Mother, daughter both pain-free after local team performs special back surgery

(image: WPMI) Mother, daughter both pain-free after local team performs special back surgery

A former Ben-Gal and her daughter are pain-free now thanks to a local surgery team.

There was barely ever a day Shannon Davis was sidelined -- as a Ben-Gal cheerleader or long-time dance instructor. Until one day, all of a sudden, she started experiencing back pain.

As for Shannon's daughter, Olivia Davis, a busy college student at the University of Kentucky, she said she had been in constant pain for eight years.

Both had extensive imaging tests and consults only to be told by more than one surgeon that they wouldn't be able to help.

"So I asked my mom if we could maybe get a third opinion, and that's when we met Dr. Tempel, and my life is just completely changed now because of it," said Olivia.

Dr. Zachary Tempel specializes in complex surgeries at Mayfield Brain & Spine. He not only eventually told Shannon and Olivia he could perform surgery to relieve their back pain, he validated their pain and told them that it was very real.

"When he told me that, that was really amazing," said Shannon.

It turned out both had slightly different causes for back pain, but both were candidates for what's called ALIF, or anterior lumbar interbody fusion, which means going through the abdomen to get to the spine.

"It's a very powerful technique, and it avoids all posterior approaches if you can get away with doing it as a standalone operation," Dr. Tempel said.

Olivia said her surgery was so successful it almost immediately brought her to tears.

"I was just crying because I had not sat down for longer than five seconds in eight years without pain, and I was instantly pain-free after surgery," she said.

As for Shannon, she's back to cheering on her students and her daughter and celebrating life.

"It's a great thing to have my body kind of match my mind once again, and I am so thankful for that," she said.

She calls life now unlimited and pain-free.

This type of surgery can only be performed on appropriate candidates to beat back pain. Click here to learn more.

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