I will never be able to thank Mr Ishaque enough for everything he has done for me.

Samantha Griffin

March 2015

My back problems began in January 2014 – I woke up on a Sunday morning barely able to move due to a sharp pain in my lower back, by the Wednesday I could barely put my right leg to the floor without crying in out in pain. I was prescribed the usual pain killers and anti inflammatory drugs and was signed off work for 5 weeks. I had 10 sessions of physio which initially helped relieve the pain but by the end of April the pain was so bad I was walking with a limp and not sleeping due to the constant pain. My physio referred me to see a spinal specialist and highly recommended Mr Ishaque.

I initially saw Mr Ishaque on the 2nd May 2014, he immediately put me at ease with his calm and professional manner – After examining me he said that he could help, I was sent for an X-ray and a MRI scan which showed that I had a small herniated disc in my lower back. It was agreed that a pain killing injection would be done to help elevate my symptoms. This to me was terrifying as I’m seriously needle phobic; I even managed to pass out whilst having my blood test. The injection was carried out under a general anaesthetic on the 12th May, Mr Ishaque and Mr De Silva both made every effort to put me at ease and explained everything to me. Due to difficulty walking and as I was in such a state of panic I was taken down to the theatre on a bed. Pain relief lasted for about 2 weeks and then stated to increase again, Mr Ishaque performed a second injection on the 23rd June -unfortunately for me the pain relief was minimal. The next MRI scan I had appeared to suggest that things were improving in my back even though I was in a lot of pain and still struggled to walk. To cover all angles Mr Ishaque referred me to see a pain management consultant who changed my medication to tramadol, progablin and paracetamol to help me cope with the pain and a consultant neurologist who sent me for nerve tests but these failed to reveal a neuropathic cause for my symptoms - I was then referred to a consultant who specialised in the hip area. He in turn sent me for more x-rays and a 3 tesla scan on my hip at Aston University – these all came back clear.

By this stage I was feeling pretty low, I was in constant pain, couldn’t sleep properly and struggled to do everyday things as I needed lots of pain relief to function. In October Mr Ishaque had the opportunity to send me to a new Upright MRI scanner that had opened in Birmingham, it enabled me to be scanned in a standing and sitting position, this action proved to be the turning point for me. The scan showed my herniated disc which had been hidden on the lying down scan, the evidence was now there to operate.

I had an operation on 17th November 2014 to carry out RT L5/51 root block, discectomy and undercutting facetectomy. On the day of the operation I was very nervous but the pain had got me so down that I just felt relief when I wheeled down to theatre. Mr Ishaque and his team were superb in ensuring that I was calm and comfortable prior to the operation. I spent 5 nights in hospital – when it was time to go home I walked tall out of the hospital which just a few days before I had limped into.

I can now sit in comfort, drive (I couldn’t drive for 6 months due to pain and medication) I’m back at work full time, I can sleep and above all I can walk without too much pain and my life is back on track – I even have a couple of holidays booked which would have been unthinkable last year.

I will never be able to thank Mr Ishaque enough for everything he has done for me. He and his team have shown me so much kindness and have given me much valued support over the past 11 months, but above all what has kept me focused has been his determination to help me. I am so very grateful to him and all of his team.