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  • Case Studies

    Our patients’ stories, in their own words

  • Case Studies

    Our patients’ stories, in their own words

Samantha's story

Providing rapid treatment and fast recovery for a sudden slipped disc

Aged 28, Samantha suffered a slipped disk.

As a freelance writer, Samantha works from home but frequently needs to travel to meet her various clients. Over time, Samantha began to develop a bad back. She experienced pain in her lower back, particularly when getting up in the mornings, or after vigorous exercise. However, with a little physiotherapy the condition was manageable, and Samantha was able to lead a normal life for a number of years.

However, one Monday morning, Samantha’s alarm clock went off as usual and she rose to climb out of bed. As her feet touched the bedroom floor Samantha felt a much sharper pain in her back than usual, and before she knew it had collapsed onto the floor.

Luckily, Samantha did not think she was seriously injured by the fall. However, as she slowly attempted to stand up, she found she had very little feeling and control over her right foot. Samantha was scared: she didn’t know what was happening to her and, living alone, was not sure how she would get help. Eventually, Samantha was able to pick herself up off the floor, hobble over to her mobile phone, and make a panicky call to her father.

Initial appointment
Samantha’s father drove her to see the local GP, who gave her a same-day referral to a consultant neurosurgeon at The Wellington Hospital. Samantha was amazed that, almost as soon as she arrived, the hospital had availability to scan her on their MRI machine. Following the radiologist’s review of the scan, the consultant neurosurgeon quickly diagnosed Samantha with a lumbar disc prolapse, or “slipped disc”. The slipped disc was applying pressure to Samantha’s sciatic nerve, causing the numbness in her foot. The consultant also noted that, since Samantha’s foot was now very weak, intervention was urgent.

Given the urgency and her need to return to work, Samantha was relieved to find herself in surgery the very next day. The fast transition was certainly unsettling, but she was glad that timely action was being taken. The team at The Wellington decided to relieve the pressure on Samantha’s sciatic nerve using their new METrx system: minimally invasive surgery performed using specially designed instruments, to minimise tissue damage and ensure a rapid recovery.

The operation was a success, and Samantha was not only out of bed the next morning, but walked out through the hospital doors the day after. The speed of this treatment and recovery was beyond anything Samantha and her father had thought possible on arrival at the hospital, and Samantha was able to resume writing and earning a living within weeks.

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