Patient Stories 2018

 

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.

 

 

"the quality of my life has been greatly enhanced"

My Dear Mr Knight – and Jenny

I do hope you don’t mind me contacting you – it has been such a long time since I was last in touch.

Today seems a fitting day to once again say a huge, huge ‘Thank You’ for all you were able to do for me three years ago today!

It hardly seems possible  but I’m sure you’re not surprised that progress following your care, expertise and skilled surgery means I remain able to function on a level I would never have imagined, or been able to prior to the TELDF on the 21st February 2015!

One year later I had a fabulous holiday in Tennessee to celebrate my 60th Birthday AND an opportunity to take a ride on a Harley Davidson ( a dream of mine!) with a very sweet Gentleman, Lowell.

To end a wonderful trip we were upgraded to First Class for the Journey home….Amazing.

Prior to meeting you and undergoing surgery I would never have been able to contemplate such a Trip again.

So once again – Thank You Mr Knight, from the bottom of my heart. Thank you.

My experience of pain is a good deal less than it was, I take no medication for pain-relief and have some excellent ways of dealing with discomfort and pain from Kevin Reese by identifying ‘trigger points’ in my back.

You were right, Mr Knight, the level of pain relief really is 60-70% and the quality of my life has been greatly enhanced by your skill and expertise.

You remain my Hero!

I do hope all is well with you and Jenny and you continue to go from strength to strength too.

And continue to have your well deserved delightful breaks in France.

With my best wishes and deepest gratitude

Sandra

 

 

"I felt broken with significant lower pack pain"

Dear Martin & Jenny

Six weeks! Lovely to see Martin at Fawkham today and get the six week sign off. Over the last few weeks I have often thought of sending you a note about my recollections and my progress. Reading the letters on the Spinal Foundation pages, I felt moved to do so. Not least to encourage others like me to put themselves in your hands. 

Farmers and rugby players are meant to be indestructible but at the ripe old age of 46 I felt broken with significant lower pack pain which had become acute and was affecting life physically and mentally.  My wife Tam and friendly local physio were both running out of patience with their patient.  According to my notes, I have been having lumber injections since 1999. I had four ranging from a Caudal Epidural to a Nerve Root Block in 2017 which failed. My GP wouldn’t/couldn’t recommend any more pain killing injections and following advice from others, and some research by my GP, I quickly ended up speaking to Jenny.  

One swift MRI in London and two consultations later, I was booked into Fawkham for the 18th April,2018. Martin was very clear about the risks and the literature backs up dangers and the ‘odds’. I chatted it all through with Tam and my GP and we really saw the innovative techniques as the right way forwards for me. 

BMI Fawkham is an unusual place. Peaceful and remote. The staff were all superb from arrival at 7am Wednesday to departure on Thursday afternoon. The food was good and care first class. 

When we met in the morning, Martin was clear again about the procedure and risks. Speaking largely to Tam who was taking notes and in a better place to take on board the important points. The anesthetist gave a detailed explanation and was reassuring. During the procedure it is your anesthetist that you can see/talk too so it is good to get to know them. I don’t think I registered that fact until later. With Martin at the sharp end, the anesthetist becomes your friend. Even if he administers a drug that makes your bum itch! (He did warm me it might!) The procedure itself was not pleasant. There seems little point in pulling any punches here. It was uncomfortable and painful, from start to finish.

BUT It worked! 

In the hazy post op muddle that is my memory, I knew instantly that the familiar nerve pain had gone. Then my physio reminded me that I was so full of painkilling drugs I wouldn’t feel anything anyway. I held onto that initial feeling.

Tam drove me home on Thursday. It is 50 minutes to sunny Sussex from Fawkham and Tam following instructions to the letter, made me get out and walk every twenty minutes or so. I was surgically sore but I had no other pain. 

At home we set up a chair in the garden and the sitting room and I set the timer on my iphone. Twenty minutes. For the larger part of the next six weeks every twenty minutes from 7am until around 5pm I walked one or two laps of the garden or the farm yard. Sussex helped with glorious weather. 

The routine settled into exercises twice a day and walking. I wore an excellent path around the lawn. 

As part of my rehab, I quickly reduced the amount of Ibuprophen to zero. I wanted to feel any twinges. My GP said I shouldn’t drink and I should go on a diet for the six weeks. I took Arnica and Turmeric as a concentrate and a tea. I also took multivitamins, omega 3 supplement, beetroot juice and yakult. Clearly I have no idea whether any of the more intangible additions worked but I managed to lose over 10kg. I described the operation as pressing a reset button. It has been a useful analogy.    

Self employed with a team of staff, I wanted to get back to work. I started working remotely from the kitchen table, answering a couple of emails, a couple of calls, but mostly let the office get on with it. Two of the team did come to see me at home after about ten days but I wasn’t making much sense and fortunately they had the decency to tell me. I don’t think my head really cleared for three weeks or so – those drugs are strong. At that point I felt ready to make decisions again. I made every guest walk the garden route. No one seemed to mind. 

The walking is essential. Boring at times but essential. You can feel your body loosening up as you walk. Progress measurable by a lack of stiffness and generally feeling well. I took to wearing a Garmin watch which counted steps and kilometers. A small thing but entertaining enough to someone stuck at home. 

Seeing the physio every week was really encouraging. She was amazed by the amount of work Martin had done. ‘He’s done loads. Three operations in one!’ She warned me to be very careful and keep doing to exercises. Which I did religiously. 

In week five I had my first Alexander Technique session. I was doubtful of the efficacy but Martin had said I should go  and so I went. I really enjoyed it and have added the techniques to the end of my regular exercises/stretches. I have no idea if it works but it certainly helps to think about posture and to be still. 

The dreaded ‘flare’ was always slightly a spector but fortunately it didn’t appear in my case (although as Martin points out it still could)      

Thanks very much for everything. I am looking forward to getting back on my bike. 

Speak in six weeks or so. 

With best wishes

Mark 

* Take your partner to listen. You will likely as not struggle to retain the facts. And they will remind you after the op.

 

 

"I am back to walking, trekking and climbing the mountains of the French Pyrenees where I live"

Eleven years ago Mr Knight worked a miracle for me. This year he has done the same again. I cannot thank him enough for once again freeing me from overwhelming pain and enabling me to get my life back on track. Not only is he a immensely skilled diagnostician and surgeon, but he is also a geniunely kind and caring person. 

Following surgery in 2007 I took Mr Knight's advice about Pilates and began practicing every day at home, subsequently joining a mat class, and then using more specialised equipment in a studio. What a difference this has made to my core muscle strength, protecting my spine and reducing pain. I not only got back to work, but got back to climbing mountains! 

My recent problems started around 4 years ago, with increasing pelvic/bladder/groin/sacral pain for which no explanation could be found, despite a myriad of investigations. I suspected that the pain may be coming from my spine, but could find nothing in the literature to explain it, and no clues were forthcoming from the doctors here in France. In September 2017 things became much worse and  I was forced to stop working. Months passed by with me barely functioning, overwhelmed by pain and exhaustion. In desperation I emailed Mr Knight with a very brief summary of my symptoms and asked his advice. He replied almost immediately suggesting that my symptoms "could be arising from irritation of the cluneal nerves".  That was the beginning of my recovery! In January this year, following a detailed consultation with Mr Knight, he injected the cluneal nerves on the right side, producing most encouraging results. In March he went on to perform a Bilateral Cluneal Nerve Radio Frequency Ablation procedure. What an incredible result! The overwhelming pain was gone! During the recovery period I have had a neuropathic pain like bad shingles on the left side, which thankfully is now almost completely resolved. It has been a very small price to pay for such a life changing outcome, although it did rather take me by surprise.  

These days I am concentrating on re-building strength and stamina with the expert support of my Pilates coach. I am at last, after 40 years of back issues, learning to be more accepting of the background level of pain from my degenerated lumbar discs. I am getting better at pacing myself, taking notice of my body, and altering my activity level accordingly on a day to day basis. As a result I am back to walking, trekking and climbing the mountains of the French Pyrenees where I live, which makes my heart sing and makes life worth living. What more could I ask for? Thank you so much Mr Knight.

 

 

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