Ron Oxburgh, chairman of several small companies, successfully underwent lumbar decompression surgery several years ago.
Ron Oxburgh, chairman of several small companies, successfully underwent lumbar decompression surgery.
"I started to feel a tingling in my toes, which progressively got worse," says Ron. "I lost some of the feeling in my legs and was very wobbly. I even used to fall over. It was obvious that something was wrong and, after talking with my GP, friends and colleagues, I was referred to a consultant in the Hammersmith Hospital in London.
"I was given an MRI scan, which showed up gristly growths inside two of my vertebrae, which were impinging on my spinal cord. After explaining all the risks of surgery, ranging from the very low risk of paralysis from the waist downwards to the higher risk of no real improvement, my consultant offered lumbar decompression surgery to remove the growths. I decided that the operation was worth the risk.
"Luckily, I didn't have to wait too long for my operation. I was given a general anaesthetic and was then placed over an arched table to stretch my back and separate the vertebrae. The surgeon made a 15-inch incision down my spine, eased the muscles to one side and got to work, gradually removing the internal growths.
"I felt pretty sore and groggy when I came round, but was back on my feet in no time. I went home after three-and-a-half days and was able to visit the office after a week. I'm a naturally active person as well as very determined, and have no doubt that this speeds up the recovery. I was walking without sticks after three weeks and never looked back. The discomfort has gone and I haven’t had any more tumbles. I'm now back to my recreation of mountain walking. Obviously, I can’t see my scar, but I'm told that it's not particularly noticeable.
"When I went back to see my surgeon a year later, he couldn’t believe my range of movement. It really is as good as it ever was."