Freed from Back Pain and Sciatica to Explore the Vineyards of France


It is now six months since Mr Knight performed a procedure (November 2007) on my spine and lower disk, with has proved a great success.

Chronic Back Pains & Problems

For many years, I had suffered from bouts of lower back pain, which had periodically moved into my right leg and shin. On those occasions the pain would become intense and totally disabling, that even in a business meeting, I sometimes had to lie on the board room floor to continue the meeting. It was something that came but then usually went in due course. However, during last summer, the problem became chronic and after some months showed no signs of easing. It was something I was unfortunately learning to live with. On occasions I was unable to walk any distance and found myself having to flag down taxis to transport me back to my office.

Referred to a Dr Martin Knight - Specialist Spine Surgeon

I then started having physiotherapy, with the able Lynne Midwinter of Physio & Therapies, in Todmorden. But after several weeks, Lynne decided to refer me to Mr Knight. Mr Knight and his team then spun into action. It was within days, that I had my first consultation, with the appropriate x-ray. An initial diagnosis was made, which seemed to indicate that a surgical procedure was to be advisable. At the second consultation, together with my MRI scan, I made a decision to go ahead and have the procedure in Albi, France. I choose the French alternative, partly based on cost, but also there was a lesser chance of infection.

My operation was booked for November 2007, and the team made the arrangements, including accommodation. My wife and I stayed at the guest house of Madame Paule, the Chambre D’Hotes, Albi. She looked after us extremely well and ferried my wife and I to and from the hospital. Taxis were arranged between the airports at Carcassonne. Everything went to plan, the only hiccupped being caused by RyanAir cancelling the return flight to Liverpool, with no notice. I would recommend that a more dependable airline from Toulouse be used. My stay in the hospital was for one night after the operation. The operation including preparation and recovery took six hours. We travelled home two days later. For approximately two months, I had flair ups of discomfort, but I did my exercises, I went for physio and generally took life carefully. I still take life carefully, being recently retired (age 65), but I garden without fear, do odd jobs, visit the gym and go on holiday. In other words life is settling down to active normality.

The Best Decision Made!

Finally whilst the decision was quickly made to go ahead, it was not done without concerns and doubts. If you have heart problems or cancer, you are aware that surgery maybe very necessary. With back and spinal problems, many people are advised just to live with it as the back may eventually fuse, so why take the risk of surgery as it could it all go wrong. In addressing those concerns and doubts, firstly Mr Knight is an expert and pioneer in his field, with a truly world wide reputation. If he believes surgery to be beneficial, then I would advise that you trust his judgement. Secondly, it is a question of quality of life and priorities. I decided to go ahead and have the procedure and it has proved to be one of my best ever decisions.

John Brooke
Poulton le Fylde
27th May 2008