Joe’s Spinal Fusion Success Story

“I was in so much pain, and the level of medication I was on made it hard to do my job. At that point, I was faced with either taking administrative leave or thinking about early retirement.”

The value of a second opinion

Years of back pain left Joe on heavy medication, a treatment that only addressed the symptoms and didn’t get to the actual issue. The pills negatively impacted his day-to-day life—on top of that, constant falls were making matters worse. Joe’s primary care physician through his insurance plan referred him to an orthopedic neurosurgeon.

“At that time, the orthopedic surgeon recommended a five-level spinal fusion operation. My range of motion would be very limited with that kind of procedure, and the cost was pretty prohibitive.”

For Joe and his wife, early retirement looked like the best option. The move would cut his earnings but also free him from the agony he felt when moving at work. Not wanting to see him go, Joe’s HR team suggested he check out Carrum Health. Thankfully, a second opinion from a highly trained Carrum network spine specialist suggested a much less invasive outpatient procedure that cost significantly less. They also identified that an otherwise overlooked neck injury was to blame for his falls.

“The cost of the spinal fusion would have been in the $60,000 range, and my part was going to be $35,000 to $40,000…and that was if there were no complications. At my age. I didn’t want to have to face that going into retirement, so I sent a few emails to our HR folks, and they recommended I log in to the Carrum Health website.”

Joe took the Carrum route and couldn’t be happier. Today, he no longer needs a cane to walk and is off the medication he relied on for years. He’s back at the job he loves, pain-free, with no plans to retire anytime soon.

“I’m ecstatic and looking forward to putting in four or five more years with the company. I can hold off retirement and go back to our original plans. I’m very grateful. It’s definitely been the most beneficial outcome I could have had.”

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