At a dinner party to celebrate her three-month-old daughter’s baptism with family and friends in Texas, Maryam Houston felt pain in her back. Retreating to a bedroom to care for her child, she lost feeling and control of her legs. Fortunately, she got her daughter safely onto a bed before she fell to the floor and was taken to the emergency room. At the age of 24, Maryam couldn’t imagine this incident would be the precursor for a total disc replacement (TDR) surgery a little over a year later.
Returning to her home in Utah, Maryam sought help and spent five months in physical therapy before her first doctor ordered an MRI, not believing someone so young could have a ruptured disc. But there it was on the scan, a ruptured L4/L5 disc. Maryam then became frustrated with the options presented to her and remembers, “I never felt these doctors listened to me. The back surgeon told me he didn’t ‘believe in the technology’ of artificial disc replacement and recommended a fusion.”
Familiar with Texas Back Institute, Maryam took it upon herself to get online and research her diagnosis and total disc replacement. She decided it was time to go home once more and receive an expert opinion from Dr. Jack Zigler. Despite the therapy and medical pain management, Dr. Zigler confirmed surgery was needed and she was a candidate for total disc replacement.
Following the surgery, Maryam immediately recognized results. “I was amazed at how quickly it went! When I asked Dr. Zigler if my leg pain was gone for good or because of the morphine, he said if he did his job correctly it is gone for good. I told him it was like three Christmases bundled into one. They released me after one night.”
Since Maryam had surgery in 2008, she has resumed a normal life. She has given birth to another child, run 5K races, snowboarded, and enjoyed other activities and, she adds, “all of the day-to-day stuff I do as a mother of two young children!”
Maryam and her family.
Maryam with her daughter Emma Grace
Maryam with her son, Sawyer.
Finally hitting the slopes.