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Bill S – Mixed Martial Arts Athlete with Collapsed Spine

My story began nine years ago, when as a 38 year old male, who was healthy and trained everyday started to have back pain to the point of not being able to walk or feel anything. I at that point, knew I had to find someone to help me. I started investigating doctors and went on a few appointments. Each doctor told me something different and some of the things they said, actually scared me. Since I wasn’t satisfied with any of the doctors that I had spoken to, I continued to look until I came upon, Dr. Mark McLaughlin, from Princeton Brain, Spine and Sports Medicine Care. I had so many questions for him. My biggest one was “can you fix me?” After speaking to him for a long time and him answering all my questions and explaining to me about my injuries, I knew that I was going to have to get surgery. I also felt at ease knowing that he would be performing my surgery. He was extremely positive about my situation when all the other doctors were not.

My MRI showed that my spine had collapsed and shifted crushing the nerves. In April 2003, Dr. McLaughlin performed an s/p L2-L3 Lumbar fusion and three months after surgery I was back on the mats training as a wrestling/MMA instructor. And one year to the day of my surgery, I fought in a professional MMA fight in Atlantic City and won.

I continued to see Dr. Mc Laughlin over the years and we became very good friends. Five years later, I needed a second surgery due to all the wear and tear on my body. My L5 had shifted forward. In August 2008, he performed the surgery to repair my L5. Again, three months after the surgery I was well enough to go back on the mats with no restrictions.

That meeting nine years ago with Dr.McLaughlin was definitely a life changing experience for me. Dr. McLaughlin along with Princeton Brain, Spine and Sports Medicine Care gave me back my quality of life. I continue to see him today and as of my last visit with him, my x-rays show that nothing has moved or changed. I can honestly say that I don’t know where I would be today without him. He is truly a one in a million doctor and I am very grateful for all he has done for me.

Bill S

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