Clara Wahlstedt

Clara Wahlstedt

Patient resumes everyday activities after successful neck & back surgery

Clara Wahlstedt started to experience pain in her back in the summer of 2023. The pain was causing her legs to shake and at times, she was unable to feel her arms and hands. She became concerned and ended up in the emergency room where an MRI showed severe compression of her spinal cord as a result of years of progressive arthritis. Because she had been to OrthoIllinois before for a double knee replacement, she didn’t think twice about asking if an OrthoIllinois physician could be the one to help her when she needed answers about her spine.

Dr. Zachary Goldstein saw her in the hospital the very next day and he determined that it was time for surgery in order to prevent permanent nerve damage.

“I was so happy with the results of my knee surgeries with Dr. Daniels, so I knew I was in good hands with Dr. Goldstein and his team,” she shared.

Describing the team at OrthoIllinois as family, Clara expressed her satisfaction with the continuous support she received. Dr. Goldstein always addressed her questions and made her feel comfortable with the treatment plan.

Clara had a total of three surgeries, including procedures on her neck and middle back, all within two weeks. She underwent anterior-posterior cervical spine surgery as well as posterior thoracic spine surgery.

“Dr. Goldstein provided exceptional care and had an excellent bedside manner which is very important to me,” Clara continues.

Reflecting on her surgeries, Clara highlighted the effectiveness of the procedures and how swift her recovery was. Within 24 hours, she noticed improvement, regaining feeling in her legs and hands.

Clara received physical therapy at the OrthoIllinois Woodstock location for about two and half weeks with an additional six weeks of therapy at her home.

“I believe the physical therapy was crucial to my recovery and I progressed rather quickly,” she said. “I had a goal of 197 steps during my time with the OrthoIllinois physical therapy team and I was successful in achieving that.”

After therapy, Clara continued to get back to her everyday tasks. Her ability to perform daily activities improved significantly – from walking unassisted to managing stairs, showering without support, and regaining independence in cooking and cleaning.

Now, Clara, with some support, is packing up her house as she prepares to sell it. While she has a team for the move, Clara acknowledges the progress she has made, emphasizing that before the surgeries, such tasks would have been impossible.

Her overall positive outlook and the newfound ability to engage in daily activities demonstrate the transformative impact that Dr. Goldstein and OrthoIllinois had on her life. Clara’s story stands as a testament to the expertise and compassionate care provided by OrthoIllinois in restoring mobility and improving the quality of life for their patients.