I had my surgery done December 10th, 2015. I was so nervous going into it. I have never had surgery before & I didn’t know what to expect since everyone heals differently. Dr. Katzman called & went over with me what he was going to do, which was [to] remove my coccyx.
The surgery was simple & took only 20 minutes or so. The first week I was in a lot of pain, but after that, it got better each day. The staff was extremely wonderful with my neediness afterwards. I had MANY questions & they were all answered. I was glad that I was able to talk to Dr. Katzman & P.A. Steven before I went in the room for the surgery. They helped calm my nerves & were awesome. He is the BEST surgeon around for any back surgeries. I read SO many awesome reviews on him & I was sold on him doing my surgery. It’s now February 10, 2016 & I am recovering so awesomely.
Thank you Dr. Katzman & Staff for giving me my life back! I can do SO many things, & not be in pain, that I couldn’t do before.
Kristin gave us a 5 Star Facebook Review!:
5 Months ago tomorrow I had a laminoforaminotomy performed by NJ Spine & Orthopedic and I am forever thankful. I suffered for 3 long years before finding Dr. Katzman and NJSO and now I’m doing so many things I couldn’t do. Thank you to the team who worked with me and made this into the best experience from a bad situation.
Click here to view Kristin’s review on our Facebook page or to leave your own review.
I’ve been suffering with neck and back pain dating back to March of 2014. Over that period of time I had seen 8 doctors: orthopedists, neurosurgeons, pain doctors and an acupuncturist. I’ve had numerous MRIs, CT scans and Xrays. Per most people’s advice I tried every non-invasive procedure including nerve blocks and several RF oblations, all the while on various prescription pain medications and muscle relaxers. I was in constant pain physically and emotionally.
Fortunately in my wife’s diligent research she came across Dr. Katzman & Dr. Oppenheimer with NJ Spine & Orthopedic. After review of my MRI & CT Scan they felt I was a candidate for their minimally invasive surgery. You don’t even want to know what other similar companies had said to me relative to cost and time, especially the ones that advertise on TV. Having met with Dr. Katzman, he went over a plan of action, his office got everything approved through my insurance and we scheduled a date. I’ve heard stories of people who’ve had triple fusion surgery on their necks, I couldn’t imagine it when NJSO booked my procedure in a surgical center and said that I would be going home after the surgery. Dr. Katzman exuded such confidence in his ability to cure me in a manner which would be less painful with a brief recovery time. I had asked him if I’d be able to attend a charity car show that I was sponsoring 2 days after surgery. He was optimistic stating that I’d be on pain medication and have a neck brace and would have to be careful. I attended the car show, probably not a wise move, wore the neck brace on and off for a month as my severe pain was gone. I was only experiencing procedural pain.
Dr. K found and removed a grape size tumor in my vertebrae as well as bone spurs. I was feeling so good that we set a date to heal my back 5 ½ weeks after my triple fusion on my neck. Needless to say I wanted the same surgical team and same outpatient facility. They were amazed at my neck’s healing in such a brief time, as was I. I am very fortunate to have the same results with my back procedure. At my follow up visit 2 weeks post surgery I asked if I could start stretching, walking and exercising in the gym. I was given clearance along with a list of what NOT to do.
I am now 10 weeks post neck surgery and 4 weeks post back surgery, with Dr. Katzman’s help I weaned off all pain medication and am back at work and in the gym 3 days a week. I told my wife I feel like I just popped out of a B film noir movie after 1 ½ years on pain medication.
Praise God!! Praise NJSO and their staff!!
Dear NJ Spine & Orthopedic,
My two level cervical disc replacements using the Mobi-C appliance took place in August, 2015. C5-6 and C6-7 levels were herniated and the constant pain in my right shoulder and arm should have been a clue that it wasn’t just a tight neck muscle. An MRI confirmed the severity of the herniations.
I found NJ Spine & Orthopedic through an internet search and was very lucky that their schedule allowed for a very fast turn around from the initial diagnosis to the surgery. After sporadic sleep for a few weeks, I couldn’t wait for the discs to be replaced. In fact, when I awoke from the surgery all the pain was gone. The recovery pain was infinitesimal comparatively speaking.
From the first time NJ Spine & Orthopedic was contacted to my last appointment, I was treated with respect and always given answers to my endless questions. It’s difficult to top Dr. Katzman as a cervical surgeon. He helped develop the disc replacement appliances and is one of the pioneers in anterior access to the discs.
The nurses and all the behind the scenes people – office staff, patient advocates and insurance experts handled my case so thoroughly that if I ever need another disc replaced there’s absolutely no question where I’d go. Dr. Katzman’s physician’s assistant, Lewjack Dorrance, was instrumental in assuaging any fears I had about the surgery, recovery time, possible complications, etc.
I can’t rate this surgical team highly enough.
I am a 6’4″ (ex-hockey player and musician-bassist who now rides in a car all day selling industrial chemicals), just turned 50, and had been battling lower back pain for 20+ years. There comes a time when the chiropractic treatments, physical therapy, medications, cortisone and lidocaine injections (spinal, epidural, trigger point, neural and facet, etc.), and radio frequency just don’t work anymore…When you are facing daily pain and want your life back—look no further than Drs. Katzman and Oppenheimer. They have the technology and the talent to heal and always stick to the philosophy “least to most invasive”
I ended up having a double fusion: L4-L5 & L5-S1 (following a foraminotomy/discectomy) that eliminated my pain (even when pain management doctors advised me “I would never be pain free again” due to stenosis and osteoarthritis). While I considered fancy establishments like the Laser Spine Institute in Tampa for my surgery, it really came down to the doctors themselves. Dr. Katzman and Dr. Oppenheimer are each uniquely skilled but share a common no nonsense approach. They will work with your insurance and see you through the process. I haven’t been to a doctor in months and could recommend them to anyone!
I’d like to personally thank the 3 of you for your involvement in my wife’s successful spine surgery up-to and on November 17th.
Dr. Wood, I think you were the first one to reach out to my wife after the review of her MRI. Your phone call was the first ‘Ace In The Hole’ for us. We’ve never received a review of Terry’s MRI(s) in the past 12 years living here in ATL (Emory and affiliated facilities) where a physician said “here’s the problem and here is the solution –let us know when you are ready”. I was traveling at the time when Terry called me and shared that you personally reached out to her, it was a moment – I think we both started to cry with joy.
Bill you came into play when we the ball started rolling and it was rolling fast. You calmness, professionalism and knowledge for what was about to unfold couldn’t have been more helpful and spot on. Our daily conversations started and ended with – “did you talk to Bill today?” Working so kindly with us on the financial front – is something I’m not used too. So much I started to think “this is all to easy, this can’t be real”. I kept those thoughts hidden because I didn’t want to pop Terry’s bubble, but I felt it was my responsibility as her care taker to do the homework and make sure I was talking to a real facility – besides you guys were in another state. Nothing came up, I kept trying to find a lose end, a bad review, a false number – nothing and I’m pretty good at this kind of stuff – I do web development.
And of course the Oscar goes to Dr. Oppenheimer and the surgical team. An elite team of badasses that came in early and took my broken wife and fixed her! All of our worries and concerns quickly deflated as soon as your team started prepping her for the day that changed our lives and got us back to where we were 10 years prior. This is a major thank you, a praise to you and your team for giving Terry a second chance at life again – as her spirit had been beaten down and we had no other options. I really can’t thank you enough. You knew exactly what to do, how to do, and did with pure awesomeness.
With that being said – here’s whats happened since post surgery. When I saw how much pain she was enduring in the recovery room, I thought to myself “oh god, what have we done, we just made a grave mistake”. I drove her to the hotel in what seemed like the worst ride I had ever taken in my life, every crack, every bump, seemed like I was dropping a sledgehammer on her head repeatedly. I struggled to get her in bed and then we both fall asleep at 4pm. The next morning, something happened that hadn’t happen in 10 years. My wife woke up with zero pain. No migraines, no facial pain, no pulled muscles, nothing. I could’t believe it. The only thing she has felt is the tension in her left shoulder and the ache in her neck from the surgery. We are expecting this to reside. I drove her back to Atl Tuesday and the 6.5 hr drive did a number on her. By the 5th hr, she couldn’t take much more and her neck seemed like it was starting to swell. We finally arrived at 9pm, I iced it up and today she is doing better. The phone calls keep coming in – family, friends – are in disbelief, but overwhelmed in JOY. Their daughter, their friend, their sister is back.
Thank you so much.
Dear NJ Spine & Ortho,
Sorry that it has taken so long for us to contact you to thank you for how much you helped us in correcting Ron’s back problem.
Over the past five years there have been several physicians…some good, some bad, and a very special few, extraordinary. Many answer the calling and go on to be excellent but only that special few are extraordinary. The experts at NJSO are among the extraordinary!
Extraordinary is the only word I can think of to describe our experiences with your team from the very first phone call. My surgeon’s talent both in the operating room and out is a beacon of help for the future of all NJSO patients.
Thank you for spending time with us and making us feel comfortable. But more importantly you made us feel at ease with what you were going to do.
After the surgery, again, my surgeon met with us putting us at ease and letting us know how everything went. There is no way and no words to properly thank you for all that you have done.
Even weeks after the surgery, my surgeon still answered his phone even while he was on vacation and again when I was involved in a traffic accident (I was stopped at a traffic light and was hit from behind). Even the Doctor in the ER said that we should be very thankful that we had found a special place like NJ Spine & Orthopedic. Before the accident I had been out of pain for approximately five days and had not had to take pain pills. However since the accident the pain has returned to my back and although the CT scan did not show anything out of place my pain has returned.
As a small token of our appreciation, we are sending you this gift.
My God always bless you.
Ron and Yo Marietta, GA
Dear NJ Spine & Ortho,
I am pleased and honored to report to you that I am 100% pain free. The artificial disc replacement laser surgery that you performed on Friday, September 5, 2013 was a lifesaver. I was able to return to work on Monday, September 9, 2013 with no restrictions whatsoever.
I feel so fortunate that I found your practice and that you performed my surgery. The local physicians gave me very little hope with the prognosis after the traditional fusion surgery that would have limited my neck and back movements. Also, the long healing process from the fusion surgery would have put me out of business. I am happy to tell you that I am back to jumping on and off of equipment, climbing the large cranes at the port authority, and lifting heavy objects again. The weakness in my arm is gone and I am gaining the muscle back very quickly My wife and I want you know that you have the best team of associates we have ever met. The first phone call she made to your practice was to Chris Grieneisen, your patient advocate. He was so nice and very helpful getting the process started. Dr. Steven Karm, your Senior Patient Advocate, finished the process by explaining everything; making sure we understood the procedure and being very patient. We have never dealt with so many nice people over the phone. The day of surgery we met the rest of your great staff and associates. Everyone was so friendly and happy. We were very surprised how happy of all of them seemed and how excited they were for me. Then meeting my surgeon, it became very clear. He has an excitement and love of what he does that is really hard to describe. Let me just say that he put us at ease with the confidence that he showed and the love of being able to perform this surgery.
I have been recommending your surgery to so many people I hope that you will be able to help some of them as much as you helped me.
Dr. NJ Spine & Orthopedic,
I am pleased to report to you that I am doing well. After about 8 weeks I was able to start some hiking. Now when I get on the trail, the first thing I think of is that I cannot believe I am able to do this. I have suffered for 8 years with back pain and the only thing that was done was cortisone injections to decrease the pain. I will report that I am not pain free but manageable. It was impossible to walk up hill due to my tailbone issues. No one seemed to understand why. Also by the time I came to you both legs were going numb from the stenosis in my L4-5. I will definitely contact you by email or otherwise if I have problems in the future. I am getting older and have degenerative disc disease. I am interested in getting as much good health as I can out of this or any other surgery. The photo’s I sent are at the Olympic National Park, Hurricane Ridge, and North Cascade National Forest. “Look at me now baby!”
Mary, who has worked within the medical spine service team for over 6 years, unexpectedly but thankfully, becomes a patient:
“I have always been amazed to see and talk to the patients smiling at me and walking straight up without any pain after a post op visit. I have had a lot of vascular problems and surgeries so I never thought I would be able to be one of NJSO’s surgical patients. I knew I needed surgery but due to my other health problems, I didn’t think I would be a candidate. My surgeon at NJ Spine & Ortho assured me that I would be able to handle the surgery as it was minimally invasive.
So, for me to say my surgeon is remarkable is really putting it mildly. I had tears in my eyes as he greeted me for my post op back surgery exam, just 4 days after my surgery.
For the past 2 years I was not able to walk through Publix grocery store or even just enjoy a walk through the mall. The pain was actually visible. The grocery store employees were so used to seeing me walk in pain – they would just take the carriage from me and walk it to my car – loading everything for me. I was so embarrassed – yet grateful.
Stretching, bending and turning is all part of simple cleaning. I’d have to do a little and then stop to rest – Light cleaning was an all-day affair –due to the pain. Holidays and birthdays are times to enjoy family & friends. We always celebrate outside around the pool and patio. Unfortunately, my back pain had gotten to a point where I would have to slip away after just standing a short time and lay down for a while – I’d then return embarrassed! Now, because of my doctor’s surgical knowledge, I can look forward to having a decent life again!
My surgeon at NJSO is an excellent diagnostician, physician and surgeon – his skills are unsurpassed. He explained everything to me and told me not to worry because he would take care of everything.
My surgery was performed in a minimally invasive fashion. My surgeon successfully completed a Laminectomy, foraminotomy, and partial facetectomy with decompression of the spinal cord and nerve root at the L4-L5 level (left sided) and repeated the same procedures on the right side. He also removed disc material that was impinging upon the nerve root at the L4, L5, and S1 levels. I woke from surgery feeling great! The staff was terrific too– they wanted me to stay overnight so they could keep an eye on me but I was so happy to be feeling so good, I just wanted to go home! –I said, “I can walk and my daughter is here – Can I please leave?” They called my surgeon and he gave the go ahead! That was it – I went home with my daughter and since then, I have hardly stopped. She spent a couple of nights with me but I think I was driving her crazy – Not because I needed her to help with anything but because, I didn’t!
God Bless the doctors at NJ Spine & Ortho. There is no end to their endurance – they will stay with you until they feel they have done everything possible to make you well. I’ve been to other surgeons who just do not have my doctor at NJSO’s ability or knowledge! I’ll be seeing my doctor again on Thursday, October 17, 2013 for stitch removal.
I feel sooooo great and I will be happy to answer any questions about my surgery – Just call NJ Spine & Ortho, my phone number is on file. Now, all I can say is “if you are in pain – do yourself a favor and call NJSO for an appointment. You’ll never be unhappy if you put your body in their hands!!”
Mary L. West Palm Beach, Fl.
On August 15, 2012, Mr. Rick Mayo came to NJ Spine & Ortho with complaints of severe neck pain with left arm radiculopathy (pain and numbness). After reviewing Rick’s MRI, his surgeon observed a large left sided herniated disc at the C6- C7 level with protrusions at the C3-C4, C4-C5 and C5-C6 levels. He was also developing stenosis which is a narrowing of the opening where the spinal cord goes through.
The professionals at NJSO started Mr. Mayo on injection therapy including a facet block and a nerve root injection. After about a month, Rick came in again stating that now he was about 50% better. The injections helped a lot of the pain going down to his hand but he still had some neck pain.
At this point, his surgeon recommended a Total Disc Replacement at the C6-C7 level. They also discussed a Discectomy with a Fusion but his surgeon thought that since, now after the injection therapy had healed most of his other problems, his problem was mainly geared to the one level. It would make much more sense to have the Total Disc Replacement because it would offer him more flexibility. Mr. Mayo agreed.
On November 02, 2012, Mr. Mayo did undergo the Discectomy with a Total Disc Replacement at the C6-C7 level. Right away, the pain and numbness going down his arm went away! He still had some stiffness, to which his surgeon recommended some home exercises, including a stretching and strengthening program. About a month later, on December 11, 2012, Mr. Mayo came in with no pain and great motion!!
To patients interested in NJ Spine & Orthopedic,
For the past four years I have suffered with severe pain in my right knee. My knee was in perfect condition. The diagnosis from many doctors was the pain that was coming from L4. I flew to New York to the Hospital for Special Surgery, supposedly the best facility in the country. They verified the problem and recommended a fusion. I was familiar with the long painful recovery period and rejected the surgery. I then went to the University of Miami and they made the same recommendation. I was in desperate need of help. I had two previous minimally invasive surgeries from local surgeons with stellar reputations and they did not help me. After their surgery they sent me to sports medicine doctors who uselessly injected my knee.
I could no longer walk more than 100 feet without excruciating pain in my knee, never my back. Playing golf was a painful experience, particularly walking to the greens.
NJSO was recommended to me from a friend. My surgeon there immediately told me the problem and why the previous surgeries did not work; bone was still touching the nerve. He told me that his surgery would take care of it and I would need a fusion because removing that much bone would destabilize the back. However, the fusion would be minimally invasive and in 10 weeks I could start playing golf. To me it sounded too good to be true.
The bottom line is “I feel soooooooo great: I am pain free for the first time in over four years and more importantly I’m out playing golf and can take a full golf swing.
Whatever the doctors at NJ Spine & Orthopedic tell you to do you can accept as gospel. Just do it and stop shopping.
If you want to call me to discuss the surgery you are more than welcome. (Phone is on file with the NJSO staff).
I am very pleased with the service of Doctor Katzman and his colleagues for a wonderful experience. I had been suffering for numerous years from my tailbone and sciatica pain which included numerous infections and visits for pain management medication which had no long lasting effect.
My pain management also included numerous epidurals that would help for a very short time. I had come to a dead-end. I always continued looking for a permanent solution to my back pain. Finding the orthopedic laser surgery group and Dr. Katzman was the answer to my prayer. From first contact they were very courteous, concerned and helpful. The staff was very professional and I was taken care of with professionalism and concern. Everything was explained to me before and after my procedure and what to expect, so I was put very much at ease.
It has been just 3 weeks and I notice the difference. I feel 90% compared to 45% before the surgery. This has been a blessing. I would recommend Dr. Katzman and his colleagues.
Carmen N. – Lakeland, FL
My experience with NJSO has been nothing short of amazing. I am pain free after suffering for 20 years. I am a healthcare consultant and naturally see everything through a critical eye. The incredible team at NJ Spine & Ortho took time to answer all of my questions after giving me a thorough description of the proposed procedures. I interviewed several other surgeons both in Florida and Virginia, who all reviewed my MRI. At the initial appointment with my surgeon at NJSO, I knew this was where I was meant to be. Once my decision was made, surgery was scheduled and performed 4 weeks later.
I highly recommend the doctors at NJ Spine and Orthopedic to anyone suffering with back pain, and contemplating surgery. There are many surgeons out there who will tell you they can fix your problem and push you into surgery within days. Some even discourage a second opinion.
I am so happy with my results.
Linda F. – Virginia Beach, VA
I had a painful and stiff neck . I had a prior neck fusion which didn’t help. I saw many doctors. They all said that my neck was too complicated to fix. My surgeon at NJ Spine & Ortho took the time to explain what he was going to do. He put in an artificial disk replacement in my neck and now my neck is not stiff or painful anymore! Amazing.
Karen W.T. – Alabama
NJ Spine & Orthopedic … treated me for an automobile accident. My surgeon was a dedicated doctor that is skilled in medicine. If you have an injury I would recommend NJSO.
My doctor’s diagnoses are spot accurate. His techniques are minimally invasive and leave one with very little post surgery pain.
“Since my surgery I feel great great. So happy with my surgery. I will recommended NJ Spine & Orthopedic to anyone.”
When Mrs. Caldero first met her surgeon in April of 2012, she suffered from a failed lumbar fusion from 2005 and was still in terrible pain. In June 2012, the NJSO team performed a discogram of her L3-4 level and also her L5-S1 level with an ablation surgery on her sciatic nerves in an attempt to help control the pain. Ms. Caldero’s pain subsided for a while but the pain slowly returned. In March 2013, her surgeon performed a sacroiliac joint fusion, (a biomechanical implant and a fusion). Since her surgery she is feeling great and is happy to recommend the experts at NJ Spine & Ortho to everyone.
The staff at NJ Spine & Orthopedic are among the best healthcare workers that i have ever been to. My doctor is a very personable man but besides his perfect bedside manner, he is an excellent diagnostician. He helped me when other doctors had given up. I would recommend NJ Spine & Ortho to anyone!
When I walked into the office for the first time, I was greeted very graciously by the staff. Even though I was in a significant amount of pain, the staff made me feel very welcome. Before and after the surgery, my surgeon and his staff were very personable and professional. The experts at NJ Spine & Ortho did an amazing job. When I left, I felt like I could get back to living my normal lifestyle. Thanks to NJSO’s amazing team.
The experience was quick and efficient. Looking forward to getting back to the links pain free!
I had cervical fusion surgery performed by the experts at NJSO in November, before which I had very limited range of motion in my neck, because the pain was too unbearable to move it. After my cervical fusion I am able to move my neck from side to side and up and down again totally pain free. I now have full range of motion, am free of the pain, and no longer suffer from headaches. My surgeon truly is a miracle worker.
I had a T7 compression fracture and for over a year and a half I was in agony. I took pain pills like candy. I went thru pain management and had cortisone injected into my spine on several occasions. I was a total wreck and depressed. I was referred to a surgeon in Ft.Pierce, FL., Dr. Scott Katzman, who at that time wanted to do the surgery in July 2001. My insurance company wanted a second opinion so I got one. The second Doctor said “no way, it won’t work, the injury is too old, the procedure is too new.” So I kept up the pain management. It finally got to the point I demanded the Kyphoplasty procedure. It was performed in March 2002. I went home immediately after the operation and was at work the next day! I tossed all the pain pills. Today was my final visit with Dr. Katzman. His office is now packed with clients and testimonial letters line the walls. It ain’t snake oil people. This is “miracle” surgery. In my opinion, this is catching on fast. An alternative for invasive back surgery. No danger, no long recovery, period.
Dear NJ Spine & Orthopedic,
We are very happy to have had such a wonderful experience during this back surgery. Your staff has been outstanding! Thank you so much for helping me on my road to a better back.