How doctors at Aurora Medical Center in Summit gave Judy her mobility and life back


Judy thought back pain was something she would have to live with for the rest of her life. But since her surgery at Aurora Medical Center in Summit, she can walk up to miles a day.

Judy Henning has had back pain for years. At the age of 74, she just figured it’s something you live with as you get older. But in the last year, as it began to worsen and affect her mobility, she made an appointment with Ofer Zikel, MD, a neurosurgeon at Aurora Medical Center in Summit.

“What I liked about him is he didn’t try to pressure me into surgery right away. I wanted to try physical therapy, and he agreed I should try it first, but warned me the problem would only get worse. And he was right,” Judy explains.

The physical therapy did make her back feel stronger; but this past July, after moving apartments, Judy woke up one morning and couldn’t walk.

“I had sciatica type pain; it was shooting down my leg. I couldn’t even walk into the hospital when I went to see Dr. Zikel again, it was so bad,” she says. Judy was diagnosed with spinal stenosis and this time she agreed, surgery was the best way to go.

“Spinal stenosis is a very common condition where the spinal column becomes narrowed over time due to degenerative changes. She was experiencing severe, radiating leg pain due to the compression of her spinal nerves,” Dr. Zikel explains. He performed a common procedure to remove some of the bone and ligament that was pressing against Judy’s nerves along her spine.

Judy says the relief was instantaneous, “Let me tell you, that did it! I woke up after surgery and that shooting pain was gone.”

Within three weeks Judy was able to walk a mile, she now walks a mile every single day, sometimes two. She is incredibly grateful for Dr. Zikel and the staff at Aurora Medical Center in Summit for not only helping her regain her mobility, but for helping her to feel safe and comforted every step of the way.

“The staff is so superior, every single one of them. And Dr. Zikel is just so competent, I always knew I was in such good hands,” she says.

lake_country_ball_graphic_912x536You can support the neuroscience program at Aurora Medical Center in Summit. Caregivers not only operate on back and spinal injuries like Judy’s, they also treat brain and neck problems, help patients recover from a stroke and much more. By attending this year’s Lake Country Ball, you can enhance these programs that are helping patients like Judy recover and thrive every single day. CLICK HERE to purchase a ticket or learn more.

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