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Tonya's Back Pain Story

Jan 16, 2020

Every day for Tonya Nash was a nightmare. She had debilitating back pain; three discs had slipped during a workplace accident and were sitting on a nerve on her right-hand side. 

“It was so bad, I would need help getting out of bed. There were times my leg would give out and I’d fall.  I even hit my head in the bathroom and had to go to the emergency room.  Every day was draining and discouraging.”

The first few doctors Tonya saw said there was nothing wrong. But she knew differently. Her mother recommended the Detroit Medical Center (DMC) where she was referred to Dr. Mahmoud Sabbagh, a physiatrist and pain management specialist at DMC Rehabilitation Institute of Michigan (RIM).

When Dr. Sabbagh told her he thought she would be a good candidate for a Disc-FX Microdisectomy procedure; a minimally invasive surgery to repair her slipped discs, she said, “absolutely, let’s do it.”

Her incision was no bigger than her fingertip and she went home the same day. She says even walking to her car after surgery, she felt the pain subsiding. 

Following her May 2018 surgery, she did outpatient therapy at RIM to build her strength, core and balance. 

“It’s amazing, I no longer need a walker or cane.  I got married, and I was so excited to walk down the aisle without pain or help.”

Tonya says the experience at RIM has been wonderful.  When she sees even a stranger struggling with back issues, she tells them about RIM.

“If I can help others live their life to the fullest… then I’m happy to pass the number along.” 

Back and neck pain can be severe and disabling. The DMC’s Spine Program understands the burden of living in pain. Together, we'll work to find the source of your spinal-related pain and put you on the road to recovery.

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