Ted’s Story: Finding Lasting Relief from Shoulder & Neck Pain

If I Had a Son, I’d Want Him to be Dr. Kesler.”

Ted Johnson had worked as a union carpenter for 41 years. He’d traveled the entire U.S., working on nuclear plant shutdowns. It’s a physically demanding job where you spend a lot of time on your feet, crouching, bending, and hammering. Prior to that, Ted served as a paratrooper in the United States Army’s 82nd Airborne Division. Jumping out of an airplane with almost a hundred pounds strapped to you can be physically demanding and tough on your body.

Ted said he first began experiencing shoulder and neck pain when he was going through paratrooper training in Fort Benning in Georgia and continued later at Ft. Bragg in North Carolina. “The problems with my shoulder and neck pain continued to progress over the years, becoming more painful and troublesome,” says Ted. “I’d seen several doctors during that time, but none of them had ever suggested surgery.”

In May of this year, his shoulders started acting up again and the pain was unbearable. His arm began going numb. He couldn’t sleep or lay on his shoulder at night, and he was housebound for days. So, Ted headed for the VA doctor where he had x-rays taken. Following the x-rays, the doctor sent him to physical therapy, but Ted wasn’t able to do the exercises. At that point, he decided to pursue things on his own. That’s when he went to the Center for Sports Medicine & Orthopaedics (CSMO).

At first, Ted saw Dr. Smalley, one of CSMO’s arthroscopic shoulder & knee specialists. He administered epidural injections in both shoulders to relieve the pain. He also noted that his symptoms indicated it wasn’t just shoulder problems, but major neck problems as well. He ordered a CT scan and X-rays. Since neck surgery wasn’t one of Dr. Smalley’s specialties, he recommended that Ted see CSMO’s Dr. Kyle Kesler, who’d just joined the team and specialized in spine and neck pain.

Dr. Kesler viewed the CT scan and X-rays and ordered an MRI. The results revealed that Ted’s neck was seriously compromised. There were vertebrae resting on the spinal cord and four discs that were almost non-existent. After reviewing the results, he told Ted he could help him, but he’d have to have surgery, which included disc replacement and fusion of his compromised vertebrae.

Once the operation was scheduled Dr. Kesler sat down with Ted and his wife, Donna, and went over everything with them. He took out a piece of paper and sketched out in detail what he was going to do, explaining the length of the procedure, his team, and exactly what to expect. Ted said It wasn’t the “same old 15 minutes to talk to you and I have another patient to see.” He not only prayed with them, but Dr. Kesler also assured them, if they had any questions at all, to just call him. Ted and his wife agreed, Dr. Kesler was one of the most considerate and impressive doctors they’d ever met.

Since the operation, Ted’s mobility has returned. His neck and shoulder pain are a thing of the past and he can’t say enough about Dr. Kesler and his team and all they did to give him a new lease on life. If you’re dealing with joint pain and are looking for relief and the chance to get back to living life, we’re just a phone call away.

Call (423) 624-2696 to schedule an appointment or click here for online scheduling options.

Ted Johnson
Spine/Neck Patient Testimonial

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