Nashville athlete with spine condition is running 5K races again after back surgery | Ascension

Nashville athlete with spine condition is running 5K races again after back surgery


Megan Wise was diagnosed with degenerative disc disease when she was just 15. Degenerative disc disease refers to symptoms of back or neck pain caused by spinal discs wearing down.

“As a runner and an active girl, I was defeated by the news.” Megan said. “My hobbies consist of running, boating, camping, trail hiking and anything that involves the outdoors.”

Fifteen years later, following two rounds of surgery and rehab, Megan’s back pain flared up again. She said when her doctor suggested a third, more invasive back surgery, she decided to get a second opinion at Ascension Saint Thomas Spine Institute

“When my new doctor said he could do the surgery without fusing my spine, I was so relieved,” Megan said. “I was so grateful that an alternative was available.” 

After surgery at Ascension Saint Thomas Spine Institute and a year-long recovery, Megan said she is stronger than ever.

“My care teams provided such genuine care for me throughout my journey, and I am forever grateful,” she said.

Megan recently completed her first 5K since her surgery and continues to work toward her lifelong dream of qualifying for the marathon in Boston. She also started a social media page focused on motivating others.

“This journey has changed my life, and I choose to see it in a positive light,” she said. “I want to inspire others to start moving, regardless of their fitness level. No matter how big the goal may seem, just take the first step.” 

Ascension Saint Thomas Spine Institute is a national leader in minimally invasive spine care. In fact, more patients choose Ascension Saint Thomas Spine Institute for joint and spine procedures than any other health system in the region. 

Delaying care for your neck or back pain can keep you from doing the things you love. It can also impact your overall health. When it comes to neck and back care, our specialists treat everything from the routine to the complex, including nonsurgical and minimally invasive surgical care options. Talk to us about getting the care that’s right for you, so you can get back to doing the things you really enjoy. We’re maintaining strict precautions to keep patients safe in our care.