Walton centre - Thursday!

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totally amazed with this place so far, 

i rang 2 weeks ago ish to be told it was 8-15 week wait depending on who I was referred to see. Then I got a letter Saturday saying please call us to arrange an appointment!

so I rang them this morning to be offerd an appointment Thursday morning!

for people who have been before, what's parking like?

2 likes, 19 replies

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19 Replies

  • Posted

    Hi James

    I was one of the people who suggested you go there a number of months ago.

    I had a laminectomy there at end of June, and It is just amazing, particularly my surgeon ( I had surgery offered to me 7 weeks after my intial consultation).

    Let me know how you get on and who you see, I recommended Mr Wilby to you (he was beyond great, not just an expert in his field but his down to earth, human approach was awesome- if you see him mention the Irish lady he recently operated on?

    My husband parked there daily during my time in hospital and there is loads of  parking (massive car park)- £5 for whole day.

    keep me posted on how you get on- good luck, you won't need it here they are all fantastic surgeons.


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  • Posted

    So nice to hear somthing posative for a change, Good luck
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  • Posted

    Hi James,

    It is good to hear some good news. I am currently being looked after by the Walton Centre too. I live in Exeter, Devon, so a long journey, but I only hear good things and comments about this hospital.

    My consultant is Mr Clarke, and I am due to return soon, because I have to make the decision about having a fusion done at L5/S1.

    I wish you every success James, and from what I have heard I think you are in good hands.

    I would be interested to hear how you get on, so please let me know .... 

    If I can help in any other way give me a call

    My mob 07926572900

    Good Luck


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    • Posted

      Hi Gary, many thanks for that.

      what treatment did you go through? I'm begging for the disc to be trimmed. I don't want injections or anything that won't fix me. I just want a chance at having a normal life again, at 27 when this happened, and getting married next year. Plus my company is moving into new premises and I need to be able to work and support my fiance and future family!

      i don't know who I am seeing yet, my GP kindly asked for Mr Wilby, but we shall wait and see! It's a fair drive from Norfolk too but I have friends in Stoke on Trent so staying there tomorrow night.

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  • Posted

    Hi James, thank you for your reply.

    I fully understand your concern, and I know how hard the decisions are to make. I have had 2 microdiscectomies and a decompression, but the decompression went badly wrong in my opinion, hence why I am in the position I am now. 

    Two pieces of advice James that I have learnt on this lourney, and that is to be totally open and honest with your consultant, and you have to have that belief and feeling of trust.

    The second is about you. I understand the pressures of life, a partner, and work etc ..... but without your health, you cannot do or enjoy the others. So you have to come first in this James, and as frustrating as it maybe, I strongly urge you to make your health and getting well your number priority. 

    The problem with medical situations is trying to understand how it will be after the operation, that's why you must have faith in your consultant. 

    I hear that Mr May is excellent their too, but then I would hope that they all are of a very high standard.

    Injections did not work for me, and they are only a temporary fix generally, but they want to try them in case it avoids an operation. 

    I am sure that they will not suggest more they what they feel is necessary James, and they will have your long term health in mind too. 

    I truly hope all goes well for you. 

    Let me know.



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    • Posted

      Hi Gary, I always have my fiancé with me and she gives her input too. One consultant actually accused me of making things up! He didn't seem to grasp the concept that my pain killers work 99% of the time and I have only had to suffer the leg pain 3 or 4 times in 2 years. So when he asked where I get it, I had to think hard! He said that sounds made up when I answered!!!

      ive always fought to get better, my last GP refused to let me see ANYONE a who might be able to help. Would only refer me to the pain clinic! as I have nerve problems with my legs, it's very distressing to trip over things and stumble daily! If I lay wrong or as soon as I sit down, I get pins and needles in my legs and it spreads fast to my groin and bum. My tail bone also provides excruciating pain after being sat for a while. 

      One Doctor here said I would be sedated if I had the injection, the next said not at all! One really worried my fiance and she actually turned to me after the appointment and said do you think he was 'high' on something due to his way in which he spoke and acted to us!!

      i am totally dependant on morphine for pain relief now. I am on 120mg a day plus up to 80mg in boosters if needed. If I drop 10mg I can't walk. It's a nightmare. If I stop working, I lose the roof over my head instantly. I no longer have savings due to having so much time off work thanks to this accident. sad

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  • Posted

    Hi James, 

    Thank you for your last message.

    I understand what say about the medial people, I have been through 6 Doctors in Exeter, because they simply were looking for excuses not to do things. I was even blackmailed by one of them, because she wanted me to accept a disgustingly written referral, and when I challenged her, she said you either accept or you don't go ...... 

    It is pathetic and beyond belief James. 

    I am genuinely sorry to hear the trauma, pain, and discomfort you are going through. 

    Have you heard of street life? I posted on there, and asked my local neighbours if they could help me with what they felt like after a fusion operation.

    A lady phoned me up tonight, and she had 3 vertabrae fused in my neck 5 years ago, so very kind of her to call and explain what she had been through and how it all felt. 

    She went to the john radcliff in oxford, and speaks very highly of a complex spine consultant called Thomas Cadoux Hudson. I know your at the Walton Centre now, but keep it in mind James, you never know when it maybe needed. 

    I truly wish you the best of luck tomorrow James. If you can please let me know how you get on. My consultant there is Complex spine consultant Mr Clarke, he trained in Australia and a nice guy .... So if you see him say hello for me lol ..... 

    Good Luck for tomorrow

    Hope to hear from you soon



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  • Posted

    What an amazing experience that was! 

    The walton centre felt new, fresh, tidy and clean. Parking was easy and the waiting room wasn't crowded! 

    I saw Mr Lawson, he was so kind, genuine, listened to every thing we had to say. It was incredible! Nothing like the hospital here. We weren't looked down to! 

    He he also pointed out on my scan I actually have two discs gone!!!! The other disc is pushing out both sides which explains pain in my right leg too. The l5/s1 disc is the worst though. I have partial caudia equina syndrome, my left foot didn't respond to being tapped with the stick from behind and I could only just feel the pin in my feet and it was quite alarming!!!!

    i need to go back in 2-3 weeks as he wants a fresh MRI scan. Then , if the scan shows it worse, operation straight away, if it's the same, we will try the injection, then operate if it doesn't work

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  • Posted

    Hi James

    Thanks for the update.

    Well I know that it all sounds still a bit scary but in a strange way good, at least you are getting clear assessment of your condition and a plan of action.

    Even if you have to go through surgery you could not be in a better place, if you get to the wards they are even more 'hot" on  hygiene with voice activated messages throughout to use the gel dispensers located along the corridors.The nursing staff are amazing.

    My nephew who was training at Aintree hospital- next door to The Walton( Maxofacial Surgery) gave me the inside view on this place and it was all positive.

    I am so pleased things are moving forward and from my own experience just to have someone you trust looking after you is a hugh relief.

    Keep me posted and keep positive, you are on your way to a brighter future.

    Any other questions you think of do not hesitate to ask.

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    • Posted

      Hi there (drinxs)

      I have just read your reply to James. 

      It is so good to hear of a hospital that treats people like human beings with dignity and respect.

      As you will hopefully be aware I am being treated at the Walton Centre too .... so to read your comments from an insider was very reassuring.

      I wish everyone success who has problems like ours ...... 

      Appreciate you taking the time to add your comments drinxs ... THank you.

      Kind regards


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    • Posted

      Hi Gary,

      I know I have read your reviews are you the one from Exeter?

      Who are you seeing and have you had surgery or planning to have surgery there.

      I try and give an honest opinion because I know what a scary place surgery can be and getting the right surgeon and the best care is the difference between success and the rest.

      I totally took control of my own research and directed my required route to my care rather than being left to the "crippling" state of NHS.

      Let me know how you get on ( I still have leg nerve issues but definately better than before op. and this was made very clear to me before the operation, it was not to alleviate my current symptoms but to ensure I did not get any worse- just went on a 13km bike ride this morning so that is cannot be bad post operation in less than 4 months and the relief t0 have the operaon is immeasurable and is was deemed by Walton to ba a success- the see me for post operative assessment every 3 months).


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    • Posted

      Hi there, thank you for your reply. 

      I am indeed from Exeter. 

      My consultant is Simon Clarke, he is from Australia I believe.

      He is suggesting a more radical decompression at L5/S1, with a facetectomy on the right hand side to totally clear out both the L5 and S1 nerve roots.

      I have done quite a lot of research, but as you will know I am sure, that a lot of this is discovered and assessed during the operation. 

      I don't my situation will sort it self out on it's own now. It has been going on for 4 years now. 

      You seem to know the Walton Centre quite well? It seems a good hospital, where they do genuinely care for there patients. 

      What happened to you may I ask? 

      And if you have any advice or suggestions, I would be pleased to hear it ?? 

      Glad to see that you are able to be quite active, with your bike ride.

      Look forward to hearing from you.



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    • Posted

      Hi Gary,

      I had a laminectomy operation at end of June with Mr Wilby ( i was split between seeing hm or Mr Clarke both are dedicated Complex spinal surgeons- have just seen Mr Clarke in passing).

      Essentially I had legs symptoms at the start (1.5 years ago) with shakiness, the numbness in right foot followed later by burning sensation in both thighs- I have always been sporty and thought it was running). However MRI showed bulging disc in my Thoracic spine( middle back- very unsual disc to go and most surgeons only have 1-2 cases a year) pushing on my spinal cords, hence causing all the leg related nerve issues.So I had no choice but to have op. or potentially face paralysis.

      Initially at my own hospital In N. Ireland I was tld I would have to have a thoracemony - going through the chest rather than back in order to access the disc in this part of the spine- which involved taking out rib, deflating Lung and bypassing all major otgans- worst than open heart surgery- really scary stuff( I d not know what caused it, maybe just degenerative but I did have a car accident 13 years ago- who knows)

      I then went into major research mode contacting all specialist spine units, e-mailing surgeons, got the registar for Nuerosureons which allows you to see number of operations they have performed on spine etc. After months of this I asked for a 2nd opinion from my meurosurgeon in N.I and selected the Walton Centre (my Nephew was doing surgical training next door at the time at Aintree hospital and he confirmed the great credentials of The Walton team of surgeons).

      MR Wilby was amazing, he said he normally would look to alternative to surgery but in my case he saw no opinion but suggested from MRI he could access the problem from the back Vs. the chest and took my case to discuss with his fellow spinal surgeons who all agreed to this approach.

      So had my op. end of June( 3 ladies inc. myself in for op. with Mr Wilby that day and after he operated on first lady and while second was waiting for anthestic, he came up to the ward pre my op. to see how I was feeling, I said a little nervous and his reeply was he was the only one who should feel nervous as he had to do the operation and I should just enjoy the rest while in op.- this is a measure of the compassion of the man, a true hero inmy eyes) and while I have still nerve issues in my legs( can take up to 12-18 months to improve if ever as nerve damage maybe permenant, but key reason for my op. was to make sure I did not get worse)my mobility is great, had op. on a tuesday afternnon out on the Thursday and walking small distance intially straight away. My mobility is great at Gym now 3-4 times a week and I am 52 years)

      It is so important to keep positive and to be realistic about what can and cannot be achieved ( lady next to me had complete recovery from her nerve issues immdiately after the op. and she was 70, left hospital day after op.!!).

      I have rambled on a bit, but before my op. I just wanted as much feedback from people as I could.

      If you need any further info. details etc, please ask, only too glad to share.

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    • Posted

      Hi drinxs,

      Good to hear from you, and thank you for explaining your situation, it is appreciated. 

      I cannot remember exactly how mauch I have said already, but never mind. As you say it is good to hear other peoples experiences, and recommendations.

      Many people speak well of this hospital drinxs, as you will know, and it is good to hear about what Nephew had to say as well. 

      Mr Clarke feels that I have foraminal osteophytic compression, with a degenerative disc, so he also wants to do a faetectomy at L5/S1, and to clear out the nerve roots for L/5 and S/1. 

      I hate the thought of a fusion, but I have some referred pain as well around my abdomen, and buttocks.

      I have done quite a bit of researsh also, but at the end of the day, there is no way we can hope to get 5% of the knowledge these guys have. 

      My worse symptom now is deadness and numbness to my right foot, mainly sole and dorals. But there is pain in my outer thigh, and buttocks. 

      My lower back itself seems fairly stable except for the odd twinge now and again, and I do not have a strength problem in my back itself. 

      From my personal observations, it seems like it is compression of my nreve, as my symptoms are becoming sharper and more definite. I have just got to hope that the compression etc has not caused permanent damage.

      Like you drinxs, I have always been an extremely active guy, and that is why I want a surgical solution, because boing on the alternative methods is not the way I want the rest of my life to go. 

      Even though this will be my 4th operation, I honestly feel that if the right surgeon does it, then there is a good chance of coming out of this on pretty good terms, maybe not perfect, but hopefully very mobile with a much better feeling foot. 

      I further notice that load seems to play a big part in my reactions, all my symptoms are better without load ...... strongly suggesting compression I feel.

      I am now waiting for an out patients appointment to go back and look at the scans with Mr Clarke, discuss it with him, and then decide whether to go ahead or not .... but I don't think there is a choice really .... 

      I have spoken to a lady who had 3 neck vertabrae fused 5 years ago, and she was very positive, and another lady wrote to me who had a lumber spine fusion, and she seems to be ok too. 

      So perhaps it is not such a bad thing drinxs, realigning the spine, lifting it, may help the referred pain problems too, taking away the degenerative disc problem too. 

      So gut feeling is that I know what really needs to be done ..... just trying to be as informed as possible, like you wanted to be ...... 

      Hopefully I go back soon ...... and then I feel the operation will follow ..... 

      Its truly great to have your input drinxs ...... thank you very much .....

      I will let you know how it goes..... 

      any other info always pleased to hear from you, and I hope all continues to go well for you ......



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