Cara Cherico

Patient Story

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Cara Cherico

Surgery: TruFuse Facet Fusion
Date: November 25, 2013

  • Progressive Back and Leg Pain
  • Treated with TruFuse Facet Fusion
  • No Screws or Rods needed
  • Home the next day

Patient Testimonial for TruFUSE® Facet Lumbar Spine Fusion

Cara Cherico Surgical Date 11/25/2013


The two dots indicate where the TruFuse facet dowels are located

Ms. Cherico had a serious problem with progressive back and leg pain for about a year following an accident several years ago.  Her pain left her with balance and walking problems to the point she had fallen several times.  Typically a very active person who had regularly chopped wood and shoveled coal to heat her home she was now seeking help.  Having seen three prior surgeons who had told her they could not help her she saw Dr Maroon in August 2013 for a neurosurgical evaluation.  Following her examination which revealed left leg weakness and a review of her MRI showing profound stenosis, bulging discs and a slippage of her spine at L3-4, Dr Maroon advised her that she could benefit from a spine surgical procedure.

Unlike the prior surgeons she saw Dr Maroon recommended a minimally invasive lumbar fusion surgery using a spinal implant call a TruFUSE®.  “I was extremely happy to learn from Dr Maroon,” stated Ms. Cherico, “that this surgery did not use metal screws and rods and that most likely I would be able to go home the day after surgery.” In fact Ms. Cherico’s surgery went very well and she was discharged home the next day and has done remarkably well.  “I really had to stop myself from overdoing it when I got home,” stated Ms Cherico, “I have been off medications prescribed for pain after about two weeks and I am now back to teaching high school students full time 6 weeks after surgery.”  I was very worried about the surgery because my Mother recently had a spinal fusion using several screws and she had a 4 day hospital stay and weeks in a rehab.”

At a recent follow up visit with Dr Maroon she reported how grateful she was that Dr Maroon was able to use the minimally invasive surgery to help her back and leg.  This surgery may not be appropriate for all patients but those that can have a lumbar facet fusion with the TruFUSE device generally have quicker hospital stay, less blood loss and need for pain medications.  Read more in this 2012 article by Dr Maroon- READ HERE

Disclaimer: Cara Cherico has signed a release form to permit the release of this personal information. We will never disclose any personal information unless the parties involved agree in writing.


Tri-State Neurosurgical Associates-UPMC
Administrative Oakland Office Address:
Presbyterian University Hospital
Department of Neurosurgery
Suite 5C
200 Lothrop Street
Pittsburgh, PA 15213
Phone: 1-888-234-4357

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