My first encounter with Dr. Lloyd Hey was during an initial visit for my 8 year old daughter's scoliosis condition nearly two years ago. Going into the appointment, my wife and I were on edge about the pending news about our daughter’s diagnosis and path forward. From the moment we entered the office, we immediately realized that the Hey Clinic was an exceptional place and that our daughter was in the best hands. Unlike most doctor’s offices, the Hey Clinic is decorated with success stories of those who have conquered spinal deformities. The Clinic also contains a significant amount of literature and hands on demos aimed at educating patients in a very clear manner about common spinal disorders and the actions often taken to address them.
It was no surprise that the aura of the clinic is the product of its people. From that first visit to now ~2 years later, Dr. Hey and his staff have been extremely professional and cordial. Each member seems to have a strong sense of pride in what they do, possess a genuine compassion for improving lives, and coincidentally wear a big smile on their face each time you see them. From a clinical standpoint, Dr. Hey and his staff are top notch – very technical, knowledgeable, and highly skilled at taking complex information and distilling it down into a simple, layman’s description. Dr. Hey also routinely has taken extra time to make sure all our questions are answered and is careful to weigh in our opinion about what we think is the best treatment for our daughter. Moreover, he is a very empathic doctor which speaks volumes. Overall, my wife and I have been extremely pleased with our daughter’s experience with Dr. Hey and his clinic; HOWEVER, my review doesn’t end here.
Little did I know that two years after first meeting Dr. Hey that he would treatment me too. Jokingly, during one of my daughter’s appointments I mentioned to him that maybe he should check me out given my own bouts with degenerative disk disease. He casually said sure, but at that point in time I had no issues. We were simply letting my daughter know that she’s not alone in dealing with challenges of the spine. Unfortunately though, my back woes returned with vengeance earlier this year. I eventually learned from an MRI conducted by my Orthopedic physician that my L4-L5 disc, the same disc on which I had surgery 12 years ago, had severely herniated. The herniation caused me an immense amount of pain, weakness, and numbness in my right leg and foot. This was also compounded by a smaller than average disc thickness. My physician recommend trying a directed steroid injection to help calm the nerves down.
Knowing that relief that injections bring is often temporary, I gave Dr. Hey a call hoping that he would provide some consultation even though my condition was far less complicated than most scoliosis conditions. Dr. Hey kindly agreed to see me. Within minutes of viewing the MRI Dr. Hey identified numerous issues that were the likely reason for my intense pain and discomfort. He immediately mapped out a game plan. He also took the time to greatly ease my high anxiety stemming from the thought of battling my disc issues at such a young age and throughout the rest of my life. Rather than rushing into surgery, he recommend taking the conservative route and proceed with a steroid injection by my Orthopedic physician. His recommendation was backed by data he cited on the rate of success for different situations. He also said if the injection did not improve my situation within 7 days to come back and we’ll talk surgery.
Seven days passed with no relief. I immediately scheduled a follow-up appointment with Dr. Hey. He and staff were able to squeeze me into a surgery the following week. Dr. Hey carefully reviewed the planned surgical procedure to be done and answered numerous questions. Surgery was an absolute success!!! Dr. Hey performed a microdiscectomy, laminectomy, and removed a portion of ligamentum flavum ( I think) that had coarsened over time due to my degenerative condition. The culmination of this work led to the freeing up of an immense amount of space. The end result, was a night-and-day difference with my conditions. Immediately after surgery I had no pain and virtually no numbness in my right leg except for some minor tingling in my toe. Now six weeks later, the numbness is miniscule and I have re-gained significant strength in my back. More importantly, I have a normal life again – free from the physical and emotional drain of pain.
Overall my experience as father of a daughter with scoliosis and a patient with the Hey Clinic has been nothing short of superb. What’s been very unique is that my daughter and I have gained many life lessons together through this clinic. (We are also Back Buddies!) My daughter now has less fear and tons more confidence that the future surgery to be conducted by Dr. Hey will be well worth it. I think she kind of enjoys going to see Dr. Hey. Lastly, I’d like to emphasize that there have been very few people that I've met in life with the unique combination of qualities that Dr. Lloyd Hey possesses – humble, caring, empathic, super smart, funny, passionate, and firm believer in God. Dr. Hey is truly fulfilling God’s plan for him by making the lives of his patients and doing it the Right way! Thanks Dr. Hey!