Maria Hughes


I started noticing pain in my lower back at the age of 60. I visited my regular doctor often so that I could get shots to relieve the pain. This continued for about 3 years and eventually the shots stopped working. Then almost as if it was overnight, I developed a hump on the top of my back, near my neck. My doctor suggested that I get a bone density test and referred me to go see a doctor at Optim.

I wasn’t sure what my next steps were and quite honestly, was a little unnerved at the idea of seeing yet another doctor about my back pain. When I met with Dr. Gumidyala, I was so hunched over that my height measured 4’10, and I only weighed 110lbs. He suggested that if I wanted to fix the hump on my back and walk upright again, that I needed to strengthen my bones. Dr. Gumidyala diagnosed me with Kyphoscoliosis, (the humpback deformity that was apparent when you looked at me from the side). He put me on some Osteoperosis medicine to get me to the condition that I needed to be to have the surgery. After about 7 months of preparation, I moved to Savannah (2011) and then January 10, 2012, I had my first surgery, which was an anterior release and spinal fusion. Dr. Gumidyala explained that he had to do this first procedure in order to mobilize my spine and correct the deformity in my second surgery. Ten days later, I had my surgery to correct my Kyphoscoliosis. After some recovery with the help of 2 aids and therapy, I am now amazingly walking upright at 5’6! I have also been able to get back to my regular routine and healthy weight of 125lbs. My neighbors who have known me for some time, cannot believe how much taller I am and how much better off I am now, after my surgery.

I trusted Dr. Gumidyala because he explained everything to me in a way that I could understand. His bed-side manner was spot on and I am so greatful for everything that he has done for me. I want to make sure that people know that there are options out there that you might not think are available to you. In fact, I’m in need of shoulder surgery and since my experience was very positive with Dr. Gumidyala, I am sticking with Optim, and Dr. Sutherland and Dr. Wilson are going to be performing my surgery within the next month.