Testimonial from Lorna Clark – Surgery date 16th January 2013


The 16th January this year marked a turning point for me, as I underwent surgery with Mr. Knight to relieve a chronic back problem that had caused me extreme discomfort and a degree of mental anguish for over 18 months.

On January 17th next year, I am due to give birth to my second child – something that I thought would was a million miles away for me 12 months ago, as I could barely cope with normal day to day activity, let alone think about extending our family!

I can’t really remember exactly when my back pain started, I remember during December 2010 being unable to stand up straight and being in intense pain after getting out of bed, and I then seemed to be plagued with intermittent episodes of moderate back pain until a snowboarding trip in January 2012 seemed to tip me into a state of permanent and what felt to me, intense pain, initially radiating along the whole of my right hand side but settling into severe sciatic pain on my right hand side. I tried everything to resolve it - conservative management (rest), physiotherapy, pilates and took huge amounts of pain relief, desperately hoping that the pain would go away. I even had a spinal nerve root block – but found little relief from my symptoms. As a very active person with a job that I enjoy and an active toddler – I soldiered on, probably to the detriment of my aching back. I found work difficult but kept going as I couldn’t bear the thought of giving up, and became quite depressed as I couldn’t sleep at night, sit in comfort or do any of the sporting activities I used to do as my back hurt so much. What I found so sad was not being able to run around and pick up my little boy.

At the end of my tether, and considering conventional, but in my view, radical spinal surgery by my consultant, my physiotherapist told me about Mr. Knight and his pioneering endoscopic surgery. With my medical background I knew from what my physiotherapist described that this type of surgery was far more appropriate to someone of my age and actively level than conventional surgery, and desperate to be rid of the pain, I rang Jenny, Mr. Knight’s secretary just before Christmas 2012. After an initial consultation I booked in as soon as possible for surgery only a few weeks later.

I cannot thank Mr. Knight enough for everything he has done, from the initial consultation when he listened and took seriously what I told him about my symptoms, the level of pain that I was in, and the mental toll that it had taken, to having surgery a few weeks after my initial consultation. I had felt completely ignored by previous doctors and consultants, and as I was still able to work and had a good range of movement (though very painful!) I felt that my injury had previously not been properly addressed. As well as the disc prolapse which I had already had diagnosed, Mr. Knight also looked at the rest of my spine and noticed that I had signs of degeneration of the discs either side of the disc prolapse and was prepared to address these issues too – to try and prevent further degeneration and protect me from future discomfort.

My surgery consisted of endoscopic foraminoplasty, removal of the prolapsed disc material and insertion of ‘gel stix’ in the two discs that were showing signs of early degeneration. I was very nervous about the prospect of the surgery being done in a ‘semi-aware’ state, but actually it made recovery from surgery very quick and uneventful and the anaesthetist was excellent and made sure that I wasn’t in any pain. I’m convinced that not having a huge surgical scar to heal also reduced the post-operative pain and recovery time.

I’m sure Mr. Knight will agree that I have not been his most patient patient, although I strictly kept to the post-operative rest and physiotherapy programme and kept a record of my pain as requested. Gradually I was able to reduce my pain relief and with the help of physiotherapy increase my level of activity. To cut a long story short – I was back at work part time (and on phased return) after 12 weeks, and had stopped all pain relief and started getting back to short bursts after 18 weeks. In May I started back at work full time, moved house and found out I was pregnant. I don’t do things by halves! I am still very careful with my back and although I rarely take pain relief (and only paracetomol when I do), I realise that I am still not 100% rehabilitated and take time to swim and continue my core stability exercises.

I feel like a different person – so relieved to have the pain gone and with a renewed optimism for the future (for this I think my husband is very grateful to Mr. Knight, too!). I know that I will always have to look after my back in the future, but I now look forward to the future and enjoying the sporting activities I used too, and most importantly being able to pick up, run around, and play with my lovely son.

I cannot recommend Mr. Knight and his endoscopic surgical techniques more highly, and I urge anyone suffering the misery of back pain to go and see him.

Thank you once again, Mr. Knight.