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Delilah Birmingham



I have suffered problems in my lower back for several years and I was a patient of Dr. Stanley Jones until he referred me to Dr. Amir Malik because of my complications. I have been diagnosed with scoliosis, spinal stenosis and herniated discs. Dr. Malik scheduled surgery in October of 2012, but when we realized I have osteoporosis Dr. Malik postponed this surgery. He said he could not do the fusion because the bones may crumble more and not support the metal screws he would need to use. He was afraid this could make matters worse. In many cases, surgeons push for surgery. I really appreciated his conservative approach.

In January of 2013 I was being bothered with tingling in my hands and arms if they were in the same position very long. I knew of a neurologist and I scheduled an appointment with him. He ordered an MRI of the top part of my spine. He said I did not need any surgery. He said I had a lot of nerve damage that physical therapy would help. I forgot about this problem. In April 2013 I was getting a prescription filled at Dr. Jones’ office. I had a copy of the written part of the MRI in my purse. Dr. Jones was not there that day, but his assistant, Bret, was. I gave him the copy to put in their file and told him what I had done. He read it and realized I had some problems. He told me to come back and see Dr. Jones, which I did. Dr. Jones told me to get the film of the MRI and see Dr. Malik. He said I had some serious trouble. The next week I saw Dr. Malik. He could not believe the neurologist had recommended physical therapy for this condition. He told me not to be turning my head or moving my neck. He told me if I was in a car wreck or took a fall or sudden jerk it could result in paralysis. He diagnosed my condition as beginning stages of Mylopathy. I knew from previous experience with Dr. Malik he would not recommend surgery unless it was absolutely needed.

I never had any pain from my neck. My only symptom was tinlging in my hands and arms and my handwriting had become very poor. The condition they diagnosed me with was Mylopathy and I learned that if I didn’t get this fixed I would start dropping things and my ability to walk on my own would diminish. Fortunately, the surgery I needed wouldn’t be affected by my osteoporosis. Dr. Malik preformed a 3 level fusion on my neck in May of 2013.

As for my results, there were a few things I noticed almost immediately on returning home. Usually I struggle to walk in the mornings when I get out of bed. The pain would be horrendous. Now when I wake up in the morning I can do so with very little pain. Also, my handwriting, which had become bad over time improved right away! As far as pain, I haven’t had any pain from the surgery whatsoever. I wore the neck brace as I was instructed the entire time of my recovery. I wore it during the day and at night, and I still sleep in it, because I’m used to it so it couldn’t hurt, right? I wanted to get this procedure done and healed so I could come back and get the spinal stenosis procedure done. I didn’t realize how much more serious the top of my back is compared to the lower back. I’ve since learned that by fixing the top part of my neck, the pressure on the lower part of my back has been elevated helping the lower back pain.

To perform this procedure the incision is made in the front of your neck. I was concerned about potential scarring but it healed very quickly and you can barely see it. Jokingly, I told Dr. Malik “you could probably be a cosmetic surgeon too!” I really like Dr. Malik. He’s a very conservative doctor and he comes highly recommended by Dr. Stanley Jones, one of the best spine surgeons in Texas in his own right. He sends all his problem cases to Dr. Malik. I would highly recommend Dr. Malik to anyone.

– Delilah Birmingham