rediscover Surgeon-Patient

William C. Tally, M.D.:
Life After Disc Replacement Surgery

The more that patients can see the return-to-life results that others’ achieve, the more likely they are to seek treatment for their own back pain. Spine surgery is not only about treating pain – it’s about getting patients back to living life.

William C. Tally, M.D.

Orthopedic Surgeon and Neurosurgeon

Age: 46

From: Athens, GA

Surgery Date: May 2010

Procedure Type: Total Disc Replacement with prodisc C

Interests: Mountaineer, Wakeboarder, Sports Enthusiiast, and Father of Two

Life Before prodisc

Dr. William Tally is a nationally-recognized, orthopedic and neurosurgical fellowship-trained spine surgeon specializing in scoliosis and complex degenerative and traumatic spinal disorders. Dr. Tally has been a prodisc Total Disc Replacement user since his residency at Thomas Jefferson Hospital/The Rothman Institute in Philadelphia, PA. He is extremely passionate about educating back-pain sufferers and patients about getting back to “living life” through early intervention. His firm belief is that surgery is not just about pain relief, but is a treatment that helps patients enjoy life again. In addition to being a spine surgeon and prodisc advocate, Dr. Tally is also a prodisc patient himself and knows first-hand the meaning of “living life” after spinal surgery.

In May of 2010, Dr. Tally’s life was abruptly altered when he was involved in a motor vehicle accident resulting in a ruptured cervical disc. The damaged disc exerted significant pressure on a nerve in his neck, causing numbness, weakness and pain in his right arm. Without the use his right arm, Dr. Tally grew concerned over the quality of his personal life and professional future as a physician.

Prior to the accident, Dr. Tally led an active personal and professional life. In addition to caring for his two young sons, Dr. Tally was (and still is) an avid mountaineer, wakeboarder and sports enthusiast. He was working 80-hour weeks caring for his patients and building his surgical practice.

In the days following the accident, Dr. Tally reviewed the options to address his physical disablement including physical therapy, a cervical fusion procedure or a cervical disc replacement procedure. Based on his clinical expertise, Dr. Tally was aware of the outcomes associated with each option and understood that the long-term clinical data was favorable toward total disc replacement with regard to early return to function and activity. Aware of the outcomes and based on his desire for a quick return to an active lifestyle, Dr. Tally chose a total disc replacement surgery to alleviate his arm pain and weakness and to preserve as much motion in his cervical spine as possible. Based on his own surgical experience with prodisc, he selected prodisc for his own surgery.


Life After prodisc

Dr. Tally underwent total disc replacement surgery in May 2010. His arm pain immediately subsided.

He returned home the same day of the surgery and was able to quickly return to general life activities and caring for himself and his family. Due to the damage done to the nerve by the ruptured disc, the nerve and associated weakness took several months to heal. However, within months, he was able to return to 99% of the personal and professional activities he enjoys. In fact, in 2016, he started competitively racing in a semi-professional car series.

“The more that patients can see the return-to-life results that others’ achieve, the more likely they are to seek treatment for their own back pain. Spine surgery is not only about treating pain – it’s about getting patients back to living life.”

Reflecting on his experience, he discovered that he suffered neck pain and stiffness on-and-off for years prior to his injury. He often treated his discomfort with anti-inflammatories, delaying the search for a more permanent solution. After his total disc replacement procedure with prodisc C, he realized how much more of his life he was able to experience and enjoy without pain and discomfort. Had he known that disc replacement surgery would provide so much relief, he likely would have opted for surgery earlier in life.

Important Note: The patient information presented is for general education purposes only. As with any spine surgery, there are potential benefits, complications, and risks associated with disc replacement and spinal fusion procedures. Individual results may vary. It is important that you discuss the possible risks and potential benefits of various procedures with your doctor prior to receiving treatment, and that you rely on your physician’s best judgment. Only your doctor can determine whether you are a suitable candidate for a specific surgical procedure.

They Regained Their Lives

These individuals can inspire your journey to healing and life after disc replacement surgery—and the hope of freedom from spine-induced pain and discomfort.

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