Back Story:

I am a volunteer fireman who has been active my entire life, doing triathlons, swimming, skiing, etc.  After a day of heavy lifting however, I began experiencing numbness in my left leg that progressed to the point where I could not walk on my own, and couldn’t even get into bed.  Symptoms became so severe that I was taken by ambulance to the hospital. 
Doctors there suggested pain medications, but I knew things were more serious. Dr. Slosar at SpineCare Medical Group had successfully treated my back pain with injections many years ago, so I decided to see if he could help again. “Tony was absolutely miserable with pain” said Dr. Slosar.  “His MRI showed that a large disc herniation was compressing the spinal nerves and he was losing function in his leg.  Tony and I decided together that surgery was the best choice.”

Treatment and Recovery:

I knew that Dr. Slosar has advanced training in minimally invasive spine surgery and has operated on many high-level athletes.  He performed a minimally invasive microdiscectomy. I was able to go home a few hours afterwards, something unheard of in spine surgery only a few short years ago. When I woke up from surgery, the leg pain was immediately gone.  My strength returned to normal quickly with physical therapy.


Having surgery was the best decision I ever made.  

I  continue to enjoy a very active lifestyle including endurance training and firefighting.  Swimming is the exercise I prefer to minimize back pain.


Tony’s post-surgery accomplishments include:

  • Completing The Escape from Alcatraz Triathlon – placing 139 out of 2,000 – six months to the day after surgery.

  • Completing his second Trans-Tahoe Relay swim as part of a six-man team that swam 11.5 miles across Lake Tahoe – without wetsuits!

  • Swimming the Bridge to Bridge 10k – a San Francisco open-water swim for a small group of elite swimmers – and placing first.

  • Celebrating his 32nd birthday doing the Maui Channel Swim.

Watch Tony’s video.