Patient stories prior to 2007

 

“For the last 2 years my back pain had been slowly but surely increasing. Visits to many specialists proved useless and the pain was only ever partially relieved through the ingestion of large amounts of rather strong medications. My walking resembled that of Quasimodo of Notre-Dame fame (the Charles Laughton version...), not at all satisfactory at age 43. A friend found the Spinal Foundation website and emailed me the link. A few weeks later I flew to Albi and met Mr Knight for the first time. I immediately felt at ease and let it rip on my long held frustrations, he listened, checked me out and was kind enough to let me know that after all I was not some kind of limpy, whining coward and that God had not selected my spine for complete medical care oblivion. I left with a lighter step (sort of anyway), a prescription for a MRI (first ever...) and a list of potential dates for surgery. An email of my MRI summary was sent and a date for surgery confirmed. Surgery was sort of weird, I remember talking to Mr Knight, attempts at joking, my nerves being tweaked and prodded but all in all quite dreamlike. Woke up without the old pain, got up and back to the hotel in the evening, AMAZING !  It's been 2 months now and I have tried as best as I can to keep to the exercise regime prescribed to me and am pursuing Pilates every week. I would estimate to have regained about 80% of my mobility and progressing quite rapidly”.

M.T. Duenin France. 56150

"I simply cannot believe the stupidity and injustice facing Mr Knight and all that he has worked for all his life. I shall never forget, after years of rejection, disbelief, humiliation and degradation by GP's and ignorant Consultants', (even to almost dying of Cancer of my kidney and spleen) that when I at last found Mr Knight, as he looked at scans where I had been told "There is nothing wrong with your back" (WHILST I WAS suicidal with pain) said "good grief, what a mess!" I didn't know whether to laugh or cry. He was so kind, so patient, so professional, that one knew one was safe at last. Although it took a long time and hard work, he certainly saved my life, and for that, of course, I shall always be grateful.   There isn't a day goes by, without I thank God that he brought Mr. Knight into my life."

R.A, Ipswich

"Ten years ago, I suffered from a problem with my lumbar discs and was in such Pain that I was bedridden. I was fortunate enough to be recommended to Mr Knight at the Spinal Foundation and underwent an Endoscopic Laser Foraminoplasty. This totally removed my pain and I regained full mobility. To this day, I am pain free and have full mobility. I am eternally grateful to Mr Knight and his team at the Spinal Foundation".

D.R, Oldham

"Until I was debilitated by back problems in 1994, I HAD been an extremely active person and an athlete all my life (1988 Olympics - rowed in women's under 18's, 1994 world cup women's rugby winning team). But my leg and back problems became so severe that in 1996 I had conventional spinal surgery; a discectomy; 4 epidurals and steroid injections all without success. At 27, I went through a period of only being able to walk with a stick.

In 1998, Mr Knight carried out the ELF procedure on 2 leaking lumbar discs. He also took out bone spurs and removed residual remains from previous surgery. I was up and about pain free within 2 days and no longer needed a stick. It was wonderful, I felt like 'me' again. I hold Mr Knight in the highest regard. He revolutionised my life. He is a brilliant Surgeon, very professional with a manner unlike any other. He is a pioneer, a man of vision and the threat of losing his extraordinary expertise and skills is unthinkable. If we lost the Foundation, it would be depriving people of their basic human right to regain their quality of life and "live again".

C.B, Twickenham

"In March 2003, I suffered from a protruding disc that occupied three quarters of the spinal canal. The pain was so intense that I could not walk more than a few steps and had to go up and downstairs on my hands and knees. I could not sit upright and could not sleep for more than an hour at a time. I was reduced to crying and begging for it to stop. I had to have a wheelchair to move about the hospital. Mr Knight performed an ELF procedure. It was a brilliant success. The Neuralgia completely disappeared and I could walk within two hours of the operation.

I hope you will appreciate why I am so saddened and appalled that Mr Knight has been maligned and the exemplary Spinal Foundation team has been so seriously possibly fatally undermined.

Unfortunately I have a lot of experience at hospitals both NHS and private and I can honestly say that I have rarely encountered such constantly high standards of expertise, care and consideration.

In the Spinal Foundation waiting room, I have met people from all over the world all of whom, without exception, speak of Mr Knight with absolute respect and profound gratitude. It is not an exaggeration to say that Mr Knight gave me back my life and independence. I HATE TO THINK THAT OTHERS IN MY SITUATION HAVE BEEN AND MAY BE DEPRIVED OF THAT HELP".

V.R, Oldham

"As a long-term back sufferer with degenerative discs, I saw Martin Knight in 2000 and 2003 respectively. (The best advice obtained from my local Surgeon had been to 'wear a corset when necessary, take painkillers and not to ride Horses') ON MY CONSULTATION WITH MR KNIGHT, I HAD THE MOST THOROUGH DIAGNOSTIC EXAMINATION I HAVE EVER HAD, WITH A DETAILED REPORT OF SEVERAL PAGES (NONE OF THE USUAL TWO PARAGRAPHS THAT CONSULTANTS SEND TO THEIR GPs). The specialist physiotherapy he prescribed resulted in surgery becoming unnecessary, but I know surgery is inevitable eventually. SUCH IS HIS REPUTATION, THAT SPINAL SURGEONS FROM OTHER COUNTRIES COME TO THE SPINAL FOUNDATION TO BE TRAINED IN HIS TECHNIQUES. HERE IS A PIONEERING WORLD CLASS SURGEON WHOSE TECHNIQUE (NOW CLINICALLY TRIED OVER 10 YEARS) FOR DEALING WITH CHRONIC SPINAL PROBLEMS THAT ANNUALLY COSTS THIS COUNTRY MILLIONS (IF NOT BILLIONS) OF POUNDS IS FIGHTING TO STAY AFLOAT. At present, the whole of his work and research programme is under threat because of NHS Referral Policy. I find this outrageous. I SUPPORT THE SPINAL FOUNDATION WHOLE-HEARTEDLY AND AM APPALLED AT THE THOUGHT OF THE LOSS OF THIS CENTRE TO SO MANY BACK SUFFERERS LIKE MYSELF. THERE IS NO OTHER SURGEON WHOM I WOULD CARE TO ENTRUST MY BACK TO, WHEN IT BECOMES NECESSARY."

M.S., Sherington

"As a former patient of the Foundation, who is now completely recovered from my back problems (thanks to you and your team) I was saddened to hear of your threat of closure, and I enclose a cheque as a token of my immense gratitude. I think it is no exaggeration to say that the treatment I received at the Spinal Foundation, gave me back my life."

A.L., Cumbria

"I was in severe and debilitating pain due to degeneration of my lumbar disc L4/5, and in 1999 I had a consultation at The Spinal Foundation, after which, Mr knight carried out the ELF procedure. I was up and dressed by 9am the next morning, totally pain-free and went back to work within 2 weeks. I am still pain-free (5 years later) and enjoying what one could call an ACTIVE lifestyle. I visit the gym twice weekly, have skiing trips several times a year and play golf regularly. I think one could say my operation was 'fantastically' successful!

I am shocked and appalled to hear Mr Knight's groundbreaking work is under threat; and have offered to do whatever I can to be of assistance. The Spinal Foundation's pioneering work and research must not be lost."

B.C., Halifax

"I had degeneration in 5 of my lumbar discs (L1/2-L5/S1) this worsened over 2/3 years to the point where I was in unbearable pain and was unable to walk without crutches.

In 1993 I underwent the ELF procedure at the Spinal Foundation. Within 6 months, I was able to participate once again in my walking club and complete 8 miles! Within 12 months I was back up to 15 mile walks, indeed in 1995 I spent a month trekking in Pakistan.

This has all been possible due to Mr Knight's unique spinal surgery techniques. I am deeply grateful, and cannot thank him enough. I am therefore, immensely shocked to learn of the Foundation's difficulties. The NHS cannot afford to lose such a Centre, and such a dedicated and brilliant Surgeon."

J.S., Lancs

"I had been suffering greatly with leg and back pain since a fall in 1986. After seeing several Consultants, it was diagnosed as "Muscular" in 1989 and I was told "There is nothing we can do". (Fortunately, I had a client who recommended Mr Knight to me. Her brother had been totally crippled, underwent the ELF procedure and was now leading a normal life again).

By 1998, I was so debilitated I could not walk. I had spinal probing and the ELF procedure carried out by Mr Knight. It was a great success and I am eternally grateful to him and his team.

Mr Knight is a wonderful surgeon. I found him very caring, compassionate and he restored my faith in the medical profession.

We cannot risk losing the Spinal Foundation. Mr Knight gives people hope and what will happen if hope is lost?"

B.B., Sale

"My treatment was in 1996 - since then I have gone from strength to strength. I am now cycling, walking and hill climbing regularly. This year I did rock climbing for the first time in 20 years! I cannot thank the Foundation enough for giving me back the life I had."

I.G., Nairn

"I first visited The Spinal Foundation in 1994 (after enduring epidurals, and injections to the ligaments which were very painful and to no avail). I underwent the ELF procedure and was active and back to running again within weeks. I then had the ELF procedure 2 years later on another level - again it was a complete success and I was active and back to work 10 days later!

Mr Knight is the most compassionate man, who is dedicated in his work in trying to relieve patients' pain, and restore their health. I am eternally grateful to him. The Spinal Foundation is a life-line for people with chronic back pain, and that life-line should never be taken away. It would be a travesty of justice if the Foundation was to close, a disgrace."

L.C., Cumbria

"I had suffered with my back for 20 years, and during that time Mr Knight was the only one who helped me. I was confined to bed for almost 2 years, and was told there was nothing anyone could do for me.

I only heard of the Foundation by chance, and consider it a miracle - as I am now back on my feet following 2 ELF operations. It would be a travesty and an appalling loss if The Spinal Foundation were forced to close. It has given me my life back and hope for the future."

L.W., Denbigh

"After suffering for many years with severe degenerative discs, and agonising pain, my GP referred me to The Spinal Foundation. I had the ELF procedure on Lumbar L5/S1 in 2002, and it was a great success.

I (and my husband) have every praise for Mr Knight. He is a marvellous, pioneering Surgeon, who cannot do enough for his patients - he listens and does not give up on them. There must be a way forward to save this unique centre, its loss is unthinkable."

L.B., Cheshire

"After suffering unbearable back problems since 1950 and consulting numerous Doctors, I finally managed to get an appointment in 1996 at The Spinal Foundation in Rochdale. It was so unbelievable to talk to a Consultant (Mr Knight) who actually listened to me and diagnosed the problem after 46 years!! Apparently, in 1950, I had torn a disc which had healed. This had repeatedly been torn over the years and would leak causing the pain. This could not be seen on the normal x-ray scan and very often the problem was immediately apparent after the occurrence but not after time lapsed appointments as it was a "soft tissue" problem - for Mr Knight to tell me what was wrong and also to tell me that he could do something about it was so amazing.

I have had spinal probing and posterior wall reconstruction which sealed the tear in the disc wall. Following this, I had the Endoscopic Laser Foraminoplasty. My life has been transformed by the clinic and I have recommended the Foundation to all of my friends."

B.I., Chester

"Some 9 months have elapsed since the ELF operation. Since the day I walked out of THE Hospital, I have no pain whatsoever. I must congratulate you and all your team for the splendid treatment I have received. After many years of back problems I now have none. My golf has not improved, but at least I can walk around the course. Once again, many, many thanks."

G.E., by email

"Circa 1995 my wife needed spinal surgery; my GP referred her to The Spinal Foundation and informed her that this would come off the Medical Practice's Budget, so my wife used our Private Medical Insurance. We were then informed by our private health scheme that this was not covered - we informed Mr Knight of this and he told us not to worry he would take my wife on at The Foundation - a VERY NOBLE thing to do.

Her operation was a great success due to the dramatic changes in what my wife could now do. Things that she never dreamed of doing prior to the surgery. The difference it made to our lives could not be put into words! I have seen the treatment my wife received from Mr Knight and The Spinal Foundation, both as a private patient and an NHS patient and the two cannot be distinguished. She has been treated impeccably on both occasions. I dread to think what our lives, and especially my wife's, would have been like without the care and attention given by Mr Knight and The Spinal Foundation. Our GP TOLD us he could no longer refer patients to Mr Knight - it was now only other Consultants who could refer. To now think, that this is not available to other suffering people is unbelievable, as I have seen at first-hand what the NHS has to offer.

A certain 'Consultant' that at no point carried out any examination, that after an MRI scan showing degenerative changes and a disc prolapse, said "I am of the opinion that surgery is not an option. If the back pain becomes too troublesome, a referral to a pain specialist might be an idea." We were further exasperated and appalled when he said that he did not agree with Mr Knight's "ways". I feel strongly that something must be done to reverse this policy, and only hope that in writing this letter, it will go in some way to ensuring that is done."

A.M., Oldham

"My wife and I are so very sorry to hear about the problems you are experiencing at the Spinal Foundation. Your abilities, attention to detail, and pioneering spirit, were and still are, most important to those of us who had been 'written off' by the most eminent of traditional Surgeons. We wish you every success and only wish we were in a position to be of more assistance."

I.B., Coventry

"I was horrified to read of the possibly imminent demise of the Foundation. Following many years of crippling back pain, I was operated on in July 1999. I cannot praise Mr Knight and his team including Mr Goswami, too highly. My family and I would like to wish you the best of fortune in your commendable efforts in enabling the Foundation to continue its priceless and pioneering work."

J.D., Denbigh

"The Spinal Foundation has been our salvation for the past 7 years. It took us 3 years to get my husband enlisted for ELF. After surgery on his lower spine his health has greatly improved (after being told by an NHS Consultant that, "there is nothing I can do for you, except refer you to a pain clinic to help you cope with the pain").

Why is everything in the NHS such a fight? Surely, the government must realise it is in their interest, to treat individuals, wherever it may be, to enable them to carry on contributing to the Welfare State! How many more are out there who have given up - unable to lead a normal life? I suppose the moral of A's story is don't give in!!"

A.S. & T.S., Gloucester

"The Spinal Foundation has helped my Son and I so much, that I think it is awful to think all your good work is under threat. My grateful thanks to Mr Knight, without whom, I think I would surely have given up all hope of ever leading a normal life again."

D.D., Derbyshire

"My Partner J. had several visits to see Specialists at another hospital, and each one said there was nothing they could do - their only solution was to refer her to a pain clinic - in other words learn to live with her pain. Thankfully, after two successful OPERATIONS at The Spinal Foundation - her life was transformed. I will never be able to thank Mr Knight and Mr Goswami enough for their skill and gift in giving J. back a normal and happy existence."

D.G., Denbighshire

"I am a 34 year old woman and have suffered debilitating back pain since 1996. My back pain forced me to resign from a career path I had worked hard to follow. I was referred to a Consultant at York where they said they were unable to help me. I knew Martin Knight and his pioneering ELF technique could alleviate my suffering. However, due to the withdrawal of funding for the Randomised Control Trial (RCT), NHS patients have to be referred only through another Orthopaedic Consultant, I no longer have this hope available to me. I saved for 2 years to have a consultation with Mr Knight and he is keen to perform ELF on my upper spine. Ironically, if I could be referred to Mr Knight and have keyhole laser surgery on the NHS, I could return to full-time work, and would no longer face a miserable future claiming benefits and taking medication for the remainder of my life. This procedure was developed in the UK and many, many UK residents have had their lives transformed through the amazing work of Mr Martin Knight. I want the right to be referred to The Spinal Foundation and not lose my dignity and self-respect at an early age, because I have the misfortune to experience chronic back pain."

J.C., York



"Following your intervention at L4/5 (LHS), and the massive damage in that area, it gave me such enormous pleasure to tell you of the success, and be able to demonstrate physically the result. To have lost the physical twist in the lumber spine ('corkscrew') which has plagued me for years, regain left leg use, and reduce the upper spinal twist, is fully reflective of the capabilities, technology, skill and efficacy of The Spinal Foundation. I share, so much, in your delight at success."

G. J. L., Peterborough

"It is now some four years since I came to see you with very bad back pain, so severe that at times I had to move about my home on my hands and knees.

The first operation I had (a Laser Discectomy) appeared to be having a good effect until I sneezed some weeks later, and it seemed to undo all the good work. However, with your guidance I underwent another operation in March, 1996 which was a posterior wall reconstruction.

This to date has been a marvellous success and I am now able to live a more comfortable and less aggressive life (backache making you feel so short tempered and miserable), so much so, that I am now able to play my favourite pastime (Golf) two or three times a week. Although I cannot claim that my back is perfect, the difference is so unbelievable."

J.C.M., Macclesfield

"I am writing to thank you and your team for the successful operation I had on 6th January this year. It's now three months, but it's a complete life away from the misery I had before then. It is wonderful to wake up every morning and not have any pain and to be able to jump out of bed instead of crawling out.

I still do my exercises every day and enjoy going for walks. I wonder if you could give me some advice on exercises. As I spent about 5 years not being able to move much, I have put on a lot of weight, and now I want to get mobile and fit again.

Once again thanks for all you have done and I will be eternally grateful."

M.S., Luton

"This year I achieved a bit of an ambition, which really I dedicate to you and your team. Despite a lack of training two weeks prior, and a heavy cold on the day, I quite easily completed the 1997 Manchester Marathon (a distance of 26.2 miles).

Many thanks for your work, and I hope my improvements keep me away from your door for some time to come."

C.H., Middleton

"I am pleased to say that since my 2nd operation I am now going to the gym 2-3 times per week. I have lately started running and did 4 miles on the gym treadmill.

Back a lot less painful than it was, so Thank You very much for your efforts."

A.S., Warrington