From a Patient’s Perspective: Meet Sheryl

The following story is written by Sheryl, a NuVasive patient turned Shareowner in 2017. Read about her journey through her perspective:

Music was my life. I poured my heart and soul into my music and by the time I graduated from high school, I was a career violinist – performing for special events, teaching private studio lessons, and coaching the youth symphony.


The first pangs of back pain began for me at age 11 – they were not constant and really only spiked around the times when I practiced my violin, so my parents and I concluded it was simply the price budding musicians pay. It ratcheted up gradually so that by the time I was 18 years old the knives in my back were a constant fixture.

One day, after nine hours of teaching and playing the violin, the pain became frighteningly intense. I was almost immobilized by the pain and barely able to drive myself home. That was the day I realized I needed serious help.


At my first consultation with a spine specialist, my parents and I were surprised to learn about the deformity in my thoracic spine. One appointment led to another, with x-rays, CT scans, MRI’s, a bone scan, multiple stints of physical therapy, and a slew of ineffective medications and injections. Months rolled into years, and at the end of the day, the specialists all said the same thing: “There’s nothing we can do for you.”

Fast-forward through 18 long years of searching for answers. My husband and I relocated to San Diego in 2012 and it was then that we found Dr. Greg Mundis, Jr. – a surgeon specializing in spinal deformities, with the skills and confidence to operate on my back. On September 13, 2013, Dr. Mundis and his exceptional team performed a T4 hemivertebra resection, T1-T7 posterior spinal fusion with instrumentation and apical osteotomies. This corrected my deformity, and now I’m proudly sporting plenty of NuVasive purple products in my spine.

During my long recovery, it became my dream to one day work for NuVasive. Not only because it appealed to my thirst for knowledge about everything related to spine, but also because I recognized the over-arching desire at NuVasive to positively impact the lives of spine patients with industry disrupting innovations. Now, as a Patient Experience Analyst for The Better Way Back, I have the opportunity to channel all my passion into supporting patients directly. My patient perspective adds a new and essential element to our team, as we aim to do our part to elevate the patient experience and help patients get back to doing the things they love.

To read more patient stories like Sheryl’s, click here.

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