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Mary McDowell: Severe Back Pain Relief Without Surgery

Mary McDowell MischerFor Pearland native Mary McDowell, the excruciating back pain that resulted from her degenerative osteoarthritis had become a way of life that was too much for her and her husband to bear.

Although she had struggled with back pain for some time, over the past few years it had worsened dramatically, affecting her quality of life around the clock.

“I was taking pain medicine every four hours – even in the middle of the night – and I was getting no sleep. It was debilitating,” said McDowell.

With her husband’s encouragement and her primary physician’s recommendation, McDowell sought treatment from Paul Boone, M.D., a nationally renowned neurosurgeon at Mischer Neuroscience Associates (MNA) at Memorial Hermann – Memorial City, who is an expert in the neurosurgical treatment of disorders of the spine.

Nervous about surgery

“I was very nervous about having surgery, and really wanted to avoid it if at all possible,” said McDowell. “Dr. Boone was so understanding and compassionate, and I was extremely relieved to hear that we had different options.”

As a result of her osteoarthritis, McDowell’s third, fourth and fifth discs in her spinal column had deteriorated, and Dr. Boone gave her both non-operative and operative options to relieve her back pain.

McDowell decided to try non-operative procedures before considering surgery, and after being carefully evaluated, McDowell decided to try epidural steroid injections and had a three-dose administration of spinal injections over the course of a year, coupled with six weeks of physical therapy.

Return to an active life

Today, McDowell is once again participating in an active lifestyle with her husband, enjoying shopping trips and spending time with friends and family.  “I can do just about what everyone else can do now,” added McDowell, who recently celebrated a milestone – her 80th birthday. “I just might be a little slower, but I can do it!”