NuVasive Patient Success Story: Lee

Since its inception in 2010, NuVasive’s the Better Way Back (TBWB) program has been committed to raising public awareness of spine disorders and educating patients, loved ones, clinicians, and healthcare providers about treatment options, including surgery. Changing patient lives and empowering patients to make informed treatment choices are the heart of the program’s mission. In this series, you will hear from some of our own TBWB patient ambassadors who are dedicated to sharing their stories of challenge and hope.

Hometown: Atlanta, GA

Surgeon: Dr. Robert Ayer, Apex Spine and Neurosurgery

Procedure: ALIF L5-S1

Surgery date: December 7, 2018

About Lee

Long before Lee knew he had back problems, he was painfully affected by sciatica in his right leg. As things progressed, he reached a point where he could barely stand for any length of time. He couldn’t even manage the walk from his office to his car without arriving almost in tears. When Lee and his family relocated to Georgia for a new job which would require a lot of walking, he knew he needed to get help. At the first consult with Dr. Ayer, Lee remembers the surgeon illustrating with a spine model exactly what was going on in his body. “It’s like a lightbulb finally came on for me. He spoke with me in normal people’s terms, and made sense out of what I was feeling,” Lee shared. That conversation helped him get mentally and physically ready for the surgery he was facing.


Stenosis, spondylolisthesis

Path to treatment

Medications, physical therapy

Procedure overview


Life now

“Recovery was a pain in the back,” Lee said laughingly. He had to wear a brace for a while, and sitting was definitely uncomfortable at first. Staying cognizant of the possibility of chemical dependence, Lee only took strong pain medications for the first five days. After that he managed with ibuprofen and rest. These days, Lee is happily back to golfing and working out every day, and has earned the nickname “bionic man” from his family. Lee summed up his journey simply, “the pain before was life altering for me, but now I have zero issues.”


Click here to learn more about our community dedicated to providing hope, support, and information to the millions who are suffering from chronic spinal conditions.


Each individual’s surgical procedure and recovery may deviate from what is described herein. This information is not intended to supersede or supplant the information provided by your doctor.

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