Carol says she has lived with severe back pain since 1979, when she suffered a broken pelvis and hand injury after being hit by a tram while working as a producer on a film set.
Between 1980 and 1994, Carol underwent six different surgeries to repair the damage to her back, none of which successfully relieved her pain. Being a regular viewer of The Doctors, Carol says she was inspired by an episode of the show featuring a woman named Beverly, whose chronic back pain was finally alleviated after she underwent a spinal fusion surgery performed by orthopedic spine surgeon Dr. Hooman Melamed.
“I related to it because she also had an accident, and then when she stood and she was perfectly straight, I started crying,” Carol says.
Feeling hopeful about a possible solution to her years of suffering, Carol reached out to Dr. Melamed for a consultation. Dr. Melamed diagnosed her with flat back syndrome, a condition that results when the spine loses either or both of the lordosis and kyphosis curves, causing sufferers to develop a stooped posture. He then performed a spinal fusion surgery on Carol, which involved removing the hardware previously inserted in her back during past surgeries, carefully breaking her spine, and recreating the proper vertebral alignment.
Carol and Dr. Melamed join The Doctors five months after the 9-hour operation was performed. Carol says she is feeling great and is looking forward to getting back to the activities she used to do before the accident.
Dr. Melamed says that when it comes to dealing with chronic back pain, researching all the options and undergoing surgery only when it is absolutely necessary is imperative. If surgery is required, Dr. Melamed stresses the importance of choosing the right procedure and the right surgeon. “Whether it’s a small operation or it’s a big operation, it has to be the right operation for the patient,” he says.