Patricia Kroymann was unloading her dishwasher on a normal Saturday when she suddenly felt excruciating pain in her back and legs. “I knew right away something wasn’t right. I thought maybe it was a muscle spasm,” says Kroymann. “I thought with Tylenol and rest it would get better.”
Instead, by the time Monday morning arrived, Kroymann could not get up from her bed. Her husband rushed her to the Emergency Department on the Austin campus of Mayo Clinic Health System – Albert Lea and Austin for evaluation. “They actually admitted me to the hospital for a couple of days because I was in such excruciating pain,” says Kroymann. After several tests, Emily Nguyen, M.D., Orthopedics, and her team determined that Kroymann was suffering from a herniated disc in her spine.
“Ms. Kroymann had a special type of disc herniation called a disc extrusion where a piece of disc in the spine separates and in her case was pinching a nerve,” says Dr. Nguyen, who trained at Mayo Clinic in Rochester and joined Mayo Clinic Health System in September of 2014. She and Kelli Kyle, a certified physician assistant, started Kroymann on a regimen of physical therapy and injections to help control the swelling and pain as well as close monitoring of her condition.
Kroymann was hopeful after the first injection, but it soon became clear that she would need surgery. “I actually had a follow up appointment set up with Dr. Nguyen and Kelli, but I didn’t make it,” says Kroymann. “I was in too much pain.”
Kroymann again reported to the Emergency Department, where providers contacted Dr. Nguyen immediately. In two days, Kroymann was in the operating room with Dr. Nguyen in Austin undergoing a discectomy.
“When I woke up, the pain in my leg was gone,” says Kroymann. “I was off my feet for a while, but I didn’t even need physical therapy.”
Kroymann says she couldn’t be happier with the care she received, all at Mayo Clinic Health System in Austin. “I have recommended Kelli and Dr. Nguyen to people because of their fantastic bedside manner and my successful surgery,” says Kroymann. “I’m so happy to have these resources available here in Austin.”