Failed Back Surgeries Kept Him on Disability. Now He's Back to Work.

Joe Paige was injured on the job several times, and multiple surgeries would only offer temporary relief. Finally a new back cage technique got him back to work pain-free.


Back when I was 25 I had an injury on the job. Hurt my lower back, we were putting on snow plows...I worked for the state highway. So we were lifting, and I just felt it when it happened. My hip and my leg, just couldn’t get comfortable unless you lay down and pull your knees up to your chin. So I knew something had happened really bad.

Back Pain from Injured Spine on the Job
Back Pain from Injured Spine on the Job

I had always been scared of back surgeries. You don’t want anyone foolin’ with your spine. I went to another doctor in Clarksville [TN] that operated on me at that time. I made it ten years, then I hurt it again, the disc above it, so he operated on me again, but I never got no better. So he sent me up here to Dr. McCord for a second opinion. Dr. McCord said it looks like it was fixed because they had put braces in. But I just didn’t get no better.


So finally, the doctor in Clarksville released me so I could go back to Dr. McCord. He said he’d take the metal out and if it wasn’t fixed, he’d fix it. I had been off work for like six or seven months, I couldn’t go to work. When he went in there he said, “You’re right, it never would have healed. It looks like it was fixed, but every time you bent over it gave, like a diving board.”

He operated on me on a Wednesday, went home Friday, went back to work on Monday. I went several years, but the next one above it gave out. Dr. McCord fixed that. I always went back to work quickly after he operated on me. I had been operated on several times on my lower back. But then my neck went out on me in 1999, my neck got injured and Dr. McCord fixed that. At that time I had back and neck surgery, and I felt like I wasn’t able to work anymore after that. But I worked all the way up to that, so I got on disability and stayed on disability until 2003. Dr. McCord operated on me again but this time he went through my stomach first, then through the back a day or two later, fixed me up again.


I took myself off disability, I told them I was ready to go back to work. I had to get me a different job because the job I had was gone. So I went to work for the McHenry County Highway Department, and I made it 11 years with them. I was running equipment, I was pushing a tree and the tree broke off, and the backhoe went over the stump and it messed my neck up again.

Back Pain from Backhoe Accident
Back Pain from Backhoe Accident

So I came back to Dr. McCord and he went through the front of my neck and he fixed part of it. Then on the 21st of August he fixed the back part of it, went down in between my shoulders. Because when I’d lay down at night my arms would just die. He’d said because I had been so long, I guess about a year with my neck like that...it was closing off my nerves when I’d lay down. So he fixed that.


I went back on disability, I’d be 60 next month. I’m doing great, I’ve got great mobility, I can move my neck and all. My arms don’t go asleep on me. I do about what I want to do. I was up here with at the hospital with my son, he had a kidney stone blasted. This guy was going to have neck surgery. So I asked who his doctor was, and I told his wife, “Look, best doctor I know for spine is Dr. David McCord. I hope he doesn’t have any trouble, but if he does, like I had with my surgery back in the beginning of my injuries...I couldn’t do nothing. But within a week he operated on me and I went back to work. And I worked till 1999.” So not only would I recommend Dr. McCord I DO recommend Dr. McCord.


I pastor a church in Paris [TN] and he’s operated on a couple of ladies in the church because I’ve recommended him. I believe he’s the best, if I have surgery on my spine I want him to do it. The difference between the doctors is that Dr. McCord’s operations I’m immediately up, can immediately do about what I want to do. He told me since he’s been operating on me he changed his whole practice telling patients to work the soreness out. So I do stuff, so he tells patients to do what they want now. Once he fixes you, it ain’t going to tear up.


I feel blessed, I can bend, walk, no limping. He’s always been able to diagnose and fix the problem. He fixes it in the way that you’re not laid up. You have to have the mindset that hey, I’m going to have to move, get the soreness out.