Local Doctor Chooses SMOC for Specialized Orthopaedic Care

Being a local Hampton Roads physician with my own medical practice, I am privileged to know many of our best doctors. A former colleague of mine at the Naval Hospital, Dr. Gordon Iiams, who was formerly head of Orthopaedics, is now part of Sports Medicine & Orthopaedic Center  (SMOC) in Chesapeake.

When I started having hand problems and pain years ago, I knew there was no one else I would see other than Dr. Iiams.


Dr. Iiams performed a couple of very successful hand surgeries on me. His SMOC colleague, Dr. Anthony Bevilacqua, also performed two successful knee surgeries to help manage and relieve my arthritis. However, the thing I am most grateful for is Dr. Iiams’ referral to his other SMOC colleague, Dr. Bryan Fox, spine specialist in Suffolk, during one of the scariest times of my life.

About seven years ago, I started experiencing mild to moderate sciatica pain that radiated into my legs. I will never forget, raking my lawn one day, I started to hurt. I learned to live with it and did sciatica-specific exercises to help control the symptoms. The pain was manageable.

However, in December 2014 all of that changed. I was sitting on an airplane headed to Vancouver to Whistler Ski Resort with my family, and my legs started bothering me. As the pain grew during the plane ride, I started to wonder what was going on. By the time we landed, my right leg felt like I was getting beaten with clubs. I have dealt with kidney stones for years, and if I rated that pain as a ten, then my current leg pain was a 25! And it wouldn’t go away. Any movement in my leg or body would cause the terrible shooting pain to return. Needless to say, I never skied at Whistler and my family was worried sick about me the entire time.

The second I arrived back in the U.S., I called Dr. Iiams, very concerned at that point as to what was going on in my body to cause such horrific pain. He immediately spoke with his colleague, Dr. Fox, who made time in his schedule for me that very next day.

My MRI showed debris in my spinal column from a ruptured disc. Dr. Fox tried Epidural Injections to see if the pain eased at all, and it did not. At that point, I was devastated. The pain was so intense and continual, I couldn’t work, couldn’t treat patients, couldn’t even take care of myself. Without any hesitation, I was scheduled for surgery as soon as possible.

I knew Dr. Fox’s reputation as a spine surgeon, and trusted him. Through a two and a half inch incision, Dr. Fox was able to remove all of the fragments from my spinal column. I remember waking up from surgery at Sentara Obici Hospital, and the pain was gone! It was a miracle! I went home that day in absolutely no pain. I literally had zero down time.

Because of my excellent surgical care by Dr. Fox and SMOC, I was able to say “Yes” to treating patients in my allergy clinic again. I was able to regain my normal lifestyle, pain free.



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