Ellen Kerness knew something was wrong when her back pain became intolerable.
"The pain was excruciating," she said. "It was in my back, in my butt and down my legs."
Her back pain quickly changed from slight to severe.
"I couldn't sleep. I would go to restaurant, and I'd have stand," she said.
Barely able to walk, she immediately went to a back specialist.
"Women unfortunately develop instability patterns, I'm talking about slippage of vertebrae and includes a term called spondylodiscitis, which is a forward slip from one bone to the bone underneath it," Dr. John Herzog, an orthopedic spinal surgeon, explained.
Kerness was diagnosed with spinal stenosis.
"Spinal stenosis is a common condition where nerves are compressed by overgrown tissue and people develop back pain and sciatica," Herzog said.
Symptoms include stabbing, electric pain down the back and legs. Physical therapy and injections didn't work for Kerness. Surgery was her last option.
"The surgery we do is called a spinal decompression where we remove the material that is compressing the nerve," Herzog said.
"I had a double fusion and a laminectomy," Kerness said.
Her recovery took about three months. The doctor said walking is crucial to keeping back problems from coming back.
"We went to Israel for 10 days and we walked miles every day, and I could not have done that before surgery," Kerness said.