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Press Articles

I Begged My Surgeon For a Back Transplant


Sarah Threlkeld-Brown, 40, from Cumbria, UK, had resigned herself to years of pain in a wheelchair, until one doctor changed her life

Puffing my way up the mountain, I smiled. I’d finally reached the top of Catbells, a 450-metre fell near our Lake District home in the UK, and sat down, exhausted but happy. It was my birthday and I laughed as my husband Geoff, 46, and two children Harry, 13, and Caitlyn, nine, sang Happy Birthday to me. Even our dog Poppy sensed the excitement when they gave me a little cake with ‘40’ on it.
Climbing a mountain, albeit a small one, had always been on my bucket list. But that day, as I looked back at how far we’d climbed, I felt a real sense of achievement. After suffering crippling back pains for 15 years, I’d seen my future in a wheelchair, and in my darker moments I wasn’t even sure if 
I would make it to 40. Yet there I 
was – happy, healthy and mobile.

To view full story go to: http://www.gulfnews.com/i-begged-my-surgeon-for-a-back-transplant-1.1319628/

Nicky Sutherland – Mail Online



Father spent 20 years trying to discover what caused excruciating pain after doctors failed to spot he had a BROKEN BACK

  • Nicky Sutherland was in so much pain he became dependent on morphine
  • The 42-year-old was finally seen by surgeon Manoj Krishna
    Mr Krishna works at Nuffield Health Tees Hospital in Stockton-Upon-Tees
  • Mr Sutherland underwent a life-changing operation and is back playing golf

Published in the Mail online June 2013.  Read Nicky’s story in full please click here


Hannah Meeson – Daily Mail

 How crushing your bones could beat misery of back pain -

Surgery for a slipped disc is the most common spinal operation in the UK, but sometimes the pain persists.

Business consultant Hannah Meeson, 41, who lives with her husband Martin and their three young daughters in County Durham, underwent a new procedure for this.

Published in the Daily Mail October 2012; Read Hannah’s Full story here







Health & wellbeing – I’ve got my life back

Grandmother Sue Watson says she can enjoy her life again after undergoing spinal surgery. Barry Nelson reports

RETIRED hairdresser Sue Watson was looking forward to spending more times with her four grandchildren when disaster struck. “I felt something go in my back and I suddenly found that I couldn’t walk for more than a few minutes without unbelievable pain, ” she says.

Sue, 64, of Darlington, who ran Sue’s Hair and Beauty, in Cockerton, for many years, adds: “I went to the doctors and they told me it was probably just wear and tear because of my age.

“I found it really difficult to get across to my GP the amount of pain I was in, ” recalls, Sue, who also experienced pins and needles shooting down her legs.

In February her GP arranged for her to have an MRI scan as well as a battery of hospital tests. Eventually she got an appointment to see a consultant to discuss her back problems – but her heart sank when this was called off at short notice.

“I was supposed to see an NHS consultant at the Spire Hosital, in Washington, on June 21 but a few weeks before they cancelled, ” says Sue, who felt that she was back to square one.

At this stage, a friend gave Sue a cutting from The Northern Echo about the work of North-East spinal surgeon Manoj Krishna. Mr Krishna, who is based at the North Tees and Hartlepool NHS Foundation Trust, but also does private work, specialises in helping hard-to-treat patients with a wide range of back problems.

“I arranged to have a consultation with Mr Krishna and he gave me a great deal of hope that he could make me better, ” she says.

Because she wanted to be operated on as soon as possible she opted to go private, a decision which cost thousands of pounds – but she feels it was worth every penny.

“I just decided we had to get on with it there and then. I felt there is no price you can put on your health.”

Just three weeks after the consultation, she went under the knife at the Spire Hospital in Norton, on Teesside. “I was absolutely petrified before the operation, but 12 hours later I was walking again and the back pain was gone, ” she says. “I can now walk for miles without any problem. Before the operation, I could do very little, but I now feel as if I have got my life back again. I felt on the outside of life looking in, I couldn’t pick my grandkids up before I had the operation, but that’s not a problem any more.”

Mr Krishna, explains that the pain experienced by Sue was caused by degeneration to a disk in the lower spine. “It had prolapsed and was pressing on a nerve, causing her back and leg pain, ” he says.

To give the procedure its full name the operation on Sue was a ‘less invasive posterior lumbar interbody fusion’. “It is where we remove the damaged disc and the facet joints, free up the nerves and restore normal loading across the disc by filling it with bone enclosed in cages, ” says Mr Krishna.

SUE was typical of many of the patients he sees. Often they despair of finding a solution to chronic back pain.

But the consultation orthopaedic surgeon believes he can help many of them find relief.

“There is no need in the 21st Century to suffer in silence. I believe that every human being has a right to a life without pain. Preventing back pain with regular exercise is important.”

My general message to all back sufferers is major advances in spinal surgery have made the impossible, possible. Surgery is safer, outcomes more predictable and recovery faster than ten years ago. There have also been major advances in the quality of MRI scans and diagnosis and in our understanding of pain.

Surgery is needed in only a small number of patients we see. The rest improve with conservative treatment.”

For Sue, the important thing is that she can now enjoy life to the full again.

“My family are the most important thing in my life. I wasn’t able to have a normal life with them but I can now. I can pick up my grandchildren and I can run upstairs, ” she says. “Before the operation I couldn’t do anything.”

Story taken from: Northern Echo

Miracles can happen – June 2011

Desperate, depressed and even suicidal, many patients have hit rock bottom when they turn to spinal surgeon Manoj Krishna. Lucy Richardson discovers how he has transformed their lives and why they are jumping at the chance to give back.

SIMPLE everyday tasks from washing up at the kitchen sink, to climbing stairs and getting out of bed were unbearable for Clare Poulton.

After enduring excruciating agony for years, she feared her back pain was so great she couldn’t have a child.

You can read the full article here at: http://www.thenorthernecho.co.uk/features/leader/9072171.Miracles_can_happen/

Saved him from excruciating back problems

Steve Rutter, 45, a popular pastoral head of year 11 at Ormesby Comprehensive School – who also plays snooker in the Cleveland Billiards and Snooker league – was struck down with back pain in December.

The dad-of-two, who lives with wife Debbie and their little girl Tia, five, in Ingleby Barwick, admits the pain got so bad, he was left crying in agony.

Yet despite extreme pain which forced him to put his career on hold and stop playing snooker for Guisborough Conservative, Steve was disappointed to be told he faced a wait of nine to 12 weeks for treatment at James Cook University Hospital in Middlesbrough.

He said: “I was crying all the time, just with the pain. I couldn’t drive with the amount of tablets I was on and I wasn’t eating. I lost nearly two stone in weight.”

Excerpt taken from: http://www.gazettelive.co.uk/news/teesside-news/2010/05/29/a-teesside-dad-has-praised-a-private-surgeon-who-saved-him-from-excruciating-back-problems-which-left-him-crying-in-pain-84229-26545752/

Back to Peak of Fitness

Despite suffering a rugby injury to his lower back 30 years ago Bryan Mason has always prided himself on his fitness.

Even when his back flared up, the former PE teacher managed to develop a series of core exercises which allowed him to continue a full, active life including running, cycling and vigorous walking.

But 18 months ago, the pain which he had got used to and learned to live with got much worse.

“From the time I got up in the morning, fairly intense sciatic pain was only relieved by crouching down at regular intervals,” says Bryan, from Crakehall, near Bedale.

“I underwent physio in an attempt to strengthen the muscles around the damaged disc area but this made no significant headway.

“Recognising the real problem, my physio, Sue Francis – ex-physio to the Zimbabwean rugby, cricket and Olympics athletic teams, recommended I saw spinal surgeon Mr Manoj Krishna.”

Excerpt taken from: http://www.yorkshirepost.co.uk/lifestyle/the-arts/back_to_peak_of_fitness_thanks_to_spine_surgery_1_2560388