As the wife of a Nashville physician, Julia Behar, knew there was something terribly wrong with her back and she needed medical attention.
“I was 52 and felt like I was 82,” she said. “I could barely get out of bed in the morning and was on constant narcotic pain medication.”
As her situation became more and more untenable, she and her husband began looking for a spine specialist who might help relieve this constant, tormenting back pain. They found one in Plano, Texas at Texas Back Institute and he was an expert in treating the source of Julia’s misery.
Artificial Disc Replacement Pioneer: Dr. Jack Zigler
As it worked out, Julia was to be examined and treated by one of the three spine surgeons who pioneered the artificial disc replacement procedure. The specialist who treated her, Dr. Jack Zigler and his two colleagues, Dr. Scott Blumenthal and Dr. Richard Guyer, were the three men who were the first U.S. doctors to perform this ground-breaking operation more than 15 years ago.
Needless to say, Julia was in good hands.
“Julia had a degenerative vertebrae and this made her entire spinal column weaker,” Dr. Zigler noted. “It also caused the near-constant pain she was experiencing. Our challenge was to stabilize the damaged disc and the entire spinal column, while allowing this active young woman to have flexibility of movement.”
“She was an excellent candidate for the artificial disc replacement procedure and we completed the operation on January 23, 2015.”
“My Prayers Were Answered”
“I researched the possible procedures and realized one option was the fusion procedure,” she noted. “The two main reasons I chose artificial disc replacement over fusion were greater mobility but also I wanted to be done with medical appts and managing back pain. Fusion leads to an increased risk of degeneration at higher levels in the spine. That was HUGE to me. I wanted to get back to living a full life.”
“It’s been about a year since my ADR surgery and there is no doubt this has changed my life,” she said. My surgery was in January and it took until probably April for me to begin believing the pain might actually leave! It was hard to fathom that I would no longer be in constant pain and in need of regular narcotic pain medication.”
“Pain had ruled my life for more than three years and my world had shrunk dramatically,” she explained. “I felt so old and limited physically, that life felt very dark. Dr. Zigler was my hope and my prayers were answered.”
How’s Julia Doing Now?
Julia Behar has a new life because of this artificial disc replacement procedure.
“I have resumed so much of what I used to do and only occasionally take Tylenol,” she said in a recent interview. “I work out almost every day, hike, bike and do yoga. I just signed up for my first half-marathon – walking– but found I needed a little more recovery time. I plan on trying next year!”
I can also sit all day when I need to work and before the procedure I couldn’t even sit for a dinner out,” she said. “I’m back to working at two part-time jobs which I love, volunteering regularly and traveling extensively. I had put aside all of this before my surgery. I feel young again!”
“I can never adequately thank Dr. Zigler and all of the kind staff at Texas Back Institute for what they did for me,” she said.
“All I can do is let my friends and anyone who reads this interview know what a difference this has made for me and spread the word so that someone else can find the miracle that I did.”
If you are experiencing back pain, you deserve to get an expert opinion and treatment. Contact us for an appointment with Dr. Zigler or any of the spine specialists at Texas Back Institute.