TARLOV CYST SURGICAL TREATMENT
“All I can say is “thank you, thank you, thank you Dr F and staff!” After nearly 7 months of severe Tarlov Cyst pain, and an ineffective Fibrin Glue Injection at Johns Hopkins, I am up and walking 30-45 minutes a day with no tailbone pain/pressure, no numb legs, and no sciatic nerve pain. On May 11, 2012 I felt like I met the miracle worker! Dr F was on time, very cordial and immediately looked at my MRIs and noticed not just the 1 Tarlov Cyst I was told I had by other doctors and surgeons, but 3 Tarlov cysts. After performing some in-office tests and asking a series of questions he concluded the cysts were definitely the symptoms of pain and recommended and explained the Tarlov cyst treatment procedures and recovery restrictions. Liking Dr F immediately, and feeing 100% confident he is THE BEST in this field, I went home and consulted with my husband and family, and called to schedule surgery the next day. Everyone on his staff was extremely professional and very kind. His surgery coordinator Laura could not have been any more helpful and nicer. Dr. Feigenbaum and his staff actually started my surgery almost an hour early. They explained everything crystal-clear to everyone with me, and made sure that not only I, but also my mother, had no questions and eased any anxiery or fears we may have had pre-surgery. My recovery was much easier than I was expecting. The staff at Pine Creek were fabulous and attended to all of my needs – most of which were pain med requests. I was expecting to want/need heavy pain relievers every four hours to be comfortable. However, the pain was much more manageable and was different than my pain before surgery. I had no pain/pressure in the tailbone, no numbness in my legs/feet and no lower back pain or sciatic nerve pain. The main pain I felt was near the incision site, which was to be expected. I was up and walking the 2nd day after surgery, and was released on Friday. I am obeying post-op surgery recommendations to a T and so far this has been much easier than I expected. I would tell anyone I know who is going through any TC pain to not even question Dr. Feigenbaum’s recommendations. He is definitely the best in this field, and a life-saver who has given me my life back. So very very worth it! I am walking 30-45 minutes a day, able to sit 45-60 minutes with no tailbone pain (more muscle back pain due to inactivity for 7 months), and I can feel my calves and feet again! I have not taken any pain medication since August 25, 2012 (ten days after surgery). Occasionally at night I take 2 Advil, but more for sore muscle pain from slowly getting back into more movement that my body was deprived of for so long prior to surgery.”
TARLOV CYST SURGERY
“ I had Tarlov Cyst surgery last Nov 6th, 2012. As I pass this one year “anniversary”, I would like to share my experiences in hopes of helping others. By the time I had the surgery I had been through many doctors and tests, procedures and wrong diagnoses for my increasing and debilitating pain. When a radiology report revealed a Tarlov Cyst and suggested follow up, my husband googled it and though the symptoms fit like a glove, the pain management Dr( a spine specialist) refused to believe it. I have since found this ignorance common and frightening. I sent my info. to Hopkins and the diagnosis was confirmed. I had the fibrin glue treatment there in July 2012 and it actually increased my symptoms. I went downhill till my surgery with Dr Feigenbaum.
Immediately after the surgery, when first allowed up, I could finally put one foot in front of the other to walk. (I had been only hobbling side ways before.) I actually had tears of joy. However a long road still was ahead. Improvement for the severe nerve damage the cyst incurred is a painstakingly slow and uneven journey. However Dr Feigenbaum prepared me and gave me not only his amazing skill and compassion, but the gift of hope. He warned me about the upcoming months(3-6, although mine continued an extra month!), when I would be able to do more but it would hurt more…as advertised! By January 2013, I realized I could walk close to a half mile. Around month 8, the pain began to ebb more and I started to realize how much more I could do. The “sharp rocks” feeling when I sat, the constant stinging and pain in the thighs, hips and private areas faded. Pain began to centralize at the sacral site. Progress was still uneven, but very noticeable. At 12 months, while still hoping for further progress, I can walk about a mile at one time and sit for longer periods. I am down to 1-2 50 mg Tramadol a day for pain, with a very occasional Tylenol thrown in. I also have been using acupuncture with a trained medical doctor which has provided temporary respites from the pain.
I wish I could spread the word to every Tarlov sufferer about Dr Feigenbaum and his wonderful, compassionate and always helpful staff. Help is there. I thank him in my heart and mind every single day and with each step I take.”
MENINGEAL PT FROM CA
“My son was 12 years old (2012) when we discovered he had a large meningeal diverticulum at his sacral spine. The MRI showed that it extended from L1 to almost the bottom of his sacrum. The cyst was compressing his sacral nerve roots and had already eroded some of his bone.
Reta Hiers from the Tarlov Cyst Foundation led us to Dr. Feigenbaum. My son had surgery 16 months after diagnosis. Being out of state, it took some planning and we had to ask for authorization from our insurance. We were apprehensive to have this major surgery done with a doctor we never met in person, however we trusted Reta. We had a phone consultation with the doctor in which he asked to speak to our son as well. Afterwards we felt that it was in our son’s best interest to have the surgery done before any other damage would occur.
Our experience with Dr. Feigenbaum and his staff was excellent. This was a very delicate surgery and Dr. Feigenbaum performed it with expertise and precision. Our stay at Medical City Hospital and the care we received there was very good.
It is now 6 months post-op. My son is experiencing some nerve sensations such as numbness, tingling, burning, etc. We were told these are normal feelings that will subside over time. We trust that he will continue to improve as time goes on.
Overall our experience with this surgeon has been very positive and we would highly recommend him to anyone who has a Tarlov cyst or meningeal diverticulum. We are truly grateful to Reta from the Tarlov Cyst Foundation for leading us in the right direction and to Dr. Feigenbaum and his staff for helping our son.
“I had been in pain management for almost ten years when I discovered that I had Tarlov Cysts. I had gone to many spine specialists who recommended injections, physical therapy, hydrotherapy, strength training, a TENS unit and even a back brace. Some questioned whether I was really in pain. Because the pain I was describing didn’t fit with where they said my pain SHOULD be, I was made to feel as if I was dreaming up symptoms. After finding out about the cysts, I asked my pain management/spine doctor if he had known about the cysts before. He told me that he did know about them, but since they were believed to be totally benign that he had chosen not to tell me about them.
I had quit going to family gatherings and spent much of my time in bed because that was the only place I could get at least a measure of relief.
A totally unrelated emergency situation caused me to be referred to a neurologist. After addressing the other problem, which was temporary, he did a total neurological workup in which he found that I had no reflexes in my legs. After viewing my latest MRI, he said that he had found the source of my sacral pain and likely the absence of reflexes. Then he showed me three large cysts. He recommended that I see a spine surgeon. I made an appointment with the spine surgeon who had been treating patients from my pain management clinic. He told me that Tarlov Cysts were benign anomalies of the spine and that they didn’t cause pain, but that if I wanted to pursue the matter further, there was a neurosurgeon in Dallas who had founded an institute dealing with Tarlov cysts. I called and made an appointment, and from that first appointment it was only about three months until my surgery.
I had bowel and bladder problems that I had endured for years without knowing they were directly connected to the location of the cysts on my spine. At one year out from my surgery, these have almost completely abated and the reflexes in my legs are now completely normal.
After the surgery, I had to find a new pain management clinic since my other pain doctor had moved out of the area. The new one stated that he was sure I had wasted my money on the surgery since Tarlov cysts don’t cause pain and implied that I was just seeking drugs. Although I now have to travel for over an hour to get to his office, I found a doctor who was familiar with Tarlov cysts, and who will work with me until I no longer need narcotic pain medication.
Although I am still in pain management, I am taking less than half the pain killers than I was before the surgery, and I am having more and more pain-free days. I am getting out more and have begun new projects that would have been impossible to complete before I had the surgery.
Dr. Feigenbaum and his staff have been extremely kind, considerate and professional, and the hospital experience was one of the best I have ever had.
I would recommend that if you are diagnosed with Tarlov cysts you should seek the services of Dr. Feigenbaum and his staff.
I am writing this letter to acknowledge the outstanding professional care that I received from each member during my stay at Pine Creek Medical Center from May 19, 2015 to May 22, 2015. Upon entering the facility on the morning of my operation, I was well taken care of and respectfully treated by each person – from the chaplain at the main desk and the intake person to the nurses and doctors who were involved in my procedure and care. Because of the professional and competent demeanor of all staff members, I was able to overcome my anxious feelings while at the same time increase my confidence that all would go well. During recovery, I could not have been treated any better. Each nurse clearly understood all aspects of my procedures, as well as the expectations and medical protocol that were to be followed. They executed these steps adeptly and skillfully. Each nurse catered to my every need and not once, hesitated to go above and beyond the call of duty. The specialists (i.e., respiratory therapists, physical therapist) provided me with important information and patiently answered all of my questions. They along with the nursing administrator checked on me to ensure that I was progressing and that I was receiving adequate care. Even the food service personnel took into consideration my requests, acknowledging the guidelines of the interstitial diet I was choosing to follow and preparing each meal according to my instructions. Each meal was nicely presented and tasted delicious. Finally, I found Dr. Feigenbaum and his nurse, Katie, the accompanying physicians, Dr. Patel (anesthesiologist) and the hospital’s intern, to be excellent, highly skilled, and extremely competent in their fields. I was also impressed by their taking time out to ensure my well-being and to address any concerns that I had.
I would not hesitate to recommend Pine Creek Medical Center to any individual considering undergoing the medical procedures for which the facility specializes. I truly believe that I found Pine Creek Medical Center to be an outstanding medical facility because of its excellent staff and its caring practices. It is truly a facility that should stand as a model to be followed. Thank you.