Sutter Rehabilitation Institute
Wayne - Spinal Stenosis Couldn't Keep Him Down
Wayne Cates’ pride and joy is his family—wife Anjanee, daughter Nevaeh and son Jerry. He loves pulling out the baseball, football or basketball and playing catch with his kids, with Anjanee looking on.
One day, Wayne began experiencing numbness and tingling in his feet and lower legs. The sensation slowly increased, causing Wayne to lose his balance enough that he began using a cane. Wayne’s family doctor ordered an MRI to identify the cause of the loss of sensation in Wayne’s legs. As Wayne waited for the MRI appointment, numbness took over in his legs and he had to use a walker to get around. Finally, the numbness became so bad Wayne was forced to use a wheelchair.
At this point Wayne needed a full-time caregiver. Since Anjanee was at work all day and couldn’t provide the on-going care for Wayne, he moved in with his parents. His mother and brother helped him get dressed, use the bathroom and prepared his meals. “Being away from my wife and children was the hardest part,” said Wayne. “I wondered if I’d ever get the chance to play with my kids again.”
The MRI showed Wayne suffered from spinal stenosis, a narrowing of the open spaces within the spine. This disorder places pressure on the spinal cord and nerves that travel through the spine causing pain, numbness, muscle weakness and more.
Wayne underwent a laminectomy, which removes the back part of the lamina to create more room in the spinal cord. He also had vertebrae fused together to provide support to the spine. After the surgery he had sensation in his feet, which was a good sign. However, he was so weak from the long course of spinal stenosis that he could barely sit up on the edge of his bed. He needed rehabilitation to increase his strength and to relearn how to walk.
At Sutter Rehabilitation Institute, staff worked with Wayne to strengthen his core muscles so he could sit up without help. As he grew stronger, staff worked with him to relearn walking skills and soon he could get around with the help of a walker. Therapists also worked with Wayne to help him manage his daily living activities such as getting dressed, fixing meals doing laundry and more.
“The staff was great,” said Wayne. “They treated me like family and helped me every step of the way.”
Although Anjanee drove from Modesto to Roseville to visit Wayne at Sutter Rehabilitation Institute she says it was “absolutely worth it having Wayne get his rehabilitation therapy at SRI.”
These days Wayne is walking on his own. He happily can hold his children again and can play catch and other games with Nevaeh and Jerry. “Life is good again,” said Wayne. “I’ve got my health back and I’ve got my family back, too.”
Back to top | More Patient Stories