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According to an article in today’s The Daily Mail’s Good Health section a new keyhole operation for spinal injuries can mean patients walk out of hospital the following day.

Matthew Crocker is director of neurosurgery and a consultant neurosurgeon at St George’s University Hospitals NHS Foundation Trust in London, he said ‘We estimate there are more than 10,000 spinal fractures a year in the UK. For the past two years we have been using a new minimally invasive approach through eight small holes made in the skin, which means a much faster recovery for patients.

The DIY-analogy would be that instead of taking out a wall to fit a new kitchen in one piece, we assemble it through the letterbox.

It’s been made possible by the development of hollow screws, just as strong as the solid ones used in the traditional procedure, that can be inserted and screwed in place over a guide wire.

This means the surgeon doesn’t have to open up the back to be able to see where to put the screws.

All the instruments that go with the screws, as well as the metal rods, can be inserted in the same way.

Once the bone has healed, after eight to 12 months, we remove the screws and the metalwork though the original incisions.

It really is a new paradigm in treating spinal patients. It gives the very best chance of a full recovery, and most people are able to walk out of the hospital the next day’.

We can only hope that this is the future in spinal surgery. Amazing …


Spinal Surgery, Haemorrhoids Surgery – is it the answer?

Nearly every week in the Mail Health Pages there is another article on a spinal operation to cure all back pain but everyone that I read seems to be only suitable for people with new spinal injury’s and not for people like myself who have had surgery after surgery and back pain for the last 20 + years.

The one in the Mail today was about how a prosthetic neck joint called Prestige ( a surgical wedge) was placed in the spine to replace the bulging disc which in this case was in the patients neck ( same as mine) and although the surgery was still quite big in that they have to cut under your chin to move the windpipe to one side. The devise has undergone rigorous testing in America ( just by way of a change) and it has shown that people are in far less pain after this type of surgery. The surgeon was a Professor Steven Gill at Bristol’s Frenchay Hospital.

I’m not frightened of having surgery, I just won’t go through with it until I find the right one for me and I know that could take years but its amazing how fast things are advancing in that type of surgery. Deciding which area of my spine to tackle first will be the biggest problem for me as my bulges are in my cervical, thoracic and lumber and some eighteen years ago a top spinal specialist said that he thought the only option would be fusion from top to bottom but my movement would be very limited !!

Of course, the trouble with leaving these sort of decisions can mean that you have other problems to deal with, for instance haemorrhoids, which I’m sure I will not be alone in suffering from this because of the side effect of the pain and other medications you take.

I’ve already had surgery once for this problem but it was so painful that I said I would never go through that again. But again in the health section of the Mail an article was written a couple of weeks ago on the latest surgery for this type of problem which leaves you with NO pain after surgery – amazing or what.

So, I guess I just have to be a bit more patient and see if they come up with a spinal surgery that is pretty painless as well. You never know miracles do happen.:**:


Why do I put myself under so much pain and pressure ?

I don’t know why I do it, but I’m always putting myself under pressure to do this and do that. Before I sold my last business back in 1999 I’d already had to give up two other businesses due to my back problem.

I had my first spinal surgery a month after I moved from Cheshire to Nottingham leaving behind friends and family, and my twin sister. It was the first time we had ever been apart. We were so close we would talk on the phone and see each other most days. My sisters second child and my first child even had the same delivery dates !!

We went through everything together and she helped me start up my first business back in the 1980’s, selling jewellery on a party plan basis. I had quite a good business going when we knew we had to move to Nottingham due to my husbands relocation with his work and at first I thought I would be able to continue with my party plan business. But I was in such a mess with my back that I decided to put it on the back boiler for a while until I had completely settled in and made some new friends.

Unfortunately my back deteriorated and I was rushed back to Cheshire for my first spinal operation. Back in the 1980’s spinal surgery was a much bigger operation than now and had about three months recovery time !!!

By the time I had fully recovered I realised that I could not carry on with the business, with two young children and no family or friends nearby we never really discussed whether I should get a job or not but as my husbands hours and trips abroad were long it meant I needed to be around full time for the children.

But, as usual my mind would drift into business ideas and I decided to start a Dress Agency from my front bedroom. Nottingham was a little bit behind trendy Cheshire at that time so I got most of my stock from friends and family in Cheshire. I then advertised it in a local newsletter and quite soon had a nice clientele of ladies who would come regularly to see my stock.

All was going well until I decided to do a big Fashion Show to raise money for a local hospice and it was only a few days after the event that I developed terrible pain in my neck and arm. Over the following months I had various treatments for my neck, and was even put on traction in hospital and so with me out of action so was my business.

My neck just got worse until eventually I had to have what ended up to be emergency surgery on it. The biggest difference with the recovery after this operation was unreal. Immediately after the operation I had no pain at all and after some weeks with my neck in a collar I was out of trouble and pain free.However lifting clothes on and off hangers was something I was advised not to do so I decided to pack it in but I was lucky enough to sell it to someone local.

I never felt as if I had been a failure with either of my businesses I just felt it was circumstances that closed them and so it wasn’t long before I was thinking yet again about what I could do to earn some money. As before we never discussed whether I should get even a part time job. In today’s day and age you would get a job and sort your children out with a childminder but we weren’t that way inclined in the 1980’s and with all my family living a long way away from me, I had to just plod on.

It wasn’t long before a new business evolved and I started a balloon decoration business and this time I managed to keep it up and running for some 10 years which was quite a while in comparison to my previous businesses. Then, quite a few years down the line my neck became so bad again that I had to have a repeat of the first surgery. The only difference this time was that I continued with my business as I had others working for me who could run it while I had the operation. I can remember speaking to some of my clients from my hospital bed to reassure them everything would go ahead as planned.

Then it was only a few years later that I was in a mess again with my back with crippling pain in my lumber region. I tried everything available to cope with the pain, I had injections, tried different medications, had physiotherapy, you name it I tried it. But, just as before I ended up needing yet another operation on the disc above the previous fusion surgery only this time it all went wrong. I had developed an infection and a hematoma which had to be operated on twice and left me in hospital for some months on an iv drip. It didn’t take me long to realise that my health was not only affecting me but also the ones closest to me and I had to think long and hard if yet again I should finish the business and concentrate on looking after myself and my chronic back problem.

It was decided the best option would be for me to retire but I was lucky enough to sell it to someone who had worked for me and to this day continues to run it. I really struggled doing nothing and I would come up with other projects to do in the house and the trouble was the bell didn’t ring until after I’d finished the job !! I did think of another business venture but it didn’t come into fruition as I knew deep down that I couldn’t manage it but my silly brain still keeps thinking of ideas all the time, it actually drives me mad.

Anyway I’ve carried on doing lots of writing and I honestly think without my lap top and the Internet I would have gone potty before now. So, why why why, after a Reflexology treatment a few weeks ago did I think that I could do a home study course on it with a view to maybe making a new career out of it??

I did my first module this week which I found really interesting and it came back with flying colours and I was then sent the second module which had to include some hands on work on my guinea pig patients which I had allocated to be my husband and a friend then as I watched a DVD which showed you the techniques on the massage used in Reflexology I noticed that the Reflexologist kept stopping to stretch and move her neck and shoulders because of the position she was in. So really it should have been pretty obvious to me then that I might have the same problem with my neck but my mind just seems blocks out my neck problem completely.

I then tried to do my first treatment on my husband and was very soon in a lot of pain and in fact the pain was so bad last night that I had to top up my medication with some morphine in order to get any sleep at all.

Today I’ve just kept questioning myself as to why I keep doing this when I love to write so much (as I’m sure you can tell) so why can’t I be content with just that. I know my grammar isn’t up to much, but I still get quite a few comments on my posts which gives me a real buzz.

I feel quite down today, and it’s not like it’s the end of the world, there are lots of people far worse off than me, I know that. You would have thought I would have learnt by now but nature has a strange way of making you forget pain. I mean I’m in quite a bit of pain now after typing all this lot.

Maybe I will tap into google “work for people with chronic pain” – hang on a minute I will just try that. Oh! dear, it may take me a while to get through them as google says there are about 3,190,000 sites to look at ! lol Any more ideas would be greatly appreciated (only joking).:??: