Back Story:

I led an active outdoorsman’s life at the age of 60 – snow skiing, hunting, fishing, hiking and more. Shortly after retiring as a soccer referee, I couldn’t run any longer, and I started experiencing “zinging” down my back and legs.  After attending my daughter’s college graduation, the next day both of my legs went numb.

Treatment and Recovery:

Dr. Jim Youssef at Spine Colorado determined that I had two separate problems. The first was a thoracic myelopathy that was causing the disturbance in my walking, and was treated with thoracic decompression. A spondylolisthesis at L5/S1 caused low back pain and radiculopathy, and was treated with a spinal fusion.  I spent only two days in the hospital, and was walking on the same day of surgery.  My doctors told me that I must be able to walk a mile before leaving the hospital – but I walked over 10 miles!


I admit to being “over-athletic and stupid in my younger years”, but I am now back to an active lifestyle that includes archery hunting, and fishing. I recently ran two miles, but expect to run more. I am able to do anything I want to do without any restrictions.

My advice to patients?

  • Listen to your doctor.

  • Exercise physical therapy makes all the difference in your recovery.

  • Do core strengthening.

  • Go into your surgery in shape.

  • Have a positive attitude!

Watch Greg’s video.