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Amanda's Spine Surgery Story

Jun 6, 2019

Spine Patient, Dr. Jeffery Reuben

amanda-russ-chefFor fifteen years, Amanda Russ has been working in the restaurant business. These days she runs and works as the chef at her restaurant, Pomodori, on Hilton Head Island. Amanda has also managed to find time to stay active. Last year, she found herself a niche with a local CrossFit gym. One day, while on her 53rd handstand pushup, something in her body snapped. She thought she had injured her shoulder.

After many months of pain, Amanda couldn’t lift her arm and went to an orthopedist. At 35-years-old, she discovered that she had shattered the C6-7 disc in her spine. “When I found out it was my spine I thought about how debilitating this could potentially be for me,” says Amanda. “I’m young and active and didn’t want to live a life with constant pain.”

Amanda decided to see Dr. Jeffery Reuben, spine specialist at Hilton Head Hospital, because of the work he had done on her father’s broken back and her mother’s neck the previous year. “Dr. Reuben was kind and gentle but confident in knowing what to do to fix me,” she says. They scheduled her surgery ten days out. “I couldn’t believe how bad the pain got in my neck in the time I was waiting for surgery,” says Amanda. “I have a very high tolerance for pain but in the end I was so exhausted from fighting it.”

amanda-russ-runningAfter surgery, where Dr. Reuben removed shattered pieces of vertebrae from her spinal cord, Amanda woke up pain free. “I woke up feeling the best I have in my whole life,” she says. “The pain was gone.” Amanda was able to get back to work within a month and has returned to all her physical activities. “It’s a difficult dance to learn to listen to your body,” she says. “Your whole life depends on being able to use your body.”

“I’m very grateful to Dr. Reuben and his whole staff,” says Amanda. “They are so loving and make you feel safe. I have never felt so cared for in my life.”