I was referred to Mr Mushtaque Ishaque in May 2015, after increasing lower back pain, bent back, and increasing discomfort on walking. At the time I was nearly 76 years old.
Mr Ishaque was extremely kind and helpful, and ordered further diagnostic tests to ensure we had a correct diagnosis, which turned out to be degenerative scoliosis with significant spinal stenosis. He was always willing to explain things and spent time to ensure that I fully understood what he was advising. He suggested that I should have a spinal root ganglion block under a minimal general anaesthetic ( which alarmed me somewhat!) In the event I had this for the first time as a Day Case at the Priory hospital and met the anaesthetist, Dr da Silva for the first, but not the last, time. This steroid injection in fact worked fairly well for five months, but then the pain returned and a further injection was advised. This time a more extensive block was planned and given. This lasted a few weeks only and the pain returned despite physiotherapy. As the pain was getting worse again a final injection was planned and given but once again this only also lasted a few weeks and in the end it was decided to try and achieve a more permanent solution by trying a more radical intervention involving major spinal reconstruction from T12 to S1 levels. In view of my age I needed to see both Dr da Silva for a more intensive examination prior to a long anaesthetic, and also Dr Patel for cardiological advice. Eventually surgery was planned for mid July 2016, and took place at the Priory Hospital. The surgery lasted 10 hours and involved a complete Spinal reconstruction from T12 to S1, with correction of the scoliosis and multiple level decompression. I spent 8 days in hospital including two days in the ITU - this coincided with the last heatwave and I was so thankful to have air conditioning in the ITU! How the theatre staff coped with a whole day operation in the heat I do not know! All the staff, medical and nursing, were wonderful being caring and considerate, and I felt very safe and well looked after.
On returning home after 8 days I progressed slowly with gradual reduction of painkillers, and increasing mobility – the relief when I could get into the bath once more, and also start driving again! I had regular checkups with Mr Ishaque, always reassuring and positive as we looked at repeat lumbar-X- Rays to see how the bone graft was progressing, and check that the rods and screws were in place correctly. My mobility continued to improve, and swimming three or four times a week was a definite help. I also did individual Pilates on the Reformer Couch which helped to keep me stretched and mobile.
The original pain has gone completely and although I’m still a bit stiff at times I am able to do all the things I want to do, albeit a little slower than before. I’m still a bit bent but I was finally discharged last week, with the final X-Ray showing very satisfactory realignment with solid bone graft and new bone fixing my spine. Not a bad result I feel as I will be 79 years of age in September!
I would have absolutely no hesitation in recommending the care given by Mr Ishaque and the whole of his fantastic team including of course Dr da Silva, and also the help given by Linda, his secretary when any advice was needed. I would also recommend without reservation the care given by all staff at the Priory Hospital.
Helen - July 2018