CLEARWATER, Fla. – October 5, 2017 – Barbara Farrell suffered with back problems for more than six decades. She first injured herself as a 16-year-old cheerleader, but arthritis in older age compounded her pain.

“I developed spinal stenosis and scoliosis, to the point that I was literally bent into an ‘S’. Eventually, I couldn’t even walk across the street,” said the 82-year-old.

The disabling pain was especially difficult for the retired school teacher who had previously maintained a very active lifestyle. She and her husband are avid fossil hunters, who travel out West each year to search for hidden history.

“I tried everything to be able to keep up. I had cortisone shots, physical therapy and tried different types of exercise that are supposed to help scoliosis. I really wanted to avoid surgery at all costs, because of the recovery that it requires. I heard so many horror stories, and I didn’t want to end up worse off after the operation than I was before. However, I got to the point where I was crippled either way,” said Farrell.

That’s when Farrell learned about Ali Zahrai, M.D., an orthopaedic spine surgeon at Orthopaedic Associates of West Florida. He felt he could help Farrell, including fixing her scoliosis, with a series of operations, using a new, state-of-the-art robotic guidance system for spine surgery, Mazor XTM. The system enhances outcomes for patients undergoing spine surgery, by aiding surgeons to perform their jobs with more accuracy.

“Traditionally, minimally-invasive procedures mean less pain, shorter hospital stays, and smaller incisions for patients. However, those smaller incisions can pose a greater challenge for surgeons, because you have a lack of direct line-of-vision, and can require more intraoperative X-rays to compensate. The Mazor XTM robotic guidance system removes this necessity, providing patients with the best possible clinical results,” said Dr. Zahrai.

Six months post-surgery, Farrell is almost pain-free, and can now walk with no problem.

Before, I was in constant pain. Even laying down was difficult, and walking was nearly impossible. I’d have to sit down on parked car fenders just to get from point A to B. Now I have my life back. It’s really been a miracle.

Mazor Robotics Mazor Robotics

For more information on this cutting-edge technology visit or call 727-461-6026.

About Orthopaedic Associates of West Florida:

At Orthopaedic Associates of West Florida, our family of board-certified physicians have been taking care of bay area patients for more than 30 years. We merge state-of-the-art technology with unsurpassed physician skills. OAWF provides patients with complete care offering two in-house MRI locations, X-ray at each of our four offices, Bone Densitometry, EMG/NCV, Physical and Hand Therapy and an Orthotics/Prosthetics department. We have four convenient locations to serve patients across the entire bay area.