Spinal Stenosis

" ...the phone call that turned my life around."

I am a former professional violinist who sustained a major cervical spine injury in 1997. While touring with a national Broadway musical, I began experiencing pain and weakness in my upper extremities. I sought help from orthopedic surgeons, hand specialists, acupuncturists (not fun for a needle-phobic) and rehab doctors. Everyone assumed I was suffering from tendonitis. Eventually, I lost all sensation in my right hand and was forced to ask for a medical leave from the tour. I flew home to Houston, praying a three month "rest" would cure me. Doctors in Houston sent me to the Texas Institute for Rehabilitation and Research (TIRR) for evaluation and diagnosis. After going through a CT scan, myelogram, MRI and EEG, the results for not encouraging. I had 4 herniated discs in my neck, central canal spinal stenosis, and advanced spinal osteoarthritis. I was sent to a neurosurgeon who recommended multi-level spinal surgery. To make matters worse, worker's compensation decided to deny further treatment for me, because the original diagnosis was "hand injury" and not neck. I was told that my injuries were extensive and my violin career was over. It was suggested that I stop worrying about playing the violin again, and think about being able to walk in a few years. Despite passionate pleas, phone calls and multiple letters from the TIRR doctors, worker's comp refused to cover any spinal care. I reached an all time physical and emotional low, and panicked about my future. Now I had to fight a stressful legal battle, as well as fight pain without medical help. Luckily, my uncle was seeing a fabulous chiropractor, and urged me to call for a consultation. This is the phone call that turned my life around. I called Dr. Carl Tolopka in January 1998. He provided superior chiropractic care immediately, and my severe pain decreased. He thoroughly understood my spinal conditions, and aggressively helped me fight worker's comp for benefits. Dr. Tolopka gave me the vital physical and emotional support I needed to deal with pain and loss. As time passed, I was able to regain muscle strength and range of motion in my neck. With Dr. Tolopka's help, I won my battle for lifetime chiropractic care in March of 1999. I will be eternally grateful for Dr. Tolopka's concern for my welfare and willingness to spend extra time helping me. I continue to improve physically and rebuild my life. I am now taking prerequisites to enter occupational therapy school. I will feel richly blessed if I can someday help people the way Dr. Tolopka helped me.


Fort Bend Chiropractic and Rehab
4915 S. Main, Suite 101
Stafford, TX 77477