Have you ever faced a situation where you were told you couldn’t do something and lost all hope? Jessica Spaulding can relate.
In 2011, she was involved in a motor vehicle accident that set her back in life. Jessica had a 1-year-old daughter and had just started a new job when the accident happened. She was on her way to pick up her daughter from her mother’s home when she was in a head-on collision. She was told she would have a long road to recovery and wouldn’t walk again. Her ankle was shattered, and her fibula was fractured.
It was a devastating blow, and Jessica didn’t know how she would care for her daughter, drive to work or live life normally.
She decided to seek a second opinion with our ministry. She met with Khase Wilkinson, DPM, one of our podiatrist who specializes in reconstructive foot and ankle surgery. He ended up performing a few surgeries to help repair and stabilize Jessica’s foot and ankle.
“We eventually decided to fuse the area to try and limit the pain that I was experiencing,” Jessica shares. “There was a lot of damage in the foot and ankle area that affected me all the way up to my knee. He did the surgery with confidence and gave me the hope I needed.”
From there, Dr. Wilkinson wanted to focus on managing Jessica’s pain, so he referred her to Rashid Khalil, MD, one of our pain management doctors. Dr. Khalil diagnosed her with causalgia, or complex regional pain syndrome type II.
After working with Jessica, Dr. Khalil worked with Xin S. Xin, DO, one of our neurosurgeons, to better understand if Jessica was the right fit for a neurostimulator. This is a permanent device surgically implanted to manage pain.
Despite Jessica’s foot and ankle having healed, she was still experiencing significant pain.
“Most people have pain after any kind of injury, and this is normal and healthy,” Dr. Xin explains. “However certain patients develop chronic pain due to underlying nerve damage despite healing of the original injury. A dorsal root ganglion stimulator is a newer technology, and only recently in 2017 was shown to be far superior to the well-known spinal cord stimulator for these painful syndromes.”
He continues, “the stimulator is placed using X-ray guidance without open surgery using a minimally invasive technique directly adjacent to the nerve to quiet down the abnormal painful nerve firing.”
Ever since her implant surgery, life for Jessica has improved drastically.
“I used to have to use a buggy in the grocery stores, or have my groceries delivered, and I had a housekeeper,” Jessica shares. “But that’s all changed now, I’m able to do things like grocery shop, or take my daughter to school and on walks. I’m able to have a normal life.”
And it’s not just the treatment that has made a difference for Jessica.
“To have this complex treatment within the city that I live in is so convenient,” she adds. “It eliminates barriers that could come into place when you have various specialists that play a part in your treatment plan. They worked together and were all on the same page with the same overall goal of helping me be in less pain and providing me with quality care.”