Tracy’s Spine Surgery Story

May 24, 2019

Tracy Our StoriesAll her life, Tracy Melvin had been an active person. But one backbend at the age of 34 threatened to put a stop to all her activities. It was 1999 and Melvin was showing her daughter how to do the athletic maneuver when fate intervened.

“I heard my back crack and knew something was wrong,” Melvin says. “I went to my doctor to get it checked, but he only took X-rays. He prescribed pain medications for me to help manage the discomfort.”

Unfortunately, Melvin’s back pain only got worse over the years and she found it difficult to perform even simple daily routine activities. Melvin soldiered on using pain medication until 2007, when she finally agreed to surgery.

But after the operation her discomfort only got worse and Melvin began feeling shooting pains in her legs. By 2015, an MRI revealed that her back was actually being crushed within her lumbar spine. Melvin’s primary care doctor referred her to Payam Farjoodi, M.D., an orthopedist and spine specialist at Fountain Valley Regional Hospital & Medical Center (FVRMC), who recommended a second surgery.

“I didn’t want to do it at first,” Melvin says. “I fought tooth and nail to not have the surgery, but Dr. Farjoodi told me it would likely make me feel better. I trusted him and decided to go through with the surgery.”

A Unique Blueprint for a Better Life

Fortunately for Melvin, Dr. Farjoodi is one of the few spine surgeons in Orange County trained to work with an advanced pre-surgical planning system that maps out orthopedic surgeries unique to each patient’s spine prior to the procedure.

The Mazor Robotics’ Renaissance™ system utilizes 3-D planning software to enable orthopedists to create a surgical blueprint ahead of time that determines precisely where and how to position surgical implants to obtain optimal outcomes. The process also reduces radiation exposure to patients. The accuracy of the system has proven to be 98.6 percent, higher than in procedures done without the Mazor. Use of the Mazor is limited to fellowship-trained spine surgeons or neurosurgeons who have undergone additional education on using the system.

Dr. Farjoodi performed Melvin’s surgery in August and so far, the outcome has exceeded her expectations. While she won’t be doing back bends ever again, she is completely pain-free in her legs and her back pain is nearly gone.

“If it wasn’t for the technology Dr. Farjoodi used, my surgery wouldn’t have been as successful as it was,” she says.” I don’t regret having my surgery—in fact, I’m glad I had it.”

To find details about Mazor Robotic Spine Surgery and get information about our affiliated physicians, please contact us toll-free at
877-959-6863 or visit our robotic spine page..