Report from the Los Angeles clinic: “The orthopedic surgeon was wrong twice”


This story begins 15 years ago. One day I received a call from a man who at the time was 62 years old. I will call him Mr. Jones. Sounding worried and distressed, he told me that he got my phone number from his religious mentor in Arizona. He explained that in two weeks he was scheduled for a spinal surgery and that his MRI showed a 7mm disc herniation. He complained about terrible pain shooting to his right leg. His orthopedic surgeon, who was also his friend, insisted on an immediate surgery and suggested not to wait even for two weeks.

I asked Mr. Jones why such drastic measures were planned from the very beginning. Apparently the pain he experienced was the only indication for surgery and his orthopedic surgeon’s position was very simple: “Why suffer if the surgery is unavoidable anyway?” 

However, the patient was afraid of the surgery. He decided to try a conservative treatment first. His Arizona mentor, having had the same MRI findings and suffered from similar terrible pain, was scheduled for a surgery, but was able to avoid it thanks to the Medical Massage treatments provided by Dr. Ross Turchaninov.

Because of the terrible pain, he was not able to fly to Arizona. Therefore, Dr. Turchaninov suggested he visit our clinic in Los Angeles.

The next day I saw Mr. Jones. Practically his every movement caused him a sharp pain all way to the right foot, which triggered physical and emotional distress. The only position he could tolerate was lying on his left site.

I started with 15 minutes of introductory massage in the neck and upper back. His breathing pattern normalized, and little by little, I moved to continue to the right lower back and buttock. Then I asked him to turn on his stomach. Surprisingly, he was able to do it without experiencing a sharp pain. I spent another 15 minutes performing kneading techniques on the right side of the lower back and buttocks, gradually increasing pressure.

It was obvious that his threshold of pain had slowly restored. Then I used lymph drainage massage techniques for 10 minutes, followed by 10 minutes of connective tissue massage. This was followed by 5 minutes of addressing all trigger points that I detected. Before the end of the treatment, the patient felt asleep.

At this point, I knew that we had achieved important improvements. I woke him up and asked him to lie on his right side. He didn’t have any pain. I saw him for 11 more treatments. Since the end of the therapy he has lived a normal and active life for almost 15 years.

During that time, Mr. Jones visited me three times. One time his complaint was about rotator cuff syndrome. Another time it was a knee problem and one time it was neck pain. Every time I saw him, I joked that his orthopedic surgeon friend was wrong and he lives pain free. Apparently all these years his friend continued to insist that all improvements he had were temporary, and sooner or later he would still need surgery. 

Two weeks ago Mr. Jones called for an appointment and sounded very anxious. He said that his symptoms came back. When I met him the next day the first thing he said was that his friend was right, and he should have done this surgery when he was 62. Now at 77, he had less chance to recuperate from the surgery. Mr. Jones didn’t believe that Medical Massage would be able to help him this time. 

To my surprise his symptoms weren’t on the right, but rather on the left side. He already did an MRI and there were not so many changes within the spine. As a matter of fact, his initial left side disk herniation was now 6mm and it was 1mm less than the one he had 15 years ago. For a 77 year-old man, this was actually a fairly good MRI report.

Before I started, I asked him whether his orthopedic surgeon friend said that this time the surgery would be unavoidable and that he made a mistake by not doing it 15 years ago. He said: “Yes!” 

I smiled and told him: “Let’s prove to your friend that he was wrong again.”  So we did, and this time it was even quicker to obtain stable clinical results.


1. Pay attention to what was done to the patient before and what future treatment plans are, but when making the final decision to use or not to use Medical Massage, rely only on information you found during the evaluation of the soft tissues.

2. Usually, MEDICAL MASSAGE PROTOCOL in cases of Sciatic Nerve Neuralgia takes between 30 to 35 minutes. As you noticed, I spent almost twice as long with Mr. Jones. Don’t be afraid to spend extra time, especially at the beginning. It helps control the pain analyzing system more efficiently and doesn’t create a negative image of the therapy.

3. Successfully applied Medical Massage allows you to unload the vertebral segment by reducing protective muscle spasm in the surrounding paravertebral muscles. The decrease of pressure within the vertebral segment prevents further advances of the disk degeneration and in many cases reduces the size of the herniation. In this patient the size of the herniation decreased from 7mm to 6 mm. This was a very big positive change which held for the entire 15 years since I worked on his right side sciatic nerve neuralgia due to the disk pathology.

Boris Prilutsky, LMT, MA 

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