Kristine Fazzi Had Almost Given Up
Thirty years of looking down at a computer screen had compressed the spinal discs in Kristine Fazzi’s neck. Her hands hurt. Her arms were going numb, and pain shot down her chest. Just lifting her head slightly caused excruciating pain. She had no balance, and the weakness in her legs had become debilitating. Her legs would unexpectedly give out.
“You reach a certain point that you start giving in to the pain. You stop doing the things you enjoy,” she explains. “I thought I would have to go on disability.”
After Fazzi’s chiropractor told her that without surgery she would be unable to walk within a year, she made an appointment with Dr. Anton Zaryanov, a fellowship-trained spine surgeon at the Center for Spine and Orthopedics in Thornton, CO. She showed him her chiropractor’s paperwork. Then, he asked her to walk a straight line, similar to a “roadside test. “ I failed,” she says. “I had no balance.” Dr. Zaryanov ordered an MRI, which showed that her cervical spine was worse than expected. “He told me that he might be able to keep me from getting worse by fusing four levels of my vertebrae, which would involve plates and screws. I freaked out, and told him, ‘I’m not so sure I want to do this’.”
Then, she reviewed Dr. Zaryanov’s background. “He had just finished his fellowship so I thought he must be up on the latest, most advanced treatment. And I trusted him. He and his medical assistant, Sam (Samantha Vue) listened to me to the point that I wasn’t afraid.” Fazzi decided to have the surgery, which Dr. Zaryanov performed in March of 2015. When she came out of the operating room, she squeezed her daughter’s hand. “My daughter was shocked,” says Fazzi. “Before surgery, I could not have done that. I had to have help opening a jar.” That night, Fazzi wanted to stretch. “It didn’t hurt anymore,” she recalls.
Though Fazzi prefers not to take medication, Dr. Zaryanov gave her a prescription, advising her “not to let the pain get out of control.”
‘I Got the Bonus’
By the time she had her first follow up visit, Fazzi had regained her balance. “I got the bonus. Even my hands were working,” she says. “I would recommend Dr. Zaryanov to anyone who needs this procedure. He knows his stuff. I want people to know there’s a good doctor out there.” Fazzi’s digestion also returned to normal, and she began losing weight. “All I expected was not to get worse, but on my third follow-up visit, Sam didn’t recognize me,” says Fazzi. “I felt awesome. My blood pressure was good. I even went to see a movie in a theater for the first time in two years. I can even dance with my boyfriend again.”
For five weeks, Fazzi wore a hard collar around her neck. After six weeks, she returned to her job at International Control Systems. Today, she’s very glad to have had the surgery. “I made him promise me that he would tell me everything that could happen, and he did,” she says.
“It’s very important that a doctor listen. He always listened and never discounted my knowledge. I wish he could be my primary care physician.”
FREE LECTURE ON BACK PAIN!
Featuring Dr. Anton Zaryanov
Wednesday, June 29 . 2-3 p.m.
The Villas at Sunny Acres (Rec Room)
2501 E. 104 th Avenue . Thornton, CO
To reserve your seat, email firstname.lastname@example.org.