>  Cervical Disc Replacement
Helen Markatzi

I was a bank employee and in evenings and nights I worked at the restaurant I owned in Larnaka. I had all the responsibilities related to running a restaurant which at most times did not have a satisfactory amount of employees. As you may understand, I was sitting for half my day and constantly on my feet for the rest of the day with an overburdened schedule due to staff shortages. At the age of 35 I began to feel some discomfort in the left arm.

I felt numbness, my arm was as heavy as lead, I felt as if someone was jabbing me with needles and I had difficulty moving my arm. The frequency of these complaints was unforeseeable. Some days I felt normal and other days I had one of the symptoms or a combination of them. Initially this was happening occasionally, it then became frequent and more intense. Often I could not sleep at night and during the day even when I was not doing any manual labor I felt this discomfort. For the duration of the discomfort, my life was really stopped. My life had no quality anymore. Simply everyday movements such as stretching my arm to get something or lifting my arm were difficult. What should I mention first? When I had to pull the car door open or to close it, it felt like an achievement. I couldn’t even wash my hair and had to go to the hairdresser. Even when walking, the vibration bothered me.

I visited an orthopedic who recommended I do an electromyography which would record possible neurological loss. This specialized test showed that I actually had neurological loss and the neurologist advised me to visit a neurosurgeon not an orthopedic. After contacting various people with similar experiences, I heard the name of Dr Neophytos and I decided to visit Dr Neophytos Neophytou. His friendliness, directness, scientific training, professionalism and his certainty of the diagnosis, inspired us and won the confidence of both me and my husband who accompanied me to the doctor that day .After evaluating the findings of the neurographic tests he recommended I do an MRI of the neck and shoulder. Dr Neophytos initially tried conservative treatment, i.e. Physiotherapy, in an attempt to avoid possible surgery. Unfortunately my situation got worse and after 2 months I had MRI and neurographic tests again.

Surgery was scheduled which lasted almost 5 hours and two of my discs on two levels were removed and implants were inserted. When I woke up I felt severe pain which was treated however with strong painkillers. The very next day after surgery the pain was not so severe.  Dr Neophytos visited me in hospital and gave instructions to the physiotherapist to help me get up and walk. From the moment I got up recovery was spectacular almost unbelievable. I stayed In hospital for 3 nights.  The surgical incision was in the front of the neck. The stiches were removed 7 days later and now the incision is almost invisible. I slowly regained movement in my neck and my arm started to move normally. I started physiotherapies and got back to my normal routine after 2 months.

Today, 7 years later, I feel well. Dr Neophytos continues to monitor and evaluate my condition. Although I felt some fear before I underwent this operation, today I feel that operations like this are routine when performed by experienced  professionals like Dr Neophytos and if I ever need similar surgery again in other levels of the spine I do not have the slightest qualms or fear anymore.

I feel that I was and I am in good hands.