At first, Daniel Mazan simply could not lift his right foot. His primary care physician suggested physical therapy, which didn’t help. Then things started to go numb. Mazan lost most of the strength and function on the right side of his body. One day before his 29th birthday, he was forced to take a leave of absence from his job as a general manager for a lease-to-own furniture center. Even worse, he was no longer able to play with his 6-year-old daughter, Kaylee.
Mazan wasn’t in pain, but he could barely move. Whatever was happening was ruining his life. And he was determined to find a solution.
A nerve conduction test and MRI at MedStar Franklin Square Medical Center confirmed that a herniated disc was putting pressure on his spine and nerves. It was clear that surgery was needed right away. Every day the procedure was delayed would increase his risk of becoming permanently paralyzed. Mazan scheduled an appointment with Hatem Abdo, MD, at MedStar Neurosurgical Associates, for the following Tuesday. One day later, he was in the operating room.
“I couldn’t be more thankful to Dr. Abdo,” says Mazan, who was back on his feet, literally, within 24 hours of surgery. “My situation was urgent and they worked quickly and moved some things around to get me into the operating room immediately.”
When a herniated disc compresses on a patient’s spinal cord and impacts normal function and sensations, it must be removed. While it’s not common for a person who is young, active and in relatively good health to be diagnosed with such a condition, people like Mazan, who do a lot of heavy lifting on a regular basis, are at greater risk. As symptoms progress, so does the likeliness of other complications and a life-altering impact.
“Anytime you are experiencing stiffness, numbness or weakness in your arms and legs, it sends up a red flag that something really serious could be happening,” notes Dr. Abdo, who is also a Baltimore magazine Top Doc. “Had Daniel waited another week or two to seek treatment, his condition could have been irreversible. He may have ended up in a wheelchair for the rest of his life. He was lucky.”
Two months after surgery, Mazan returned to work and to the community playground in Rosedale with Kaylee. Although he still experiences occasional bouts of numbness or imbalance, he considers himself 98 percent healed, and 100 percent happy.
“I can do everything now that I could do before,” he says. “Dr. Abdo made me feel like he genuinely cared about me and wanted me to get better. And that’s a big part of the reason why I am where I am today.”
To schedule an appointment, please call 410-391-6904.
MedStar Franklin Square Medical Center
Center for Neurosurgery
9000 Franklin Square Drive
Rosedale, MD 21237
9103 Franklin Square Drive
Rosedale, MD 21237