John McCutchon – Dr. Gerlach

Lieut. Col. John McCutchon served as an Officer in the Army Airborne Infantry for 24 years.  “When I was in the army I injured my back, but I didn’t realize it,” John said.   “Due to the physical training the muscles did a lot to alleviate a lot of skeletal pain.”   When John retired in 2009 he continued his physical fitness, however, the pain was worse after a workout than before.   “I tried physical therapy but that didn’t do much.  I also went to a chiropractor, but I would only get temporary relief.”

John was referred to Dr. Gerlach by his primary care doctor.  The diagnosis:  age and genetics.  John had lived with scoliosis his entire life, but now his spine was degenerating.  As if his spine wasn’t enough to deal with, John also needed a double hip replacement.  “I had pain all the time and I couldn’t sleep,” John said.

John decided to move forward with spine surgery.  “The first surgery was pretty easy and it alleviated a lot of pain. The second surgery was 12 hours on the table.  Dr. Gerlach worked 12 hours on my back.  I’m fused from the top of my back all the way down. I have two titanium rods and 36 screws in my back.”

The great news: “I didn’t have any pain in my back after the operation.”  Even more great news:  four months later John was able to go back to the gym to start strengthening his upper body and legs.

Five months after John’s spine surgery, Dr. Gerlach cleared him to go see Dr. Cooney about his hips.  “The way Dr. Cooney described the condition of my hips: he’s seen bad hips, he’s seen worse hips and then there are my hips … It was age and deterioration.   A lot of it had to do with being in the infantry for 24 years and running in combat boots, jumping out of airplanes and so forth.”

John had his first hip replaced in May and the other in July.  “I have absolutely no pain in my hips.  I can walk. I can work in my yard. I can even participate in volunteer activities, which I couldn’t do before.”

John talks about life before his surgeries, “I had to decide whether or not I could volunteer for a project, plant a tree, cut the grass or walk the dog.”  He couldn’t do it all because the pain was too bad.  Post-surgery is a completely different story, “I’m not limited anymore.  I decide what I want to do based on my schedule, not my pain levels…  And I can sleep.  That is a huge difference in quality of life.”

“I would absolutely recommend Dr. Gerlach and Dr. Cooney.   Both of the surgeries were spot on.”

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