Don Sharp

Don Sharp - Spine Surgery

For two years, Don Sharp had “a pain in the neck” and it wasn’t from his time on the Visalia City Council or the stress of running his Visalia business.

It was an actual pain that had been nagging at Sharp, 73, President of Sharp Insurance & Bonding. And, that pain had friends – a pain in the shoulder and numbness and tingling in Sharp’s right arm.

“It was bad, but I thought I had just done something wrong at the gym,” said Sharp, a gym rat who visits The Lifestyle Center daily in Visalia. But when physical therapy only made the pain worse Sharp worried. Unable to deny his love of golf, he said “yes” when asked to play in an Oct. 2010 tournament. 

“It was the straw that broke the camel’s back. Everything was worse the next day,” Sharp said.

After seeing his primary care doctor and getting X-Rays, Sharp was told he needed surgery. He wasn’t sure who to see or whether to stay in the Central Valley. He did his research, hopped on the Internet and asked around.

“I found out there are world class neurosurgeons in Visalia,” said Sharp, who was referred to Dr. Parley Madsen by Dr. John Booker.

Drs. Parley Madsen and Thomas Hoyt. are two neurosurgeons who practice at Kaweah Delta.

Spine Surgery
When people think of orthopedic surgery, not many think of neurosurgeons, said Dr. Madsen. "People think of us as doing brain surgery, but we do major spine surgery and peripheral nerve cases," Madesen said.

To resolve Sharp’s pain, Dr. Madsen performed three zero-profile anterior cervical plate replacements – surgical procedures that involved removing Sharp’s damaged cervical disc and replacing them with titanium brackets and salvaged bone.

To Sharp’s surprise, he didn’t lose any range of motion. “I was pleasantly surprised – ecstatic – because I have a very busy lifestyle,” Sharp said. “Now that it’s over and behind me, I know I made a good decision.”