April 4, 2017
UTICA, N.Y. – Deerfield native Terry Polczynski has had a degenerative spinal disease since her early 40s. Twelve years ago, she was living in North Carolina and had fusion surgery on her L4 lumbar spinal disk, which seemed to temporarily ease her lower back pain. She moved back to Central New York in 2011 and for about three months each year, she goes to physical therapy for her back.
Now she is getting more permanent relief, thanks to a surgical procedure new to upstate New York – insertion of a patient-specific scoliosis implant. Performed by Nicholas Qandah, DO, a neurosurgeon at the Mohawk Valley Health System (MVHS) Neurosurgical Specialists in mid-November, Polczynski now has about one-tenth of the pain she had before. The implant procedure followed surgery in September in which Dr. Qandah inserted pins to straighten her back.
“That man is awesome – he’s a wonderful doctor,” Polczynski said of Dr. Qandah. “There were some days post-surgery he was in my room at 3 a.m. He said, ‘I had an emergency, so I thought I’d come see you.’ He could have just gone home.”
Although Polczynski, now 55, is somewhat limited in how she moves, she recommends this procedure to others with similar pain. “I couldn’t believe that a week and a half after the first surgery, I was out of the house and walking around,” she said. “If I can help someone else not to be as afraid of surgery, that’s good, too.”