Finding relief and the right spine expert is a priority when you suffer with chronic neck or back pain. No one knows this better than Demi. After being involved in two auto accidents, Demi, an active, athletic woman and educator, says it was a blessing she was referred to Dr. Jean Louis Benae. With over 10 years of neurosurgical expertise and one of Texas’ premier spine surgeons, Dr. Benae’s impressive credentials include dual board certifications. He is board certified in neurosurgery by the American Board of Neurological Surgery and in spine surgery by the American Academy of Neurological and Orthopaedic Surgeons.
Demi is Blessed with a New Lease on Life
Demi’s first car accident damaged her neck and back. Physical therapy and injections were effective until she was involved in a second accident.
“It was a high-impact collision and I went to the ER,” she says, “but this accident was different. Physical therapy didn’t help and I felt nauseous due to the pain. I was referred to Dr. Benae, and what a blessing it turned out to be!”
Demi researched Dr. Benae before scheduling an appointment with him. She felt reassured when reviewing his remarkable credentials and reading about his expertise in minimally invasive spine surgery. “I told Dr. Benae I didn’t want a big incision, and that I’d like to avoid surgery all together, if possible,” she says. “Taking a conservative approach, Dr. Benae didn’t schedule me for surgery right away, which I appreciated. Instead, he referred me to a fantastic pain management doctor who was very thorough.”
Although pain management helped for a while, Demi’s leg suddenly “gave out” while she was standing in a circle with her students. She knew it was time to consider surgery. Dr. Benae explained she needed two surgeries. He would operate on her neck first, and after it healed, she would have back surgery.
“I was an anxious and nervous patient,” Demi says. “Honestly, without Dr. Benae on my side, I’m not sure if I could have gone through with surgery. What struck me was his calm presence, his patience, and his support. He was consistent and built a professional rapport with me, and his staff was just as wonderful. He explained everything to me and was so careful and caring. He created such a strong foundation of trust with me, I went into surgery with no fears or concerns.”
After neck surgery, Demi’s pain improved considerably. “Dr. Benae went through what the surgery would entail and what recovery would require, then he put everything in place for optimal recovery,” she says. “I was so used to a high level of pain, I had no idea how bad it was until it subsided after surgery.”
Six months later Demi underwent back surgery. “It was like a miracle. Three days after surgery I didn’t even need pain medication!” she says. “Dr. Benae is a brilliant, kind, and gracious man. I feel connected with him and think of him as a brother. I feel the same way about his staff. They are like family. I cannot recommend Dr. Benae enough. He and his team are truly remarkable.”
Compassion that Comes from the Heart
If you’re lucky, a few times in life you will come across someone with a deep, heartfelt passion for helping others and making a difference in people’s lives. Dr. Jean Louis Benae is one of these rare individuals. When you meet him, it’s like finding a friend, gifted in his field, who will take you under his wing and do everything he can to help relieve your pain and get you back into life. A true healer. And that’s just how Dr. Benae sees himself as a physician.
“I want my patients to know that they are not alone. When they come see me, they have me and my team on their side, looking out for their best interest,” Dr. Benae says. Acknowledging the complexity of many spine problems, Dr. Benae admits he enjoys putting together the pieces of a puzzle to reach an accurate diagnosis. He often works closely with a multi-disciplinary team of specialists and co-manages treatment to deliver close continuity of care.
When asked about the basis of his passion for neurosurgery and spine surgery, Dr. Benae says he enjoys the fulfillment he experiences when he helps a patient achieve wellbeing. “I really care about people. I like to form a partnership with my patients and believe in engaging in communication with them. We’ll talk about their options—when it’s time to be aggressive and when it’s not—and explore more conservative treatments first.”
If the decision is to move forward with surgical intervention, Dr. Benae offers the most advanced minimally invasive techniques available, enabling patients to recover as quickly as possible and return to active lifestyles. He also performs traditional open spine surgery, offering a level of versatility that enables him to completely customize the treatment to the patient. In a vast majority of cases, however, he says patients are good candidates for minimally invasive surgery.
Destined to Become a Neurosurgeon, Impressive Credentials
Early in his youth, Dr. Benae became fascinated with the complexities of the brain and its role in the human experience. Ultimately, it led him to become a leader in neurosurgery. Born in Cameroon and raised in Paris, France, Dr. Jean Louis Benae came to the United States at age 20 and earned a degree in physiological sciences at The University of California, Los Angeles. He earned a medical degree at UCLA, and completed a neurotrauma research fellowship at the UCLA Brain Injury Research Center. He then completed neurosurgery specialty training at the Medical College of Wisconsin Affiliated Hospitals in Milwaukee. In 2014, after practicing in Mississippi, he moved to North Texas to open his private practice.
Dr. Benae is a member of the Congress of Neurological Surgeons, American Association of Neurological Surgeons, North American Spine Society, and AO Spine. Dedicated to sharing knowledge and helping others, he has organized medical missions to various developing countries and participates in local health fairs.
When to See Dr. Benae
Don’t wait until you think you need back or neck surgery before seeing Dr. Benae. He embraces a conservative philosophy of care, where surgery is considered to be one of the last treatment options. By getting involved early and overseeing his patients’ treatments every step of the way, Dr. Benae can determine what treatments are the most beneficial and lay out a plan that may not even include surgery. He is a specialist who monitors how you respond to all treatments, including conservative ones, takes time to educate you about the disease process, and helps you choose the best treatment option.
- Minimally Invasive Spine Surgery
- Cervical Decompression and Fusion
- Lumbar Decompression and Fusion
- Spinal Stabilization
- Thoracic Decompression and Fusion[/one_half]
- Chiari Decompression
- Degenerative Disc Disease
- Herniated Disc Pain
- Spinal Stenosis
- Brain and Spine Tumor Resection[/one_half_last]
Jean Louis Benae, MD
8000 Eldorado Parkway, Building E, Suite A
McKinney, Texas 75070
Text: Annette Brooks
Photo: David Quisenberry