David Herbert, a seasoned athlete at 80 years old, has aggressively participated in local, state and National Senior Olympic games for many years. Having a long history of intense competitions including the World Masters and Los Angeles Marathons, Mr. Herbert was no stranger to pain and often pushed through it to get the results he wanted. As he recalled, while qualifying for the 2003 National Senior Olympics in Norfolk, VA, he began experiencing painful back spasms that he'd never had before. After the 2003 competition, he decided to remain active in his lifestyle but to take a few years off of the intense training hoping that his back would have time to heal.
Returning to 2007 National Senior Olympic games in Louisville, KY, Mr. Herbert's painful back spasms not only returned, but he began experiencing persistent pain in his back extending down his left leg. Seeking relief from his pain, he visited his primary care physician. Dr. Craig Mills. After reviewing Mr. Herbert's symptoms, Dr. Mills determined it was a neurological condition and referred him to Dr. Eric L. Rhoton, a board-certified neurosurgeon. After a thorough examination,
Dr. Rhoton diagnosed him with spinal stenosis and recommended Mr. Herbert for a Lumbar Laminectomy procedure. In October of 2008, Mr. Herbert had his procedure performed by Dr. Rhoton. This specific procedure was designed to act as a “strengthening box" for his 4th lumbar disc. After the surgery, he went through 4 to 5 months of physical therapy strengthening his back.
Thanks to the procedure, along with the in-house physical therapy program put together by Roger Meade, the Director of Rehabilitation Services at CSNC, his track and field life was restored and Mr. Herbert was able to participate in the local as well as the regional 201 O Senior Games this year in Raleigh, NC. He won gold medals in the 100 meter and 200 meter sprints; the running and standing broad jumps; and bronze medals in the discus and ball throwing events qualifying him for those five events in the 2011 National Senior Olympics in Houston, TX. He continues to run several times a week and also enjoys biking and swimming.
“Dr. Rhoton, with the assistance of Roger Meade, Director of Rehabilitation Services at CSNC, played an invaluable part in my recovery and helping to restore my life.” – Dave Herbert