‘Back In the Saddle’ After Successful Spine Surgery

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Our long-time patient, Kim Gill-Favier, is back to enjoying activities after her surgery, but she will tell you it’s because of our team at California Pacific Orthopaedics. As an equine veterinarian for 35 years, Kim treats horses in competitions and in outdoor conditions that require being active during long periods of time.

In 2016, Kim began to experience back pain. She says, “I am actively treating horses and horseback riding, but when I began to experience back pain, I was able to treat the pain through other options like exercise and non-surgical procedures.”

Kim’s back pain was tolerable, but the pain progressed in 2020. She immediately scheduled an appointment with Physician Assistant James Aicardi and our Physical Medicine & Rehabilitation (PM&R) doctor, Dr. Mark Ignatius.

Our spine team, discussed the procedures offered with our office, but after being fully evaluated, it became clear that Kim needed to have spine surgery.

Kim consulted with our spine surgeon, Dr. Frank Valone, and said, “Dr. Valone is confident in his skills as a spine surgeon and it made me feel confident and comfortable going into surgery.”

Kim underwent surgery last September where Dr. Valone successfully performed a posterior spinal fusion.

“My surgery went well and my recovery was going well as planned, I was expected to go back to horseback riding in 3 month and I was able to get right back into the sport,” said Kim. “Dr. Valone’s surgery packet was thorough and I had no problem contacting the office and staff. Within 24 hours I had a response and I was amazed at the responsiveness and care from the entire staff and doctors.”

Kim is now actively horseback riding and caring for them in her local area. “After my spine treatment, getting my life back was like a gift to me,” Kim says.

During an interview with Kim, she stated, “As a patient at CalPacOrtho, there is this empowering feeling when I come into the office because of their team approach. When it comes to my care, it makes every appointment a positive experience knowing that my care is in good hands.”

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