Pre-Op: Case 1
• 36 year old female, 4’9″, was born in India and raised in Kuwait. She moved to the U.S. in 1997
• Diagnosed with polio in Kuwait as a child, which caused paralysis in her right leg. She was also diagnosis with scoliosis. Specialist didn’t recommend surgery
• While in Florida, she also met with other spine specialist and didn’t get any treatment
• In the Fall of 2009, she met Dr. Cronen and had her spine surgery in 2009
Post-Op: Case 1
• 2 years post-op
• She is a busy mom caring for her 2 year old and is a full-time CPA
From the Patient
Hi! My name is Lizette. I was born in India, raised in Kuwait, and move to the U.S in 1997. I had polio as a child which caused paralysis in my right leg and muscle weakness all over my body. I have been wearing a KAFO (leg brace) since, which helps me walk. I was also diagnosed with Scoliosis when I was very little. I can’t remember how old I was but was never treated for it. I saw a spine specialist, in Kuwait where I grew up, when I was about 20 years old. He told me that he didn’t recommend surgery because my back only hurt occasionally and I didn’t look like I had scoliosis. That was the extent that I went with seeing a doctor about my back.
I lived with Scoliosis as it got worse and so did the pain. It wasn’t until 2009 that I decided to see a doctor because the pain became unbearable. I couldn’t sit, stand, walk, or lie down without hurting. I asked my boyfriend to find out where his Boss had had back surgery. I knew his Boss took excellent care of himself and was confident that he would only go to the best Doctors. I was right!
I met Dr. Cronen who took his time explaining the condition of my back and how important it was for me to have surgery answering all my questions and addressing all my concerns. He also explained to me the risks that were involved with Spinal fusion surgery. After hearing of the risks I freaked out and said to Dr. Cronen, “I cannot have this surgery … I have a 2 year Old!” I was afraid of becoming a paraplegic and never being able to walk again. This would mean not being able to play with my son or being able to raise him like I wanted to. Dr. Cronen was very understanding. He said that I didn’t need to give him an answer right now and should think about it. I’m glad I did because it is a decision that I made that I will never regret!
I had my surgery on December 2nd, 2009. The surgery was close to 12 hours long. I was in the ICU for a few days. I remember feeling down in the dumps one morning and Dr. Cronen stopped by to visit. He asked me how I was doing and I started balling my eyes out. I don’t think I made very much sense but Dr. Cronen was very understanding and comforting. He told me that I would feel a lot better when I started rehab. Immediately after, I was in rehab at University Community Hospital and was doing great. Dr. Cronen and his assistant Josh would come by to see me. It was really nice to see them. This really helped lift my spirits while in the hospital.
I was eager to get home for Christmas and fortunately I made it out of the hospital just in time to spend Christmas with my family. When I got home I saw my back for the first time and thought WOW!!!! That can’t be my back! I had a waist line!!! Before my surgery I had no waist line and a hump on my back from the severe curves. I would find ways to hide the hump by growing my hair really long or carrying a big enough purse and wearing bigger clothing to hide the bulge on my waist. I remember I would look at my back in the mirror and would always say to myself, “if I could only cut off this big hump on my back I would look normal.” But I knew that was not possible.
I saw an orthopedic doctor before I met Dr. Cronen who told me that I would have to go to a big city like New York, Chicago, or Los Angeles to find a Spine Surgeon who would perform the surgery I needed to correct the Scoliosis in my back. Little did I know about Dr. Cronen.
My life has never been the same since my surgery. I have zero pain and a feminine figure and am not disfigured!! People at work who have known me for a few years have told me that I look great and ask what I’ve done. I tell them about how my back surgery turned my life around. I now walk with a confidence I never had before. It feels great being pain free. Today I don’t have to grow my hair out to cover the hump on my back but long enough to show off my waist. I also like carrying small purses. I make sure to let as many people know about Dr. Cronen because just like me there could be more people out there who need help with Scoliosis and may not know that there is an awesome surgeon in town who can help them.
I am ever so grateful to Dr. Cronen who has amazing talent. He knows his stuff and makes a remarkable difference in people’s lives. He is the kind of doctor we need more of because he doesn’t stop at Doctor. He is personable and genuinely cares about his patients. He goes above and beyond to make sure that his patients feel important and well taken care of. I appreciate all the time, care, and patience that he has had with me through this whole process. I could go on and on about him but I will end here by saying:
“Thank you Dr. Cronen! I am a believer thanks to you! Please let me know how I can help reach out to those who need your help.”