Dr. Michael Mayers’s Story
“A week after surgery, I was back in my office.”
Diagnosis: Herniated Disc, Cervical Spine
Dentist Dr. Michael Mayers woke up one summer morning with excruciating pain in his left arm. “It took me completely by surprise. I had gone to bed the night before and everything was normal. I woke up feeling like there was acid in my arm. My kids told my wife that I was saying all sorts of ‘ bad words ’.” After a few days, the intense pain subsided and there was a tingling sensation in his arm along with weakness.
Dr. Mayers contacted his father, an MD specializing in internal medicine in New York, and his uncle who is an orthopedic surgeon and they both recommended that he see Dr. Jack Stern. An MRI report showed that Dr. Mayers had a herniated disc. “I have no idea how this herniated disc occurred, as I wasn’t in an accident or did something strenuous,” he says. A decision was made by Dr. Stern to try non-surgical solutions such as medications and physical therapy and after close to 2 months the pain diminished. Dr. Stern “kept tabs” on Dr. Mayers throughout this period and when the weakness and tingling persisted and his upper arm began to atrophy, he insisted that Dr. Mayers come in to speak to him and Dr. Neubardt about surgery.
“As a dentist, I understood the procedures Drs. Stern and Neubardt would utilize in my surgery which didn’t bother me at all. It was the anesthesia that made me fearful, as I’d never had it administered to me before.” However, the staff at White Plains Hospital were “wonderful, high-quality experts” who allayed his fears of the anesthesia experience. His uncle, the orthopedic surgeon, actually watched the surgery and told Dr. Mayers afterwards that he was impressed with the elegant, evolved techniques used by Drs. Stern and Neubardt. In the recovery room, Dr. Mayers said he woke up fully alert and when the recovery room nurse offered him a hospital room to stay in overnight, he declined because he felt ready to go home. Which he did. The next night, Dr. Mayers attended a cocktail party. “I didn’t stay long, but I was happy to feel up to socializing so quickly after surgery!”
A week later, after just 1 physical therapy session, Dr. Mayers felt he was ready to return to work. He was back in the office, attending to his patients, and says, “It’s remarkable what is possible today. It was unfortunate that I had this situation, but in the end, it worked out really well.”