Local runner goes from spine surgery to finish line
SAN DIEGO (KUSI) – Cardiff resident Sarah Swiss said she recently completed a remarkable journey from the operating room table to the finish line at the Rock ‘n Roll Marathon in June.
She says that she went from “getting metal put into my back” one year and one week ago during spinal fusion surgery – to “getting a medal put around my neck” at the end of the half-marathon race on June 2, which she finished in 1 hour, 53 minutes, 19 seconds.
A longtime runner with 13 marathons to her credit, Sarah, 35, developed debilitating pain in her back, leg and foot in recent years, which kept her from running, work and even daily chores.
Determined to find her way back to an active lifestyle, Sarah connected with Scripps Clinic spine surgeon Dr. Jamieson Glenn. Dr. Glenn recommended an innovative and minimally invasive spinal fusion procedure. This involved making a small surgical incision in Sarah’s abdomen — an approach that allowed for lower complications and better healing. Through this small, 3-inch incision, Dr. Glenn went in to place a “spacer” in Sarah’s spine, which protects the backbone from further injury by limiting mobility.
Looking ahead, Sarah has her sights on completing another marathon and is looking forward to walking down the aisle pain-free at her wedding, planned for October 2019.