Laminectomy and L4/L5 Fusion

Dr. Leary made it so I could get back to living! I'm an avid outdoors man and snow skier & my pain kept me from doing the things I enjoyed most. After surgery, I'm back to hiking and skiing the back country WORLD WIDE... I only wish I hadn't waited so many years for the surgery! Thanks to Dr. Leary and his entire staff!!!

Dale Knott ( Solana Beach CA )

Interbody Fusion

I had suffered from back pain due to wear and tear, scoliosis and heavy lifting for over 15 years. Like most guys I put off going to the doctor as long as possible. I managed the pain with Chiropractic and stretching. When it was no longer manageable I called Dr. Leary's office. His staff was very professional and kind. I had my surgery in February of 2012. It was life changing for me as I had been in constant pain for years. After a period of recovery I am better than I have been in 20 years. Dr. Leary gave me a renewed outlook on life. My quality of life is 300% better than it was before surgery. Thank you Dr. Leary, Tracy and your whole staff! You guys are fantastic! Trace Westcott Orange, California

Trace Westcott

Laminectomy with Fusion L3/4 & L4/5

I can't say enough about Dr. Leary and the results I experienced after seeing him. I couldn't walk 50' without my feet going to sleep. The nerve pain was unbearable, going down both legs. It was an effort to turn over in bed at night. All this is history now, and I'm pain free. He emits a level of confidence and professionalism that is unmatched. He essentially gave me my life back. Thanks Dr. Leary....

James Alden ( Lake San Marcos California )

Decompression and Fusion of Cervical Spine

I have had a great experience with Dr. Leary and his entire staff. Everyone in his office is very caring, professional and responds quickly to any needs that I have had come up. Before the surgery I had intense numbness and pins and needles in both arms. I had great difficulty moving my right arm. After about 6 weeks after surgery all of the numbness and tingling was completely gone. Now at 4 months out am regaining my strength in my right arm. I feel that the surgery was a complete success. I feel very lucky to have been referred to Dr. Leary to perform my surgery. He also performed a laminectomy and fusion in my lumber spine. I had sciatic pain in both hips and legs. The pain in my back was unbearable and had been there for many years. It's been 3 months since the back surgery. The pain in my legs is completely gone. It's almost unbelievable. I wish I had met Dr. Leary years ago. I feel better than I have in 20 years. Many thanks to Dr. Leary and his highly competent staff. Sincerely, Sandra Middleton of El Cajon

Sandra Middleton ( San Diego )

Removal of tumor on pituitary gland

Life changed very suddenly for me when I awoke one night with a raging headache and vomiting. By the time I got to the emergency room I had lost my balance and my eye sight had deteriorated due to pressure on the optic nerve caused by a bleeding tumor on my pituitary gland. After evaluation it was my very good fortune that Dr. Leary was called in. From the time he came in to tell me what needed to be done, I felt very calm and confident. After surgery my recovery went very smoothly and in less than 3 months my head was healed, the tumor was completely gone and my vision and balance were restored to normal. I am very grateful for Dr. Leary's good work, good after care and feel very blessed that he was there to perform this surgery.

Suzanne Smith ( San Diego, CA )

Cervical Discectomy & Fusion

It is not often in our lifetime that we are faced with decisions that may have life or death implications. The complexity of making such a decision does not always rely on our total understanding of the procedure but our trust and confidence of the surgeon. Such was my case with Dr. Scott Leary. For many years, I was experiencing asymptomatic stenosis (compression) of my spinal column. Ultimately, something just didn't feel right especially my upper body strength. MRI supported Dr. Leary's diagnosis and he recommended surgery as soon as possible. The first day home from the hospital Dr. Leary's staff called me and asked "how was I feeling and how much pain medication did I have left". My answer was "I have all of the pain medication left as I don't have any pain" and I didn't ever need it. My procedure rehabilitation went smoothly and without any complications. My trust in Dr. Leary was justified - he is a remarkable surgeon and I am most grateful to him for his marvelous skills. I can not recommend him more highly. If you have questions or would like more information, do not hesitate to contact me. John Fitzpatrick, O.D.

John Fitzpatrick, O.D. ( Carlsbad, CA )

Thoracic Fusion

In this season of Thanksgiving and Christmas I have much to be thankful for. I am thankful that I am alive and not paralyzed. I am grateful to Dr. Leary for saving my life. I fell off of a horse on July 13, 2011 and fractured my back, pelvis, ribs, and had a subdural hemorrhage. I am so thankful that Dr. Leary was on trauma duty at Scripps that day. My prior fusion from scoliosis surgery broke and Dr. Leary re-fused my back. He is indeed a dispenser of miracles. Thank you so much!

Karen Stephens ( La Mesa, CA )

Spinal Fusion

I have been very pleased with the spinal fusion surgery I received from Dr. Leary. He operated on my L4, L5 and S1 discs which had deteriorated and caused a lot of back pain and spasms. I was very reluctant to have surgery but after many reassuring visits with Dr. Leary, I decided to go through with the operation and am very glad I did. It was two years ago and I am walking 4 1/2 miles every day, taking yoga classes two times a week and enjoying an active without concern about back pain. Thank you Dr. Leary!

Ina Mozer

L4-L5 Laminectomy and Fusion

After enduring months of 10 out of 10 pain and barely being able to walk, I was diagnosed with L4-L5 spondylolisthesis with critical spinal stenosis. Dr. Leary performed a L4-L5 Laminectomy and Fusion on me in February 2009 and the severe pain I had felt was gone the moment I woke up from anesthesia. Not only can I walk again but I am walking 3 to 5 miles a day. Dr. Leary took care of everything right away and I would just like to say, I think the guy is pretty sharp.

Richard Maxa ( California, USA )

L5-S1 Anterior Lumbar Interbody Fusion

In 2009, I had two spinal surgeries at UCSD Medical Center. As a result, I had severe damage to my L5 nerve causing my right foot to have Foot Drop. I couldn't move my toes and ankle. I had numbness in my toes, ankle, and part of my right leg. When I met Dr. Scott Leary, he took out one of the cages that was implanted in my spine which was pressing on my L5 nerve. He operated on me in June 2010 through my abdomen and took the pressure off of my nerves. It is March 2011, and my EMG test showed that there is improvement in the functioning of my damaged nerves. I did have physical therapy in 2010, and will have more therapy in 2011. I am very happy with the skill of Dr. Leary!

Judith Levenson ( California, USA )

Brain Surgery

About 5 years ago I started feeling nerve pain in the left side of my face. It continued to get worse over time. I searched doctors to try and find out what was wrong with me. Finally I found a neurologist who diagnosed me with trigeminal neuralgia. I was prescribed several different medications to find my \"cocktail\" of meds to relieve the pain. I understand everyone reacts differently to the meds. It started out as a hit or miss over the five years. Finally after finding out that I had run the gamut of medications for me my Neurologist suggested I see Dr. Scott Leary. That my only option left was surgery. Dr. Leary performed the surgery on December 8th 2014. After the surgery I received immediate relief and require no medications. My life has totally changed. It\'s been over three months and I have no pain and no side effects from medications that I no longer have to take. I feel like a new person. Thank you Dr. Leary for saving me from a life of nerve pain!

Gloria Livingston ( United States )

Cervical Fusion

I had surgery with Dr. Scott Leary in March of 2012, and the results were spectacular. For many years I had suffered from a "weak" back due to the tightening of the lumbar on #4 and #5. I suffered from stiffness and constant nagging pain but I tolerated it. Dr. Leary confidently indicated that surgery would relieve all those problems, and it has. I have been pain free and back stiff free for months and it feels as if my back is that of a 30 year old. I am a golfer, and by June 1st of this year I was back in action on the course, playing several rounds of golf in Hawaii pain free. Right from the start I knew Dr. Leary was a competent doctor, and reading his biography convinced me that he would perform well. I could not have wanted a better outcome, and this is my testimonial to an assurance that Dr. Leary will take good care of you. All the best in choosing a doctor, but I think you cannot go wrong with Dr. Leary.

Richard Sinay ( Grossmont Hospital )

Cervical fusion C3-4

I was referred to Dr. Scott P. Leary by a friend and I am very happy I made the three hour trip to see him. Dr. Leary, PA Tracy, staff, and surgery center are the very best I have come in contact with. Dr. Leary was very careful to make the correct diagnosis and proceed with the right procedure. I had a prior C4-5 fusion in 2008 with another doctor, making this a revision surgery. Dr. Leary took the time in surgery to expertly remove bone spurs across both sides and decompress the cord. My post op X-ray's look great with perfect alignment. I am delighted to have much less pain and know things will improve further. I have lumbar issues also, and have placed my trust in Dr. Leary to help me there as well. I cannot thank you enough for the expert care and pain reduction I have received.

Tony McCammon


I am an atypical patient because I had almost no sypmptoms of my problem but needed immediate attention once it was discovered. Over three months I had three types of infrequent and seemingly unrelated minor symptoms: arm spasm, speech difficulty, arm numbness. When the numbness hit on a Saturday, I went immediately to the Scripps Encinitas emergency room. An MRI showed a "huge" cyst in my brain. On Sunday, Dr. Leary contacted me and explained the urgency of removal, even though this was not a tumor. On Monday, I checked in to Scripps Memorial. Dr. Leary and staff put me perfectly at ease about my upcoming procedure. On Tuesday, Dr. Leary removed a cyst the size of a tennis ball from my brain, remarking that the cyst was under a great deal of pressure and the largest he'd ever seen. On Friday, I went home. It was an eventful week.

Teresa Norton ( San Diego )

Ventriculoperitoneal Shunt Placement

September 16, 2011 Dear Dr. Leary, I wanted to take this opportunity to properly thank you for saving my life and for all you have done for me. You are truly blessed with a brilliant mind and skillful hands; your patience and understanding especially in my case are greatly appreciated. You are an outstanding credit to the medical profession and I am thankful you were at Scripps Memorial the day I needed your help as well as when you performed the surgery for my shunt. I have heard many horror stories from other pseudo tumor patients abroad which makes me confident I have chosen one of the best neurosurgeons for present, past and future surgeries. There are certain special people in the world who really care, who find joy in helping others and who have so much to share, thanks for the wonderful care you give. Sincerely, Teresa Ball

Teresa Ball ( Murrieta, CA )

Post Anterior Cervical Discetomy and Fusion and L4-5 Decompression and stabilization

I was a very active individual before I began to be affected by a 10 out of 10 pain which bothered me the majority of the time. I used to go horseback riding, sailing, and swimming as often as possible. My pain began about two years before I went to see Dr. Leary. Not only did I have pain in my neck and my left arm but my fine motor skills began to be affected and I had difficulty doing tasks as small as holding a pen. Luckily, one of my best friends is a Dermatologist who knows Dr. O'Leary. Dr. O'Leary then referred me to Dr. Leary who tried to assist with my symptoms through an epidural injection and a C6 nerve root block, neither of which helped. Dr. Leary then informed me that I had the option of enrolling in the Coflex FDA trial for symptomatic lumbar stenosis to treat the problems in my lower back and would need an anterior cervical fusion of C5-6 and C6-7. After the surgery my pain went away and I began to get stronger in both my hands. Now I am feeling terrific and can do anything I want! Dr. Leary is a life saver and I can't say enough about him.

Dolores ("Doe") Steele ( California, USA )

Right L4-5 and L5-S1 Transforaminal Lumbar Interbody Fusion

I have always been a very active person and especially enjoyed activities like going to the gym 5 or 6 times a week. I had been going to a chiropractor who diagnosed me with lumbar degenerative disc disease about 5 years earlier and who had up until that point been able to keep my pain level under control. In December of 2010 my pain escalated to a 10 out of 10 and had increased so significantly that it began to interfere with my daily activities and I was no longer able to go to the gym. My chiropractor then referred me to Dr. Leary for an MRI and after Dr. Leary and I met to review the MRI results he found that my disc was badly herniated and we decided that surgery was the best option. In March of 2011, I had a right L4-5 and L5-S1 Transforaminal Lumbar Interbody Fusion. While in the hospital, whenever a nurse asked me who performed my surgery and I answered “Dr. Leary” they would always respond with, "You had the best. He is a perfectionist". After I returned home from surgery I was completely pain free. It is now 8 weeks since my surgery and I am in physical therapy. I have incredible flexibility and will be able to return to the gym shortly. Dr. Leary gave me my daily routine back and completely eliminated the pain.

Kenneth Holley ( California, USA )

L5-S1 Artificial Disk Replacment using Aesculap Active-L Prothesis

I had fallen off of a ladder in March of 2009 and went from having no pain and being able to work in my garden and perform normal tasks with ease, to having excruciating pain which would get as bad as a 12 out of 10 on my worst days. The pain that began to affect my lower back and my left leg prevented me from doing almost anything. After going to the emergency room and getting an MRI, they referred me to Dr. Leary. Dr. Leary tried everything from pain medication to an epidural injection to get my pain to go away but nothing seemed to work. Dr. Leary then told me about the artificial disk replacement clinical trial that he was conducting and informed me that I was a good candidate. I agreed to participate and underwent a L5-S1 Artificial Disk Replacement surgery. The minute I woke up the pain was gone, I was able to walk up and down stairs the first day after the procedure. I am so happy with the work that Dr. Leary has done, I now have no problems performing any of the activities I enjoy and have absolutely no pain. I have even referred my sister among others to Dr. Leary because of my satisfaction with his work. I am so glad that I met Dr. Leary, I don't know where I would be without him.

Jodi Johnson ( California, USA )

C3-5 Anterior Cervical Discectomy Fusion

I was originally a patient of Dr. Purcell's and while I was not in any pain I was experiencing some dizziness. He believed that my symptoms were neurological so he referred me to Dr. Leary. After meeting with Dr. Leary it was realized that I needed surgery. Dr. Leary performed a C3-5 Anterior Cervical Discectomy Fusion and now I am no longer dizzy. Dr. Leary was wonderful throughout my time with him and his entire staff was always very helpful.

David Strong ( California, USA )

L5-S1 Anterior Lumbar Interbody Fusion

In 2009, I had two spinal surgeries at UCSD Medical Center. As a result, I had severe damage to my L5 nerve causing my right foot to have Foot Drop. I couldn't move my toes and ankle. I had numbness in my toes, ankle, and part of my right leg. When I met Dr. Scott Leary, he took out one of the cages that was implanted in my spine which was pressing on my L5 nerve. He operated on me in June 2010 through my abdomen and took the pressure off of my nerves. It is March 2011, and my EMG test showed that there is improvement in the functioning of my damaged nerves. I did have physical therapy in 2010, and will have more therapy in 2011. I am very happy with the skill of Dr. Leary!

Judith Levenson ( California, USA )

Right Temporal Craniotomy

While working in my yard one day in January of 2008 I fell off a ladder. My wife became concerned when she found me in the house confused, not remembering the fall and complaining of a headache. She then took me to the Emergency Room at the hospital where they ordered a CT scan. The test results showed that I had a large right intracerebral hematoma within the temporal lobe and needed emergency surgery. The treatment I received and Dr. Leary's immediate action saved my life. I am now able to play golf and feel fantastic.

Gary Nobel ( California, USA )