James Ippolito's Story

I walked away from back pain.

Time to Make the Donuts

For years James Ippolito's job as a doughnut maker in the Boston area required him to stand for long periods of time. The cement floors, coupled with heavy lifting, took a toll on his back and legs.

He began having trouble with his legs, feeling numbness when he walked, several years after he left the food business. He lived with the pain in his lower back and the numbness in his legs until the condition got in the way of his active lifestyle.

Time to Make a Change

James loves to sing karaoke, but could not belt out a tune without sitting. Walking was a slow and painful process. Getting around his neighborhood and participating in group activities became almost impossible. James and his wife planned a trip to Ireland, and despite his condition, decided to make the journey.

"I had to stand up several times on the plane," James says. "I could never really get comfortable."

During the trip, James could walk only short distances. As a result, he missed out on several attractions.

"It was frustrating," he says.

Time of His Life

When he returned home, James met with neurological surgeon, Dean Lin, M.D., who diagnosed him with spinal stenosis, a condition of the narrowing of the spine. Following surgery, James returned to the active lifestyle he pursued years ago, which includes walking through his neighborhood, traveling and singing.

"I have no pain," James says. "When I see other people who look like I did, I want to tell them that there is help."

James had a number of people who were instrumental in his recovery, including physical therapist, Valerie Green.

"She really helped me, especially in those first few days," James says. "She was so encouraging and said I was doing well in my recovery."

James has progressed so far that he and his wife are planning another trip—this time to Italy.

"I'm really looking forward to that," James says. "This trip will be so different from the last one."