OAA Patient Ambassador: Meet Bob

June 01, 2015

Meet Bob – OAA’s June Patient Ambassador and local business owner. Bob owns Bob’s Wildlife Taxidermy in Orefield, and he attributes his back pain issues to working harder rather than smarter for most of his life.  “My back pain issues were a product of my impatience – never willing to wait for help lifting and moving heavy items.” Prior to surgery, Bob suffered from severe back pain that kept him from functioning and enjoying life in a normal matter. His back pain was so severe that it kept him awake at night, made his job more difficult, and also kept him from enjoying the outdoors and his hobbies of hunting and fishing.

Photo of Bob

Knowing that he needed surgery in order to enjoy his life again, Bob sought out the expert care of Dr. James Weis of OAA’s Spine Center of Excellence. “Several years ago another outstanding OAA surgeon replaced my knee, and I had great results. Being familiar with the workings of OAA and its user-friendly practice, it was pretty much a no-brainer for me to seek out Dr. Weis for his opinion.” Bob also knew he was in good hands after talking to other people that know the reputation of Dr. Weis. “I have my own business and I know a lot of people. Many of them expressed their knowledge of Dr. Weis, his surgical skills, and his great reputation,” says Bob.

Dr. James C. Weis of OAA’s Spine Center of Excellence has been a board certified surgeon for 20 years.  After completing his orthopaedic residency, which included extensive work in spinal surgery, Dr. Weis subspecialized in spinal surgery and completed a spine surgical fellowship in Baltimore, Maryland. For the past 19 years, Dr. Weis has been in the Lehigh Valley performing surgery exclusively on the spine. At this time, Dr. Weis has performed approximately 6,000 spinal surgeries.  
Dr. Weis diagnosed Bob with a degenerative and collapsed disc with lumbar spinal stenosis. To alleviate Bob’s back pain, Dr. Weis performed a surgery known as laminectomy and interbody fusion.  “This is a common condition for me to treat and can cause severe back and leg pain. If those symptoms are severe and refractory to a full and adequate course of conservative treatment - then surgery is a consideration.   Prior to considering surgery, the patient should undergo conservative treatment measures such as physical therapy, chiropractic care, and possibly injections.”

When asked about his recovery, Bob stated, “aside from the normal incision pain, my recovery was a cake walk. When you feel what it’s like to have 95% of your pain gone, it was like WOW!” Bob was so happy that the night of surgery a nurse came into his room and found him in tears. When asked what was wrong, he said “nothing, I am just so happy.” Bob was back to working light duty at his business two weeks after surgery. Now almost 4 months after surgery, he feels great and is getting stronger every day.  Dr. Weis usually tells his patients that recovery for a surgery like this takes anywhere from 6 to 12 weeks. “Bob had a very speedy recovery, mostly because of his physical capabilities and determination to get back to functioning as soon as possible.  I love to take care of patients like Bob that are determined to get back to functioning as soon as possible. Spinal surgery really is a partnership between me and my patient. I need to do my part and then they need to do their part.  For Bob, the latter was not a question. Really, neither was it a question for my part!”

“What I enjoy most about my job is using my hands and my experience to decrease pain and restore function in patients,” says Dr. Weis. He also enjoys OAA because “I enjoy working with my partners.” “All are top-quality surgeons that are passionate about their work.” For Bob, Dr. Weis was able to do what he enjoys most, and that was decrease pain and restore function. “OAA Orthopaedic Specialists and Dr. James Weis are sure to stay busy. I have referred several customers to him because they, as well as I, are all amazed by my results.”