SIH Brain & Spine Institute

Linda isn’t taking life for granted.

Neither should you. Don’t let pain get in the way of living life’s best moments. Contact SIH Brain & Spine Institute today and take your first step toward relief.

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Back to Life: Linda’s Journey Away From Pain

Linda has worked hard all her life. After many years in retail, much of the time standing on hard surfaces, she began to experience discomfort in her lower back. It gradually worsened into shooting pain down her left hip and leg. The discomfort was so intense that after a long day on the job Linda needed the assistance of a shopping cart to lean on just to walk out to her car.

When the pain became too much for her to bear, Linda was faced with the option to seek treatment or surgery at an out-of-state hospital. But her desire was to stay close to home and family where she had her support system, didn’t have to travel long distances back and forth, and knew her recovery would be made much easier.

After a consultation with her primary care provider, Linda learned about the comprehensive pain management and neurosurgical options available close to home at SIH Brain & Spine Institute. Once referred, Linda met Dr. Gordon Chu, MD, neurosurgeon, and his care team.

“Linda had tried different treatments, including physical therapy and steroid injections. None of them seemed to work. She came to me to see if she was a surgical candidate for back pain,” said Dr. Chu.

Linda was diagnosed with a condition called spondylolisthesis, which is a slippage of a vertebra in the spine that can cause back pain and compression of the nerves to the leg, among other symptoms. Once Linda’s condition was thoroughly evaluated and other non-surgical options were ruled out, Dr. Chu believed Linda would be a good candidate for a minimally invasive surgical approach. This technique would require only a small incision, result in less blood loss and destruction to the muscle allowing for a quicker recovery.

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Linda underwent successful minimally invasive spinal surgery in April of 2022. Of her surgical experience at SIH Memorial Hospital of Carbondale under the care of Dr. Chu and the SIH Brain & Spine Institute team, Linda said, “I couldn’t have asked for a better experience or better service than what I received from this team. They have truly gone above and beyond for me, and I’m just so grateful.”

After an initial stay at SIH Memorial Hospital of Carbondale, Linda continues her recovery and rehabilitation as an outpatient at SIH Rehabilitation, also in Carbondale. Dr. Chu said, “surgery is only the first step for these types of patients because it’s basically a lifetime routine. You’ve got to maintain your health, your muscles, and all of these things SIH can offer to help.”

Now that Linda has recovered, she’s back on her feet, back to exercise and back to work. But, more than that, she’s able to more thoroughly enjoy some of the things she couldn’t due to her back pain. Sure, Linda has hobbies – she enjoys needlepoint – but the real joy comes from spending time with her 10 (yes, ten!) great grandchildren, almost all of which live in or close to Carbondale. They love visiting local parks and with the pain no longer on Linda’s mind, she can turn her attention to more important things.

Linda’s birthday is in October, and she looks forward to a fall celebration at the park with her whole family. If your story sounds anything like Linda’s, why wait? Talk to your primary care provider or request more information using the link above. The best moments in life are lived pain free.


SIH Neurosciences

With our interdisciplinary team approach, our team works together to analyze your diagnostic information and medical history. Then, we'll create a plan to make sure you get the treatment you need.

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SIH Neurosurgery

Neurosurgery is a surgical specialty focusing on problems involving the head, spine and peripheral nerves. Whenever possible, our team will try to solve your issue without the need for surgery. 

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Spine Services

Whether you need surgery, pain management, or physical therapy to feel better, we offer the most comprehensive spine services in the area, all under one roof.

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