Posted by: Duke Raleigh Hospital | May 15, 2013

Back in the Swing

A golf-loving attorney returns to the links after successful surgery


Randy Doffermyre, a Dunn personal injury attorney, was still an ace in the courtroom. But his back troubled him to the point he had to give up his beloved game of golf.

In a thank-you letter he sent, post-surgery, to William Lestini, MD, an orthopaedic surgeon with Triangle Spine and Back Care Center, he said: “I gave up golf years ago. I had been a scratch golfer all my life. It was real work to just get to work. I avoided many work opportunities because I did not feel the benefit of it was worth the pain to get the job done.”

Although Doffermyre had unofficially given up golf in 2003, he couldn’t turn down a friend’s invitation in 2009 to play the storied Augusta National course – the site of the equally storied Masters tournament. “I had to crawl,” he said of the effort that game took. “But I wasn’t going to miss that opportunity.”

One member of his foursome was just getting back to the links after hip replacement surgery. And he shot 5 under par. That was the impetus it took for Doffermyre to investigate surgery. A friend referred him to Dr. Lestini, and Doffermyre liked his honesty and his assessment of his chances of success with surgery.

His surgery was in December 2009 at Duke Raleigh Hospital. He says, “I had a 4-level spinal fusion. My three-day admission went very well, and I had little pain. Even the day after surgery when the nurse told me it was time to get up and walk, I was able to do so with minimal pain.”

The hard-charging attorney was back in the office – for short periods – the following week. “I took gradual steps in what I tried to do, and by January of 2010, I was back at work for about the whole day,” he says. He returned to the courtroom for work in January – but using a walker. “By mid-March, I was 95 percent pain free and completely pain free in mid-April. In May, I started hitting the golf ball again, easy at first and gradually a little harder.”

He’s careful to note he made every move – at the office and on the golf course – with the blessing of his doctor. He asked Dr. Lestini how he active he could be and then followed the doctor’s orders closely.

“My life has changed,” he wrote to Dr. Lestini’s office. “I can do what I used to do, and my mental status has gone from depression to clear optimism. I owe this all to Dr. Lestini and to God. They were a great team!”

And his golf game? Since his surgery a couple of years ago, Doffermyre now shoots 1 over par, but expects to break par consistently this summer. And, he’s anticipating an invitation to return to Augusta National this in October when the course re-opens. This time, he’ll be able to enjoy the beauty of the course and play his best game.

Learn more about Triangle Spine and Back Care Center.

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