Rachael Allen

Rachael Allen, Comprehensive Spine Center Patient

Ted Strader, Orthopaedic and Physical Therapy Patient

Patricia Langford, Orthopaedic and Physical Therapy Patient

“I had a ruptured lumbar disc that was causing excruciating pain. I couldn’t sit, stand or walk for really any period of time, I just laid on the couch in tears. I received injections that only worked for a short time. I ended up right back where I started – in pain.

“After my retirement, I decided to hike the Appalachian Trail. After a few years, I had made it 1,600 miles from Georgia to Connecticut. Last summer I decided to do the last 600 miles. My knee started bothering me and seemed to get worse every day.

“In September 2020, I went to see Dr. Andersen to have my knees evaluated. He assured me that my left knee, which he had replaced in 2009, was still doing great, but that my right knee now needed replacement.

When I was told it would be a minimum of four weeks before I could see the doctor again, that was the moment I looked for another practice.

I work in the medical industry and got several referrals to Cary Ortho Spine Center. I called and got in that week with the provider I wanted! Dr. Mathur was such a knowledgeable and wonderful doctor who really cares about his patients. He examined me and suggested a decompression, so I scheduled my surgery. Dr. Mathur took the time to explain the cause of my pain, why the injections may have worked for a time, the surgical procedure, risks and rewards. After surgery, it was so convenient to have my entire care team in one large group. It made coordinating my PT, massage, dry needling and additional pain management so convenient. Everyone worked together to get me back to doing the things I love. I am now 3.5 years out from surgery and I am beyond impressed with how great I feel. Cary Ortho was able to give me back my passion for riding horses and doing yoga. Additionally, I have been able to try and learn new things, like how to longboard!”

Soon, I knew I had to get off the trail, and by the time I got home, I could barely walk. I went to Dr. Szura, and he suggested we try non-invasive treatments first. Although they helped, they didn’t fix the problem. Just before Thanksgiving, I had arthroscopic knee surgery.
The next week I started physical therapy with Chris Dahm and David Little. I figured a couple of weeks and I would be good as new. But, at nearly 68-years-old, I don’t heal like I once did. I don’t know what I would have done without David and Chris. They tutored me through the process, and through their coaching, I have improved each week. They allowed me to push myself but preached patience to keep me from hurting myself again. They listened to my feedback and tailored my program to adapt to my progress. My wife has said that every time I come home from PT, I say it was my best session so far. Our overall goal is to get me back to those mountains, but they have helped me realize it’s going to take time. I finally have confidence that, if I stay on this path, I am going to get there.
I am so thankful to everyone at Cary Ortho, especially Dr. Szura, Chris and David. I feel the whole team is invested in my recovery. In addition to their excellent therapy processes, I have always felt incredibly safe while working out at their facility during this pandemic.”
I expressed concern about balance and mobility due to my muscular dystrophy, and he recommended physical therapy. Little did I know how much that would change me!

From the beginning, my physical therapist, Karleen Bartol asked in-depth questions and figured out where I was with ability, flexibility and strength. She set up a series of exercises that, in the space of two months, helped restore my confidence, gave me assurance, taught me how to cope with my mobility issues and still get around fairly well. She helped me with my rollator walker. We created a home version of what we did in therapy sessions, and I use that to help keep me as active as possible.

Everyone I worked with was amazing, compassionate, supportive and unflinching in their plan to help my legs get better. When I have my surgery later this year, I will be ready, and I owe my self-assurance to Karleen. She is amazing!”