About four months ago, our newest patient ambassador, Maureen, entered OAA’s office in a wheelchair unable to walk, stand, or lay down without someone assisting her. Today, you can find Maureen actively working on her 26-acre farm in Alburtis, PA, and taking care of the 32 acres she and her family call home in Bethlehem.
Maureen is 55 years young, physically active, and has a high tolerance for pain. Like most people, Maureen continued to push aside the aches she felt over the years. She was an athlete in her youth and always believed that it’s better to keep moving and work through any ailments as best as possible.
She continued this path for several years and was effectively able to manage her back pain through massage therapy, chiropractic care, and acupuncture. Things started to change in 2018 when Maureen began experiencing more pain, but as someone who owns and operates a 26-acre nursery, there wasn’t much time to rest. It wasn’t until the fall of that year when the pain in Maureen’s back started radiating down her right leg, essentially leaving her incapable of moving without assistance.
“The pain would take me to my knees,” shared Maureen. “I’m a very self-sufficient person and not being able to care for myself or others was one of the hardest things for me to deal with.”
Maureen finally realized this pain wasn’t going anywhere and made an appointment with her general practitioner. After her doctor received her x-rays and MRI results, she was immediately referred to Dr. Falatyn.
Dr. Falatyn is a spine surgeon at OAA Orthopaedic Specialists’ Spine Center of Excellence. He has been treating patients in the Lehigh Valley since 1997 and he has an outstanding reputation for his treatment of spine problems and for his personalized patient care.
From the very first visit, Maureen was impressed with Dr. Falatyn’s and the staff’s approach to patient care. She had a hard time walking into the room due to her pain and she was handled with the greatest of care by everyone she met, particularly by Dr. Falatyn’s Physician Assistant, Kelly Evans, PA-C.
Dr. Falatyn quickly diagnosed why Maureen was suffering from horrible back pain. Maureen was told she had lumbar spinal stenosis. Due to the degeneration of her intervertebral disc at L4-5, there was severe nerve compression. Dr. Falatytn advised Maureen that surgery would be the best option to improve her quality of life and eliminate her back and leg pain.
“Dr. Falatyn explained his approach for my surgery in great detail, answering all my questions and calming my fears,” said Maureen. Now that she knew she was in competent hands, Maureen couldn’t help but lighten the mood. She asked Dr. Falatyn, “Do you know you look like the actor Christopher Reeve of Superman Fame?” Dr. Falatyn smiled and said, “Yes.” It’s a comment he’s heard from patients before.
Surgery was scheduled shortly after the office visit. That morning, Dr. Falatyn took the time to make sure Maureen and her family were very comfortable. “I will never forget the look in his eyes when he took each of our hands and assured us all that everything was going to be fine,” shared Maureen. It was at this moment she decided to lighten the mood once again and presented Dr. Falatyn with a gift - a superman cape that her sister had made the night before! “I told him that I was happy to have Superman as my surgeon,” said Maureen.
After surgery, Maureen woke up feeling like a new person. “I woke up from surgery in the hospital and walked out pain-free,” Maureen shared. “It blew my mind… it still does! I certainly had mild pain from the incision area itself, but it was very manageable and pretty much gone within days, just in time for Christmas!”
On Maureen’s follow up visit after surgery, she proudly walked in without a wheelchair, and best of all, without pain! The medical team at OAA was thrilled to see her in such a great state.
“Thanks to OAA, Dr. Falatyn, and the entire staff, I am back living my life… 100%,” said Maureen.
For more information about Dr. Falatyn and the OAA Spine Center of Excellence, you can contact us on our website at www.oaaortho.com or speak to our team at 610-973-6200.