Revolutionizing Spine Care…Changing Lives

Patient of the Month: Daniel Rubio is in for the Long Haul

Daniel Rubio describes himself as “just a man trying to make an honest living to take care of my family without agony and back pain.” However, Daniel’s lower back pain was making his job as a truck driver difficult.  He was no longer able to make the long hauls and had to change to local deliveries so that he could get out of the truck frequently and walk. He dealt with back pain for more than a year before seeking treatment from a physician. After a year of treatment, Daniel didn’t feel any better.  He met with the physician one last time to discuss the possibility of an artificial disc replacement (ADR).  Daniel was disappointed to learn that this office did not perform ADRs. “I left that office and drove straight over to Texas Back Institute – the same day.”

What Daniel didn’t know before his visit to Texas Back Institute is that TBI is a global leader in the spine community and TBI surgeons preformed the first ADR in the United States in 2000.  “I felt the difference when I walked into the lobby,” Daniel said. “The office was so calm, much more quiet and welcoming.”

Daniel’s appointment was with Dr. Richard Guyer, one of the founding partners of TBI. Dr. Guyer has performed over 500 artificial disc replacements.  He met with Daniel, reviewed his medical records and after performing a through physical exam, Dr. Guyer determined that Daniel was an excellent candidate for ADR. “Daniel was very motivated to get well and after reviewing all his studies, I felt that he was an ideal candidate for a lumbar disc replacement.”  Despite having completed a year of conservative treatment, Daniel’s insurance did not immediately approve his surgery. Ursula Coomer, supervisor for TBI’s Center for Disc Replacement, is also a TBI insurance specialist. “Every insurance policy is different,” Ursula said. “Our goal is help the each patient navigate the insurance process. We submit the request and work with the patient and their insurance company for approval.” Ursula and her team was able to secure the approval and Daniel had surgery in March of 2012.


After surgery, Dr. Guyer ordered physical therapy. Daniel chose TBI’s therapy department.  “I knew that TBI’s therapy group would know just a little more about strengthening my back than other therapy groups”.  Ngozi Akotaobi, PT, joined Daniel’s care team immediately. “We worked on Daniel’s core strengthening and stability as well as over all body mechanics.  He worked very hard and came to every appointment.  He was consistent with his therapy and had a great outcome,” said Ngozi.

Today, Daniel is still driving his truck and making some longer hauls. “I have no back pain and I tell everyone that Dr. Richard Guyer is my doctor and this is my hospital.  I tell everyone that has back problems to come see him.”

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