Interview with Dr Rory Murphy

On 29 April 2022 our Chair of the Board of Trustees, Helen Wood, met with Dr Rory Murphy, a Myelopathy.org Ambassador. Helen was travelling with her husband to Phoenix, Arizona, USA. She decided to take the opportunity to see Rory. It was their first time meeting one another in person. 

Rory & Helen Meeting in Phoenix

Rory has been involved with Myelopathy.org for a few years. He and Helen discussed how he and other US based colleagues could help Myelopathy.org. 

One idea which they discussed was translating the Myelopathy.org website into Spanish. Being based in the southwest of the US, Rory sees many Spanish speaking patients. He believes they would benefit hugely from reading about Degenerative Cervical Myelopathy (DCM) in their native language.

Since her return from the US, we have engaged a professional translator (introduced to us by another trustee) who has already nearly finished this mammoth task. We hope to be able to add Spanish on our website in the next few months. 

Read below to learn more about Dr Rory Murphy.

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What is your name?

Rory Murphy

Where do you live?

Phoenix, Arizona. I am originally from Cork City in Ireland and attended University College Cork where I studied medicine. I moved to the US in 2010 to further my surgical training and practiced in St Louis and San Francisco before moving to Phoenix.

Can you tell us a bit about yourself? 

I am a neurosurgeon with a focus on helping people with spinal cord injuries. I work at the Barrow Neurological Institute in Phoenix.

What is your role at Myelopathy.org?

Myelopathy.org has been a fantastic resource to help people understand and manage their condition.

It has helped many of my patients. As a Myelopathy.org ambassador my goal is to raise awareness of the condition amongst people from all areas of cervical myelopathy and the options we have to help.

Why did you get involved with Myelopathy.org?

Myelopathy.org is guided and driven by people with myelopathy, primary care physicians, nurses, PT, neurologists and many more across the health care team.

How did you hear about Myelopathy.org?
A patient mentioned the organization to me.

What has your experience been like with Myelopathy.org?
It is an excellent resource to empower people with myelopathy on their journey.

What do you do when you are not volunteering at Myelopathy.org?
Counsel people with neurological conditions and operate.

What do you do during your spare time?
I enjoy spending time with my young family, morning trail runs, and swimming. 

Tell us a fun fact about yourself.
Each year I run the Grand Canyon rim-to-rim with family and friends, sometimes rim-to-rim-to-rim.

2 Responses

  1. Hi Dr Murphy,
    I was under the care of an orthopedic surgeon for lower back issues and was going thru tests in prep for lower back surgery when these extreme symptoms began. I called, I complained and even had two meetings with providers in this surgeons office to address gait, balance, numbness and clumsiness in my hands and fingers. I even had incontinence issues and they kept telling me it was all coming from my back. In a three week period I was given three different medications for pain but none helped. This went on for 2 months and I was at the scheduled apt with surgeon to set up my surgery and was seen first by his “fellowship trained” surgeon and he did a thorough exam, did some tests on my hands and feet and left the room. My spine surgeon came in and told me they couldn’t do surgery on my back, they had to do it on my neck. My daughter was with me, we were shocked. I had compression on my cervical spine. I told him I had been calling, talking to his staff. He said he knew and apologized. They sent me for a CT scan that day and I had an MRI the next day and decompression surgery C3-C7 a few days later. Long story, made short, I am left with awful balance and gait issues and awful neuropathy in my arms, hands and feet. I pray your movement is successful in creating an awareness. This Hospital is one of the best in the country. Thank you for your time and God Bless your mission!!

    1. Mary sorry to hear about your experience.
      I hope you see improvement in your numbness and gait.
      Your experience is unfortunately common.
      With better education and awareness we hopefully will avoid similar situations in the future.

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