I feel great, no more depression,” she reflects. Today, Tanya is not limited in her activity level at all. She is back to work and free to run, hike and go to the gym — all without pain.

Click here or select the image above to download a PDF of Tanya's successful recovery from spine surgery with Dr. Humphreys.






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Educational Resources
Medical Animations

Watch various medical animations to learn about conditions and treatment options.

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View medical illustrations that help you understand pain symptoms.

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Learn about special exercises and stretches that can relieve pain and help rehab muscles and joints.

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Where to find us

Kenai Spine is proud to announce that we have moved into our new spine center at 240 Hospital Place, Suite 103, in Soldotna, Alaska. Over the past few years, Kenai Spine has become a referral center for those with back and neck pain with patients coming from as far away as Anchorage, Fairbanks and Seward. Click here for driving directions.

Physician Bios
Medical Animations

S. Craig Humphreys, MD
Fellowship-trained spine surgeon
Board Certified Orthopedic Surgeon

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Mark Simonson, MD
Board Certified in PM&R
Board Certified in Pain Medicine