“I have a regular life again.”

Rob G.

In December 2002, when Rob was 37 years old, he was rear-ended by an intoxicated driver going over the Benicia Bridge in Northern California. That moment changed Rob’s life forever.

The injuries Rob sustained in the accident had him under the care of multiple specialists in attempts to alleviate his chronic neck and left arm pain and repair his spine. Beginning in 2003, Rob underwent procedures for over a decade including two cervical spine surgeries, a double spine fusion and a spinal cord stimulation implant. These procedures required Rob’s diligence in navigating care from neurosurgeons, orthopedic surgeons, anesthesiologists, physical therapists, chiropractors, and pain management specialists.

To manage the excruciating pain, Rob utilized an array of opioids for pain relief. “Using the opioids was never about getting high. You just don’t want that pain. You want to be pain free for just one day.”

After 15 years of dependency on opioids, Rob decided he wanted to get his life back and began reducing his dosage. In the spring of 2018, under Dr. Bodor’s supervision, Rob was able to fully suspend his chronic opioid usage. Once free from the narcotics and wanting to explore options outside of another spinal fusion, Dr. Bodor and Dr. Zucherman from San Francisco considered an unusual possibility, that the chronic C7 pain distribution pattern might be coming from the C4-5 disc, above the fusion.

Napa Medical Research Foundation (NMRF) studies in utilizing platelet rich plasma (PRP) for intervertebral discs and how PRP interacts with stems cells in repairing or healing of discs formed the basis for Dr. Bodor’s approach to this challenge. Dr. Bodor combined this knowledge with ultrasound and fluoroscopy techniques to inject local anesthetic into the C4-5 disc. For 24 hours Rob’s pain was relieved.  This paved the way to a second procedure in attempt to resolve his pain for good, namely an injection of platelet-rich plasma into the disc.  For the first 24 hours after the procedure, Rob’s pain was relieved again, but returned with a vengeance. Then 2 ½ months later, his pain started to get better. The NMRF research findings and in turn, the clinical execution, allowed a patient’s chronic pain, considered resistant to treatment or impossible to treat by any means, to improve.

Now six months after the PRP procedure, Rob reports a 70% reduction in pain. “My memory and concentration are better. I have a willingness to do things again with my family and a better attitude. I can walk my two German Shepards now.”

Rob continues to experience pain daily but with the success of the PRP injection and managing his physical limitations, he is able to remain free from opioids and enjoy a much-improved quality of life. “Dr. Bodor never gave up on me. He was always considering other options for my care, thinking outside the box. He is much more than a doctor to me.”

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