Thank Your Doctor: Help Barrow Save More Lives
Steve Hierath has a high tolerance for pain. That’s why he insisted on an MRI after physical therapy did little to relieve debilitating back pain he experienced after a fall.
“I was in so much pain I could barely walk or work, but I didn’t expect what happened next,” he says.
The MRI revealed a surprise: Steve had a herniated, calcified disc in his lumbar spine, the part of the lower back that controls communication between the brain and the legs. He needed to see a neurosurgeon as soon as possible. He was referred to Barrow Neurological Institute and Juan Uribe, MD, chief of spinal disorders.
Dr. Uribe told Steve the disc was not damaged in his recent fall, it likely happened years ago. Without surgery, he could end up in a wheelchair or worse.
When operating on the spine, neurosurgeons sometimes get an assist from a thoracic surgeon because internal organs may be affected by the surgery. Dr. Uribe, known for his surgical skill and precision, didn’t need that assistance. This minimally invasive surgery with an approach from the side took nine hours. While Steve’s recovery took several months, he is back to normal activities.
“I’ve thanked Dr. Uribe more than once,” Steve says. “He’s awesome.”
Doctors’ Day is March 30, when we celebrate our doctors’ hard work in helping and healing us. Join Steve on this special day and honor the world-class doctors saving lives at Barrow, please send a personal message of gratitude to your doctor to thank them for the care they gave to you or a loved one. Share your message here and Barrow Neurological Foundation will personally deliver your message to your care team. Click here to make a tax-deductible donation in honor of a Barrow doctor and Doctors’ Day.