Patient Stories 2017

 

Please read some of our Patient Stories below, you may find we have been able to help others suffering from similar issues and symptoms as you.

 

 

"now walking half a mile"

Dear Mr Knight,

I cannot thank you enough for the help and work you have done on my husband’s lower back last year. You removed a cyst and corrected a disc bulge and cleared out the foramen all of which had flattened the nerve affecting his right leg and subsequently his walking.

He is now walking half a mile with “walking poles” and works out with his neuro physiotherapist and is gradually moving over to Reforma Pilates which he actually enjoys.

More to the point he is walking relatively normally (for a stroke victim) around the house.

We are really grateful for all that you have done especially as the NHS Neuro Orthopaedic surgeon he was seeing said there was nothing wrong and he would not operate on him anyway due to the fact that he had suffered a big stroke.

It is a great pity that the NHS cannot provide such operations for those cases which would benefit from such operations.

I have recommended you to others who are also in need of a miracle.

Thank you and your team including Jenny Jago for all their help given.

Wishing you the very best.

Helen M Ball

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"25 years later!"

This is a quick note of thanks. I now work for Medtronic and was sat in a product review recently for our spine business, it made me realise how advanced you were when I had the good fortune of your intervention on my back during your time in Rochdale! I do hope you are well. I still manage to run and play tennis based on the fix that was made. Knowing how we love to hear patient stories I thought it might be nice for you to get one 25 years later!

Wishing you the very best.

Lorraine

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"gave me back my life"

From the age of eight I wanted to be a ballet dancer. Not a ballerina in a fluffy tutu but a dancer and not from a need to perform for others but for me to dance. It was everything to me - to fill spaces with movement. At 16 I went to full-time ballet school and got injured within a short time in an accident which involved: another dancer out of time with the music, a studio that was too small and being pushed into a grand piano. I never recovered sufficiently to dance again and over the years the injury became full-blown sciatica which at first would come and go but then would cause weeks of very distressing pain. Eventually there were no gaps in the pain and everything became a huge challenge. I could no longer work and eventually I could hardly feel my legs. The NHS conventional treatments were of no benefit whatsoever and I slowly felt like I was giving up & losing my personality as well as my mobility. Investigations had yielded no results, nothing visible. Through a relative who had a client who recommended The Spinal Foundation my husband persuaded me to give this a go. I was very apprehensive for the simple reason that I didn't want it to prove another doorway that I would go through that would yield me no relief. My husband however is a very persevering man and he finally persuaded me to see The Spinal Foundation. I was now 36 - just a few months short of 20 years from when I had had my original injury - able to shuffle for maybe 50 yards to the car & at this point my brain had turned off the message which is sent to turn on the core stability muscles. At Martin Knight's request I had a further MRI scan on which could be seen a tiny, tiny grey line. During the operation it turned out that this was an osteophyte which had been slowly growing and was now slowly cutting through my sciatic nerve. On the day I arrived at the hospital for my operation I could hardly walk even with my walking stick (I was now on my second folding walking stick as I had worn out the elastic in the first). After my endoscopic laser foraminoplasty I had a seminal moment during the night that I spent in the hospital; I woke up in the middle of the night unable to sleep and made a decision. I got out of bed and got my folding walking stick. I folded it up and put it away in my overnight bag with a firm resolve that I was never going to use it again. If I couldn't get there under my own steam I wouldn't be going. To this day 17 years later I have never used the walking stick. After 3 years post recovery I managed to get back to work part-time and my husband and I got married. The day that I managed to climb Glastonbury Tor was a real moment for me, my legs were wobbling like crazy but I got to the top and no stick in sight.

My husband and I now have an alpaca farm. I am in charge of animal husbandry and do all the alpaca injections etc. I am also the midwife! In the early days when I was a bit less aware of alpaca behaviour I got caught unawares whilst holding an alpaca's leg - he kicked out and I ended up doing a combat roll across the field. My husband laughed so hard, he said it was a sight to see but I could get up from that combat roll come back to the animal and carry on. I do still get the odd twinge of sciatica but I know what I need to do and it goes away.

My thanks to Martin Knight is immeasurable; without his passion for relieving the pain of others I would still be unable to feel my legs, feel sure that I would by now be in a wheelchair and presumably by now the osteophyte would have cut right through my sciatic nerve. Just the sheer thought of this scenario is beyond my comprehension; Martin Knight & the team at The Spinal Foundation gave me back my life.

Thank you.

A. from Devon

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"if you are suffering and feel there is no one out there"

Around Sept 11th 2001 I began to suffer with severe debilitating sciatic symptoms that left me unable to move for sometimes hours at a time the pain was to say the least excruciating and for the next 10 years I began the search for every possible procedure / treatment to address and fix my problem, I had everything from physio, osteopathy, scleresant injections, cupping, pain management injections I think I cleared the treatment cupboard out. Whilst having physio my back "went" into spasm and I was unable to leave the surgery for a good hour and a half until it subsided, This is when I was told about Dr Martin Knight at The Spinal Foundation and I was lucky enough (though I had to fight it) to get the NHS to fund cosultation and any subsequent treatment.

I saw Dr Knight in 2011 whereby he gave a concise and detailed examination of my lower back and identified the potential cause - which incidently no other consultant had noticed or considered - a tethered nerve in the L4 L5 region. Having discussed all my options he stated I was a candidate for his treatment and could offer at least 50% improvement so I signed on the dotted line as I really felt this man had something he could offer me. To cut a long story short he operated on me in November 2011 and got me mobility wise back to at least 90% improvement - no more debilitating spasms that left me drained and in severe pain. Oh did I mention that he was spot on with the diagnosis that the problem was indeed the tethered nerve he had diagnosed. This man allowed me to return to work (serving police officer) and apart from a few pain management interventions on the NHS I led a more than acceptable pain free life.

I then went through a traumatic time in my life as in December 2014 my fiance of 12 years was diagnosed with bowel cancer which had advanced to the liver. I went through hell watching her have to endure chemotherapy and despite a positive outlook in June 2015 she succumbed to the cancer passing away on 3rd December 2015. The next year was a blur coming to terms with it all finalising in the yearly anniversary in December 2016 being so run down I got a chest infection followed by Shingles.

My sciatic also began to appear more often and I made the decision to contact Dr Knight again as I felt he was the only person who I could guarantee would be able to offer if anything a more permanent diagnosis and treatment. I liaised with his secretary Jenny Jago and all dates / paperwork were completed and I had a consultation with him in March 2017 at Fawkham Manor Hospital in Kent.

Again he explained in detail what he believed the problem was and again felt he could offer me treatment as things had since 2011 moved on technology wise quite significantly. I was admitted to the hospital on 26th April 2017 and had a polymer stick inserted into my L4 and L5 - this procedure not only gave more disc space but also acts a prevention to degeneration of the discs and prevents inflammation. By all accounts Im a lucky man as my body seems to want to heal and due to the scarring caused by previous healing it had to be removed as this was causing some of the symptoms.

All I can say as I type this is apart from my lower back hurting where he went in my symptoms in my calf, hamstring hip and outside of left thigh do not seem to be presenting themselves!!!! We all know our bodies and I know it is early days but I already feel a significant inprovement. Oh I forgot - no stitches just a bit of glue to seal his entry point so a shorter recovery time - a win win situation.

I would like to point out the following observations regarding what Dr Knight offers for any person that is considering their options or is at a cross roads as to what to do regarding their suffering:

  1. Mr Knight is at the forefront of this type of surgery the benefits are that it addresses any problems with a minimilistic approach regarding trauma and recovery time. The options open to the patient and surgeon allows both to communicate and pinpoint the cause of pain. This is obvioulsy not possible under a general aneasthetic as the surgeon then has to rely on what he sees - not always the cause of the patients pain. Too late !!!!!
  2. He expalins in detail what he believes is the problem and most importantly what if any treatment he can offer. He will also point out all other medical options open to you and is at no time pressuring you to make a decision it is your decision and he will leave it for you to go away and think it over.
  3. His team have been together over 20 years and he has all the numbers / percentages of success etc and these can be made available if required - very impressive and encouraging.
  4. Finally, I have sought this man out twice and he has delivered twice. He has not paid me to advertise him incase your thinking this !!! 10 years I spent with numerous consultants in various fields and though some offered a respite no one addressed the main cause. Mr Knight not only diagnosed  (in his words "This is what I do " ) but has given me my life back. You cannot put a price on this.

He and Jenny are very approachable and caring people who want to help. I would certainly endorse and recommend them if you are suffering and feel there is no one out there to help. If Dr Knight cannot help you I dont know of anyone who could. Good luck in you search and decision.

Mr Warren Chine

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“Not Too Old” at 93 to get rid of that persistent agonising back pain”

What can you do when you are in chronic and persistent pain and the GP says he has done all he can for you? To make matters worse at 93 years old it seems most of the medical profession have given up on you as being too old, too risky and “there is nothing more that can be done”.

To say that puts you in a bad place is an understatement!

My Mother; Jean was in this place three months ago. I speak to Mum every day and for the last two years after suffering a heart attack and two falls which each broke vertebrae in her back, it was heart wrenching to hear every day of the chronic and debilitating pain she had to suffer.

I lost count of the visits to Hospital and the calls for ambulances, each one resulted in the same answer – keep taking paracetamol that is all we can do. Mum has stomach ulcers so the use of more powerful NSAIDS was out of the question.

After a lot of searching on the Internet I stumbled across the spinal foundation and some information about a minimally invasive technique for spinal surgery. It sounded ideal as I didn’t want to put Mum through a general anaesthetic at 93.

Enter our Knight in shining Armour!

We met Mr Knight in his Harley street office in late March 2017. He gave Mum a thorough examination, looked at her X rays and her MRI scan and discussed the options with us. It was a long and very thorough meeting during which he described how the operation would go and what options were open to us in detail. His humour and caring attitude were prominent throughout the meeting, when Mum asked about the level of consciousness during the operation he said that “I find it helps greatly if I retain consciousness throughout the procedure”. We felt at ease and also confident as he had conducted over 8,000 procedures over 26 years and had an improvement of 50% or more in 80% of his cases. That was good enough for us!

The operation was booked in for 4 weeks later at the end of April and I am very pleased to report that it was successful. Mum went in to Hospital on Friday and was discharged on the Sunday. The hospital; Fawkham Manor was superb, Mum couldn’t have been in better hands, the staff were very kind and the level of care was first class “fit for the Queen” Mum said. Interesting to note was the esteem with which the staff at Fawkham held Mr Knight. They all described him as unique and it seems Mum’s experience is typical of his patients. Mum had four separate procedures at various levels of her back, at one the exit passage was widened and the nerve was explored, freed from scarring and mobilised, at two others the disc was treated with the laser and at a fourth the disc was injected with a new “gel” that helps rebuild the degenerated disc. The operation lasted 4 hours and she was conscious throughout. This meant that Mr Knight could identify exactly where the root cause of the pain was before he started trimming areas with his laser to relieve pressure on the nerves.

So here we are – only day 4 post operation, however Mum says that she is already pain free – the dreadful chronic pain has gone, she has a slight dull ache from the area of the operation, but the debilitating pain has gone. She said to me that “she has been given her life back”.

Words aren’t sufficient to describe the thanks our family have to Mr Knight and his team for giving Mum a chance, for NOT giving up on someone who is 93, for putting a smile back on her face rather than the tears and the grimace of pain that we have been accustomed to over the last 2 years. We are very lucky and very grateful to have found the spinal foundation.

Philip Shadbolt OBE

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