Stephanie was bucked off a horse when she was 17 and broke her back. She’s had three surgeries and had eight screws inserted in her lower back to help fuse the bones together.
In her first appearance on The Doctors , Stephanie, now 25, explains that the screws were starting to back out of her bone, and she could see them pushing through her skin, causing pain that affected her entire life.
“I can’t play with my daughter,” Stephanie says. “She’ll look up at me and she’ll say, ‘Mommy, chase me,’ or ‘Mommy, pick me up,’ and I can’t do that. It hurts really bad, because she’s my angel.”
Orthopedic spine surgeon Dr. Paul Jeffords explains that the spinal column provides stability and protects the spinal cord and nerves. Stephanie’s injury disrupted both of those functions.
Stephanie admits she has not been to a doctor in years and had given up on finding relief. “I just thought I was going to be like this the rest of my life,” she says.
Dr. Jeffords surprises Stephanie by offering to examine her and perform any needed surgery.
The Doctors follows Stephanie into the operating room. Dr. Jeffords explains that Stephanie’s fusion has healed, so it’s safe for him to remove the screws and rods.
Stephanie returns to The Doctors’ stage to reveal how she is doing since the surgery.
“You’ve got giddyup in your step,” says plastic surgeon Dr. Andrew Ordon.
“I can lay on my back and hold my daughter in the air,” Stephanie exclaims. “I can do crunches!”