“When you combine a great surgeon with a great device, you get great results! “
Daniel Duzan is a 37-year-old extreme sports fanatic. When he’s not working, you will find him dual-sport motorcycle riding and snowboarding with his lovely wife. In 2014 Dan started experiencing pain in his neck. Dan lived in Louisiana at the time, went to the doctor for an MRI, and was diagnosed with moderate stenosis in his neck. Stenosis is the narrowing of the spaces within your spine, which puts pressure on the nerves that travel through those spaces.
Dan continued to participate in the activities he loves but was having a hard time. “My motorcycle and snowboarding helmets were so heavy on my neck that I could only ride for very short times.” Dan tried everything to find relief. In addition to taking Aleve every day, he went to a chiropractor and got massages, but the pain persisted, and he was sore all the time. “I even had an epidural injection, but it only helped for 3 days”. Dan knew the pain was affecting his daily life –he stayed at home more often, and he couldn’t move boxes or put up shelves in their new home. His wife even told him that he shouldn’t be a cranky old man sitting at home all the time. He should be out living his life! This went on for 4 long years. Then in 2018, Dan fell snowboarding and knew something was seriously wrong. He developed tingling in his fingers and thumb and had debilitating pain in his arm and armpit. Another MRI showed that his moderate stenosis had become severe. “The pain was preventing me from enjoying the activities I love and was affecting my ability to work. I knew I needed to get my life back in control and do something to fix the stenosis.”
Dan consulted with several spine surgeons, but after meeting Dr. Gerlach and seeing his passion for helping his patients, Dan knew he had found his doctor. “Dr. Gerlach was professional, knowledgeable, and experienced. He spent a lot of time with me discussing the pros and cons of a fusion versus a disc replacement. He gave me all the information I needed to make an informed decision about my treatment. “Dan decided that a cervical disc replacement was right for him. “It was important for me to maintain my mobility. I am hoping to be a father in the next couple of years, and I want to be able to be active and do everything with my kids.” Another big factor in his decision was the shorter recovery time versus a fusion and how quickly he could get back to work.
Dan had a cervical disc placed between his C6-C7 vertebrae. He was in the hospital for one night. Dan felt better immediately after surgery. “I had a little pain from the surgery, but the severe nerve pain was gone!” Dan was off his pain medication 4 days post-procedure and started driving again. He wore a neck brace (not while driving) for two weeks and had a 5-pound lifting restriction. After 2 weeks, Dan was cleared from wearing the brace, increased his lifting restriction to 15 pounds, and got back to work. “ At my 6-week appointment, I was cleared to do pretty much anything I wanted…but nothing too crazy. No flips on my dirt bike for an additional 4.5 months. “
“When you combine a great surgeon with a great device, you get great results! I have no pain now, no numbness or tingling in my hands, and I can enjoy my life. It’s been about 4 months since my surgery, and I just spent my weekend snowboarding at Purgatory! It was great! I can’t wait to get back on my dirt bike this summer too!”