After previous family experiences with Fort Wayne Orthopedics, it was only natural for Sharon Lovell to bring her 78-year-old mother Nell Tays to Fort Wayne from Alabama when she needed back surgery in early 2012. Nell had undergone back surgery four years earlier, but was enduring debilitating pain as her condition deteriorated. It affected her mobility and her quality of life. She would decline invitations to go places or attend her granddaughter’s activities because the pain was just too great.
In addition to deterioration of her spine since her previous surgery, Nell had bone spurs in her back and a curve in her spine. Dr. Rahn performed a procedure that removed the bone spurs and fused her vertebrae from L2 to L5. But as soon as Nell awoke from surgery, she knew something wasn’t right. She had pain in her right side and down her right leg.
“...She was enjoying mobility that she hadn’t experienced in years.”
Over the next six weeks, as Nell recovered from her surgery and the pain did not abate, Dr. Rahn ordered tests to pinpoint the cause. He determined that her nerve was being irritated at the L5 vertebrae, the tailbone, and recommended additional surgery to fuse the L5. “Dr. Rahn was so conscientious about finding out exactly where Mother’s pain was coming from, and then figuring out what he could do to help her,” says Sharon. “It seems like sometimes doctors try one thing and then another to see what will help. Dr. Rahn didn’t do that. He was careful to pinpoint exactly what was going on with Mother, and then made the decision to do surgery to correct it.”
When she awoke from her second surgery, Nell felt immediate relief from the leg pain. Six months later and back in Alabama, she was enjoying mobility that she hadn’t experienced in years. And she even attended Grandparents Day at her granddaughter’s school!
“Through this whole experience, Courtney and the other nurses were so helpful and understanding,” says Sharon. “This was the first time I had gone through something so traumatic with my mother, and they were just so patient with her and with me. They were always so kind and so understanding and helpful. I want them to know how much I appreciated all of their kindness.”