Virginia H.

Diagnosis: Lumbar stenosis & spondylolisthesis; Cervical disc herniation

“What a life-changing blessing it has been for me to be Dr. Anand’s patient now for over 6 years. I am in such good hands!”

This patient first met with Dr. Anand many years ago. She initially presented in 2012 with a two year history of worsening pain in her left leg radiating to the bottom of her left foot, along with some weakness in her left foot (but no back pain). Dr. Anand identified a disc herniation and stenosis and recommended a microscopic decompression at L4-5 and L5-S1.

In June 2013, she returned to Dr. Anand complaining of neck pain, headaches, and numbness in her hands for about six months. X-rays and an MRI of the cervical spine revealed instability at C5-6 with a large left-sided disc herniation at that level. She subsequently underwent a C5-6 anterior cervical discectomy and fusion with plating.

Several months later, she presented with persistent numbness and tingling in her left foot as well as back pain. At that time, Dr. Anand advised her that stabilizing the L5-S1 disc space would be the best strategy to treat her symptoms. Therefore, she underwent a minimally invasive L5-S1 transforaminal lumbar interbody fusion with posterior instrumentation in November 2013. She continued following up with Dr. Anand over the next few years.

In 2018, five years after her L5-S1 fusion, she presented with new symptoms of left knee weakness and pain in the front of her thigh, especially with standing and twisting. New images at that time revealed spinal stenosis at L2-3 and L3-4, the two levels above her prior surgeries. As she did not have significant back pain at that time, Dr. Anand opted for a microscopic decompression at those two levels and she recovered very well.

Read about this patient’s remarkable journey in her own words below:

“I am so grateful to share my experience as a patient of Dr. Neel Anand & his team…I bless him & all his staff daily for their life-changing work & all it has made possible for me!

My own story includes a family history of degenerative back problems. For many years physical therapy & over the counter meds had allowed me to be fairly active. But at age 61 newly emerging symptoms brought the frightening prospect of limited mobility & increasing pain. I couldn’t afford to ignore these, but the prospect of traditional invasive surgery, protracted recovery time, & restricted lifestyle thereafter frightened me.

I came to Dr. Anand at the recommendation of my next door neighbor, Judy Hughes. I watched her enjoying a phenomenal recovery from back surgery for a very challenging issue. She had done careful research to find him & said he was leading his field with successful, minimally invasive approaches to complex conditions like hers. Her results were real and she was willing to travel almost 200 miles one way to benefit from his care! I had to check him out!

What a life-changing blessing it has been for me to be Dr. Anand’s patient now for over 6 years. I am in such good hands! I have needed a total of 4 different surgeries – including two fusions, discectomy & some microdecompression work. The diagnosis for each was approached with great care. Dr. Anand always strives to find the least invasive, longest lasting approach possible. His Physician Assistant, Sheila Kahwaty, & other support staff have guided me through the process each time from start to finish—always available to answer questions & offer whatever help I needed. Hospital stays were minimal & my recovery times were incredibly short. Post procedure therapy & follow-up helped me heal & get back in action safely & as quickly as possible.

With each & every procedure, Dr. Anand & his staff have been actively involved, visible, & available to see me through the entire process! Over time, I am faithful in my follow up visits & following his recommended self-care—I rejoice in being healthy & active. Should I need future procedures for my spine, I wouldn’t go anywhere else!

My most amazing story about Dr. Anand’s compassion & artful, surgical problem solving occurred in 2013. It was only two weeks before my scheduled cervical fusion when a lump was discovered on my neck which turned out to be thyroid cancer. Dr. Anand listened intently to my anxious tale of woe during a pre-op appointment & immediately sent me across town to see a fellow surgeon. Miraculously the two of them joined forces & completed both procedures (cervical fusion & thyroidectomy) during the same surgery through the same incision!!! Both were totally successful & neither has required additional treatment since!! Amazing!

Six years later there are now well over 20 of Judy Hughes’ & my church friends from Pismo Beach, California who have become “long distance” patients of Dr. Anand. Each of us has benefitted from his exceptional diagnostic skills & constantly evolving minimally invasive procedures. We delight in referring other patients to him—our visible, successful outcomes tell the compelling story! We are a grateful, enthusiastic bunch who now enjoy the comradery of improved back health—& being able to share our good results with others suffering with back pain. A number of us also get a kick out of driving together for follow up visits! Proud members of the Pismo Beach Dr. Neel Anand Fan Club!!”