By Mike Noble for SLC Health Medical Group

A few years ago, Tony Prinster had a cyst on his spine surgically removed, but recently it recurred. “The pain was gradually increasing each day, and I was beginning to lose the use of my left leg,” he said. “It got to the point where I couldn’t stand on my leg and barely walk. I was afraid I was going to end up in a wheelchair, so I began to search for the doctor with the best expertise to help me get back to my normal life. I talked to several physicians in the area who had back surgery themselves and they all advised me to go see Dr. Bobby Agrawal.” 

Using x-ray and MRI imaging technology at St. Mary’s, Dr. Agrawal evaluated Tony’s condition and discussed the options with him. “We could see that Tony had developed more arthritis manifested by the recurrence of the cyst and looked at all the treatment options available, from the most conservative option of doing nothing to physical therapy, injections and the final option of surgery. Even with the surgical aspect we discussed the different types of operations that we could do, from the smallest, least invasive surgery to the more complex procedure of fusing his spine. Together, we decided to do one of the smaller surgical procedures where we remove the cyst and some of the arthritis around the nerves.”

“Dr. Agrawal did a great job of laying the options out for me,” said Tony. “He underscored that he wanted to be as non-invasive as possible while getting the job done, and I appreciated that.”

“When you can educate and empower patients to make the decision themselves it really carries through with their mindset going into recovery,” said Dr. Agrawal. “Tony was committed to the procedure and that made a big difference in the successful outcome of his surgery.”

“Before surgery I was in a lot of pain and discomfort and couldn’t live the life I wanted,” added Tony. “After surgery, the day I got home I was able to go on a short walk. I would walk a little more each day and within three weeks I was back to a normal level of activity.”

“As a surgeon, it’s so gratifying to see a person walk back into your clinic,” said Dr. Agrawal. “It’s rewarding to know that our team was able to help Tony get back to living the life he wanted.” 

Dr. Agrawal went on to explain that SCH Health has assembled the most highly trained neurosurgical and spine care team on the Western Slope, supported by cutting edge technology that helps facilitate the expert care of patients. “Our group sees the most complex pathologies that deal with the spine and brain, and we are able to serve our community in a way that hasn’t been done before. Our primary goal is to help our patients get their lives back using the least invasive treatment possible to get to that point.  We truly can improve people’s quality of life and that’s very gratifying.”

“The big thing for me is that I can now move without pain,” Tony said. “I am able to hike, ski, play golf and be as active as I was before.  For a guy who’s almost 80 years old, I’m pretty close to normal, thanks to Dr. Agrawal.”