Salford Royal Hospital
Written by a patient
1st June 2020
I would like to start my review by saying , Nobody wants to have to elect for surgery to prevent them from being in absolute agony, but first of all .
Thank you so very much to Mr Saxena and the whole of the Neurosurgical team at Salford Royal Hospital.
I must tell you that I have an ongoing blood cancer which is called Chronic Myeloid Leukaemia (First Diagnosed 2014 for which i take daily Chemotherapy Nilotinib) and also during the journey that this surgery has lead me on.
I have been on many many pain killers to try and relieve the pain, unfortunately they didn't work. To Understand that you have this pain that is excruciating from Numbness in your four finger through up and one arm and into the shoulder and back area is just the beginning of the problems and limitations that this kind of problem causes .Hands shaking, irritable (grumpy) most of the time, Sleepless nights, Problems showering or even beginning to get in the bath,problems even getting semi comfy in a chair or on the couch. constantly twisting to try and get relief from the nagging pains.
Eventually after many different attempts at pain management the G.P. sent me to have a test for carpal tunnel syndrome. The results came back as negative after several more weeks of more pain I went for an MRI scan just to see if there was anything wrong with the cervical spine and head.
The results came back that at some point I had had a small Chronic left Thalamic infarct (Stroke), the scan also showed I had severe cervical Spondylopathy and this would explain the bilateral symptoms of Paraesthesia, ( in a nut shell C5/6 and C6/7 ) would need to be helped by surgery.
When I went to Salford Royal I was offered either to have a day surgery Steroid implant in-between the spine with minimal intervention or the alternative was surgery to completely remove the faulty discs and place them with prosthetic. The 2nd option was much more intrusive and would take longer to heal from. So with that in mind I went ahead and had the implant done after several more weeks of waiting.
The steroid implant was carried out and I was out the same day, I was told it could take a couple of weeks to work, and just as the surgeon had said around the two week point I began to get some relief until the pain was minimal. Unfortunately for me after around 4/5 weeks of relative pain relief of the Steroids seemed to wear off and I was back in the same position.
So then the only possible option was to have the faulty discs removed and replaced.
Again the thought of going through all the pain of surgery and recovery and it not working was an ongoing thought in my mind, However I simply could not live with the pain and symptoms the way they were, so I was down to one choice.
I elected for surgery.
This was the best decision I have ever made.
My fear of the surgery and to be honest not waking up, or still being in the same position or worse afterwards was a very real one.
However it need not have been, Mr Saxena and the team at Salford Royal Hospital did a fantastic job of the operation to remove C5/6 and C6/7 and to do the cervical disc replacement. I listened carefully to the physiotherapist on release from hospital and did not drive or lift anything heavier than a kettle , to allow the healing to be most effective.
This surgery has completely changed my life. I can now hug and pick my kids up. They have there dad back again.(The Not Grumpy One).
I am now no longer on any pain relief medication what so ever, and can now do things i could only dream of when I was in the pain.
Mr Andrew Unwin