Dr Howie is an Orthopaedic Surgeon, trained in Spinal Surgery, who specialises in the management of disorders of the lumbar spine in adults, especially conditions such as sciatica due to disc prolapse, spinal stenosis (narrowing of the spinal canal), spondylolisthesis (slipping of one vertebra in relation to the next), and low back pain due to degenerative disc disease.
He has experience with spinal fractures and spinal tumours.
Back pain is one of the commonest symptoms known to humans. It is especially common in middle age.
While it may be due to injury it often occurs for no obvious reason. The pain in the back may be severe and may be associated with pain extending down the leg associated with pins and needles or numbness in the foot (sciatica).
Many episodes of back and leg pain will resolve naturally without need for treatment (some treatments may prolong the problem) and most patients don’t need surgery.
At times though the symptoms can be very severe, disrupting your life, work and sport, such that you would consider anything to get rid of it, even an operation. That’s when you need to get the opinion of a very experienced surgeon – to determine if surgery can help you.
I have seen 18,000 patients with spinal problems and have done over 5,000 operations. I know what works and what doesn’t.
I will only recommend surgery if the problem is severe and surgery has a high chance of fixing it. If surgery is really required I will refer you to the most appropriate surgeon for your condition.
We are not very tolerant of pain and disability these days – but it’s amazing the number of patients who get better by being patient!