pay my bill925-838-8830100 Park Place, Suite 140 | San Ramon, California |

Patient

Stories

PATIENT STORIES

 

I injured my back at work and had to fight with worker's compensation for five years before my PCP was able to get my referral to Dr. Hieu Ball approved. Once I met Dr. Ball I felt I was in good hands. He and his staff were on my side and they handled everything necessary to get me the surgery I needed. I had been in constant pain for 6 years with heavy narcotics as my only defense. Now it is one year since my surgery and I am a week away from being drug free and I feel amazing!

~ Carissa Lee

 


I'm 73 years old and an avid snow skier. I ski 40-100 days per season. Several years ago, my legs began to go numb when walking. This condition slowly became more intense. While skiing, my legs would go numb at times. Significant research, which included seeing 2 spine doctors locally and sending MRI data to 2 spine clinics in Arizona, made me realize that Dr. Ball had the needed experience. My primary question: Could I ski after surgery? Answer: Yes. Other Drs. I talked with did not have experience with both open back and minimally invasive surgery and therefore could not adequately compare the two techniques. One of those other Drs. told me I asked too many questions. Not so Dr. Ball. He answered all my many questions in a straight forward and understandable manner.

On July 10th, 2012, Dr. Hieu Ball performed a L3-S1 laminar decompression using minimally invasive techniques. I came home from the hospital with a bag of various pain killer pills but did not use any of them or the front wheel walker that was issued. And now the best part: I skied 49 days this past season and my legs have not gone numb even one time.

~ Gordon Dean

 


I was injured on the job years ago, which resulted in a disc herniation. I saw my primary care MD and was prescribed bed rest and physical therapy. I was told that it would take about 3 months to heal. I did better than expected and was back at work sooner than expected. One month later, I rang in the new year in the emergency room after rear ended by a bus. I began having lower back pain that radiated to my hamstring. This pain progressed to my feet, which eventually felt like pins and needles in my feet. I did all the conservative treatments such as epidurals, physical therapy, acupuncture, massage, ice and heat. None of these treatments touched the pain.

Dr. Hieu Ball reviewed my MRI images, which revealed a torn disc that had been leaking and was practically flat, offering no cushion and pressing on my sciatic nerve, which was the main culprit in the leg and feet pain. Dr. Ball believed that anything other than a disc replacement or spinal fusion would be like putting a band-aid on it. I wanted relief and a permanent solution. Strangely, I felt at peace with having major back surgery. Never once did I question Dr. Ball's competence. He and his staff fully explained the procedure. My surgery was July 26, 2006.

I spent the first day sleeping the pain meds off and woke the next morning to Dr. Ball and his assistant at the foot of my bed where he wrote an order for me to get out of bed that day. I thought to myself, “what a crazy man you are. I won’t be getting out of bed in only one day!” But I did and I was amazed that I felt very little pain in my abdomen, and NO pain in my hip or back. I not only began going back and forth to the bathroom, but I was able to change from the hospital garb into my own pajamas with no help. After 2 nights in the hospital, I went home. The walker sat in the corner of my room untouched as I walked to and from the bathroom unassisted.

A month later I was walking around the block, and in 6 months I was on the elliptical machine at the neighborhood gym. I kept all my follow up appointments with Dr. Ball over the next year. After that I went on with life and school and never looked back. I have a very thin faint scar measuring about 3 inches, and that’s all I have to show of my surgery, with the exception of some pretty cool x-rays which makes me look like the bionic woman. I became a licensed RN in 2011 and now work in a stroke unit for a Sutter hospital.

I consider my surgery a huge success and love telling my story to whoever will listen. Dr. Ball lived up to every expectation I had and beyond.

~ Sharise Calhoun

 


Several years ago I had a neck injury, suffered like lots of other people, the pain would keep getting worse. A friend had back surgery and the doctor made some mistakes, leaving my friend in a whole lot more pain. Later he saw Doctor Hieu Ball, next thing knew he was going to have surgery. That is where I first saw Doctor Ball at the hospital and I made an appointment. He put me to rest in knowing just what and how he was going to do the surgery and how I should do in recovery. He is great, just like people told me that know him, or Dr. Ball did surgery on them, and I am happy to talk to others.

~ James Mortimer