With the help of the experts at The Christ Hospital, hiking enthusiast, Mike O'Connor, was able to overcome his debilitating back injuries and start his goal of hiking the 2,650-mile-long Pacific Crest Trail. Mike has been setting big hiking goals for himself since adolescence, but over the years, he began experiencing ruptured discs in his back that would limit his passion.

In August 2017, Mike blew a disc that left him barely able to walk. He saw John Roberts, MD, a spine surgeon with The Christ Hospital Physicians, who had treated his previous back problems. Together, they decided surgery to remove the damaged disc was his best shot for relief and getting back to training for the trail.

Mike had outpatient surgery in October 2017, followed by rehabilitation, a focus on strengthening his core, and many months of training. Mike was able to set off on his first big hike in January of 2019, traveling an average of 15-20 miles per day. Now his back is stronger than ever—and he fully intends to finish the 1350 miles waiting for him on the Pacific Crest Trail. "Had it not been for Dr. Roberts and the people at Christ who fixed my back, I never would have made it this far," says Mike.