Mark Hollenberger


 

Mark Hollenberger, Spine Surgery Patient

Procedure: Total Disc Replacement

 

What was your initial medical issue?

After being involved in a car accident, which resulted in whiplash, I was diagnosed with two herniated discs (C4-5 and C5-6) and spinal stenosis. I experienced neck pain (both dull and sharp), stiffness, headaches, reduced range of motion, and tingling in my fingers and arms.

What did this issue prevent you doing? 

It made driving difficult due to the reduced range of motion. I struggled with maintaining my active lifestyle, specifically being able to run long distances or play basketball. It also made sitting for any length of time very difficult – at my desk, traveling, watching television, etc. my symptoms would significantly worsen.

What made you decide to do something about your problem?

I could tell immediately after the accident that something was very wrong with my neck. I sought immediate treatment, which included physical therapy, massage therapy, epidural injection, and nerve ablation with minimal symptom improvement. My quality of life was no longer where I wanted it to be, so I began exploring surgical interventions.

Why did you choose Dr. Sinicropi?

He came highly recommended from a friend in the healthcare industry. I completed my own research and quickly recognized him as being one of the best neck surgeons in the Twin Cities. After meeting with him and his staff, I felt like I was in good hands. They took the time to fully understand what I was experiencing and worked closely with me to develop the best treatment plan for my symptoms.

What treatment/procedure did you have done?

After verifying my diagnosis with an MRI and discography, I decided to move forward and complete a total cervical disc replacement of both C4-C5 and C5-C6.

How did you feel after treatment?

Immediately after surgery I could tell that my symptoms were reduced.  I spent the first two weeks at home recovering and about a month after surgery, I had fewer activity restrictions and was almost back to normal. Three months post-surgery, my symptoms were greatly reduced and I was able to resume my lifestyle as it was prior to the accident.

What advice would you give other patients in a similar situation to you?

This type of injury is truly a life-changing event.  The main question you have to ask yourself is whether you can live your life with the discomfort you are in.  For me, it was clear that with Dr. Sinicropi’s disc replacement procedure my life would be dramatically improved.