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Get back to the life you love

Get back to the life you love

  • Updated

Like many women, Angie Nichols fulfills many roles and responsibilities. Wife. Mom. Grandma. Businesswoman. 

"I stay busy. It's a very good life," said Angie. "This year I opened my business, El Rio Wellness and Spa, in LeClaire, Iowa. I enjoy living along the Mississippi, and in the summer I like jet skiing and boating. And, I love spending time with my beautiful grandkids!"

Angie is a great role model for those looking to balance family, fun and work. Buy, life wasn't always fulfilling for Angie.

"A few years ago, I started feeling discomfort in my neck. Soon, the pain was in my back and down my arms. It got to the point where I couldn't perform my daily functions. I couldn't even make dinner for my family. The pain was too much," she said.  

Finding the right solution to get rid of the pain

"When the problems first started, I went to a chiropractor, a massage therapist, an acupuncturist and then a physical therapist. I was looking for any help I could find," Angie stated. "Then, I met Dr. Michael Dolphin at Orthopaedic Specialists."

Dr. Dolphin, a board-certified orthopaedic surgeon at Orthopaedic Specialists and graduate of the New York College of Osteopathic Medicine, has an office in Davenport, Bettendorf, and Clinton. Upon examining Angie, Dr. Dolphin found she suffered from spinal stenosis. The condition occurs when the space in the spinal column narrows, creating tightness around the nerves traveling inside the spinal column. Typically, it is caused by spinal arthritis. As a result of the arthritis, ligaments may thicken and bone spurs can develop. This causes crowding of the nerves which leads to pain and disability.  

Dr. Dolphin recommended a minimally invasive surgery, Anterior Cervical Discectomy with Fusion, for Angie. It's performed by relieving the cervical stenosis through the front of the neck to decrease the pain, numbness and tingling the patient experiences.  This procedure is utilized in situations where bone spurs are causing nerve compression. Careful surgical technique allows for removal of the bone spurs, relieving the nerve/spinal cord compression. Then stabilization of the disc space is performed in the form of a fusion. Dr. Dolphin performs the procedure with a small incision, allowing for quicker recovery. 

"This procedure allows the patient to recover with very minimal scarring, or the need for plastic surgery. It's done on an outpatient basis," said Dr. Dolphin.

Dr. Dolphin is the area's only spine surgeon performing outpatient spine surgery in an outpatient surgery center.

Getting back to the good life: pain free

"I refused to let the pain rule my life," Angie shared. "I had to get back to being 'me' as soon as possible."  

Today, Angie is once again enjoying her life filled with family, friends and adventure. She spends her time on the golf course, boating on the river, and managing El Rio Wellness and Spa.

"If you would have told me I would be running my own business ten years ago, I never would have believed you. It's an adventure I enjoy every day! Thanks to Dr. Dolphin and the staff at Orthopaedic Specialists, I'm back to my daily activities."

To learn more about Orthopaedic Specialists or to schedule an appointment with Dr. Dolphin, visit or call (563) 344-9292.


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