A Patient Story: Rhonda Daniels

Last fall, Rhonda Daniels began having significant pain in her shoulders as well as numbness in her hands.

“I would reach for something and lose my grip. I couldn’t extend my arm to pick up anything.” – Rhonda Daniels

Rhonda Daniels
Rhonda Daniels

Having experienced neck injuries in the past, she made an appointment with her orthopedist, where she was told she needed surgery to solve the neck, shoulder and arm pain to solve the problem. She wasn’t sure that was the root of the issue, so she sought a second opinion.

Being in the healthcare field, Rhonda was aware of neurosurgeon Joshua Miller, MD, at TN Brain and Spine.

Dr. Miller helps find the root of the problem with his patients.

“When I went to see Dr. Miller, I liked the fact that he did his own assessment. He looked at my radiology report and really listened to what I was saying.” 

Her symptoms included discomfort and irritation in her wrists that were traveling up her arms and shoulders and not radiating from the neck down. After the examination and additional diagnostic tests, he determined it was carpal tunnel that was causing her issues.

Carpal tunnel syndrome, also called median nerve compression, occurs when the median nerve, which runs from the forearm into the palm of the hand, becomes pressed or squeezed at the wrist. Symptoms can include pain, numbness, tingling, and weakness in the hand and arm.

Instead of surgery, Dr. Miller suggested Rhonda first try some lifestyle changes.

Dr. Miller recommended Rhonda begin wearing a wrist brace, taking over-the-counter anti-inflammatory medication and practicing daily arm and hand stretches.

“He showed me the proper way to do arm exercises for the best benefit, and I did them several times per day. Those simple changes made a vast improvement.

The way he explained things was not over my head, and he took the time to look at me and make sure to answer all my questions. He takes the time to make that personal connection.” 

Dr. Miller says that visiting a neurosurgeon doesn’t automatically mean surgery.

With each new patient, Dr. Miller performs a full evaluation and provides several treatment options. He works with each patient to recommend the treatment best suited for that person’s care.

“I take a conservative approach to patient care. I believe that patients should try conservative measures before considering surgery unless there are certain red flags or severe symptoms that would prevent them from tolerating those treatments. I also believe it’s important to teach patients about their condition so that they can make an informed decision about their care. This is especially important if they are not comfortable with their initial treatment or diagnosis. It’s always a good idea to seek a second opinion.

Patients typically come to us when they have severe pain that is radiating into the limbs, or acute weakness in an arm or leg, or if a nerve is losing function.” – Dr. Joshua Miller

Rhonda says:

“I would definitely recommend Dr. Miller to a friend. I feel he approaches your treatment plan as a whole person; he looks at who you are, what you like to do, and what all is going on, not just the report on paper. Because I had a neck injury a long time ago, I still struggle with that and may eventually have to have surgery on it. But, for now, I avoided having an unnecessary surgery, and I am just so thankful!”

Learn More

If you’re experiencing severe pain that radiates to the shoulders, arms, or legs, and includes weakness, tingling, or numbness in your extremities, call us at (865) 331-2835. No physician referral is necessary.

Disclaimer: please note that this information is for educational purposes only and is not intended to serve as medical advice. If you have a specific medical question or issue, we encourage you to call our office at (865) 331-2835 and schedule an appointment.

Joshua Miller, MD
Joshua Miller, MD

About Dr. Miller

Joshua Miller, MD is board certified in neurosurgery. Click here to view his profile. He is accepting new patients, and you can schedule an appointment by calling (865) 331-2835

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