As an optometrist, Dr. Jim Owen, 57, spends his days caring for others at Encinitas Optometry. He has dealt with health issues of his own, including cervical spondylosis which required surgery. However, other than some on-and-off back spasms, things had been good ever since and the focus has been on caring for his patients.
This all changed one day while Dr. Owen was lifting weights at the gym and experienced an acute pain in his back. “It was so bad, I could barely walk,” he said. Turns out, Dr. Owen had significant compression on his spinal cord and needed surgery. He had a positive experience with his previous surgery at Tri-City Medical Center so it made sense to go back. His good friend Dr. Kenneth Carr, a cardiologist at Tri-City Medical Center, recommended he see Dr. Neville Alleyne. Dr. Carr had back issues of his own and received back and neck surgery from Dr. Alleyne. He was very happy with his experience, sharing that Dr. Alleyne was great and very professional.
Dr. Owen arrived at Tri-City Medical Center at the crack of dawn on the day of his surgery. “I was greeted by a man who looked like he stepped off the cover of GQ Magazine,” he said. Dr. Alleyne was dressed to the nines in a sharp suit and made a serious impression. “He didn’t need to take the time to put on a suit… he was going to be in scrubs in the OR minutes later. But he is a true professional and this is just one example of his great attention-to-detail and tendency to go the extra mile,” Dr. Owen added.
It was there that his worries faded away. He trusted Dr. Alleyne. “Spinal surgery is risky, one wrong move and you’re paralyzed,” Dr. Owens said. But about five hours later, the surgery was complete and his experience was exceptional. Recovery was quick and he was released in just three days. He had made the right choice. Tri-City Medical Center was the first hospital in North County to utilize the innovative Mazor Robotics Renaissance Guidance System for minimally invasive procedures that allow for shorter hospital stays, faster recovery, less narcotic pain medicine and minimal scarring.
Dr. Owen was back to work in 13 days, playing golf with his buddies in eight weeks and was able to lift a barbell just 12 weeks post-surgery. A year later, he could deadlift his body weight and was back to being a gym rat. He has since hiked the Grand Canyon and Mt. Whitney and, at 57 years old, he is in better shape than many decades younger than him.
His advice to others facing back issues? “Visit Dr. Alleyne at Tri-City Medical Center. It’s a safe option that allows for speedy recovery so you can get back to your life quickly,” he says.