I play Senior Amateur Golf. I stay in shape by working out, which enables me to compete with other seniors in nationally ranking tournaments. In early spring 2010, I began experiencing neck pain. I needed to take anti-inflammatory medication in order to play comfortably. I started experiencing weakness, which was exacerbated by my upper-body workouts and massage. Finally, I reached the point where I could no longer play well. I met with Dr. Regis Haid of Atlanta Brain & Spine Care in August 2011 where an MRI was ordered. The MRI showed a ruptured disc, and bone spurs in my cervical vertebrae.
Considering my desire to continue playing competitive golf, Dr. Haid recommended an Anterior Cervical Discectomy and Fusion. This procedure involved the removal of my herniated disc and bone spurs from three cervical vertebrae followed by the placement of hardware. This surgery would enable the vertebrae to fuse together. This treatment would spare me from another surgery in the future. At first, I was concerned about neck mobility and how a fusion would affect my golf swing. Dr. Haid described how he had performed this type of surgery on other golfers. Furthermore, he explained my golf swing would not be significantly affected once healing was complete.
Dr. Haid described the surgical procedure; explaining that only overnight hospitalization was necessary. He also informed me I would be able to "chip and putt" in a few weeks, and even play a few holes in three months—by Thanksgiving! By the New Year, I'd be at 90% strength—but with a better short game, since that is all I would be practicing for a few months! Surgery was scheduled for the following week.
I'm writing this on August 1st, 2011 the one-year anniversary of my surgery. My recovery is complete, and the recovery process was just as Dr. Haid had predicted. When I resumed play in January, I discovered I was slightly weaker but could easily adjust, which actually improved my accuracy. My short game is better, due to my additional practice. By May 2011, I told my friends, I was 95% of my old self. Seeing me play, a couple of my friends commented that maybe they should sign up for neck surgery!
Now if Dr. Haid could only find a way to make me younger!