Personal story: Following a routine hand operation Mandy Sutcliffe-Spencer of Stevenage, was left with pain and deformity in her left hand, and the medication for the pain “scrambled” her brain.
Most unusually the 45 year old mother of two had a ganglion growing inside her left wrist and needed to have an operation. ‘It grew to four inches and was very uncomfortable so surgery was recommended,’ Mandy explains. ‘Before the operation in December 2012 the ganglion burst which relieved the pressure, but it was then completely removed in surgery.
‘Something must have gone wrong during the operation because my hand wasn’t straight, and I couldn’t make a fist. My ring, index and little fingers curled under when I tried to make a fist and my hand was uncomfortable. The doctors diagnosed the problem as ‘fluid complex regional pain syndrome’ which was odd as I wasn’t in pain as such, although my shoulder hurt when I lifted up my arm. They prescribed Gabapentin for me, medication for epilepsy, but it caused a lot of side-effects and my brain was completely scrambled.
‘I couldn’t do my job properly and once I went to work wearing odd earrings – this kind of thing was not like me at all. My brain didn’t seem to be connected to my left hand at all and I kept missing and dropping things. It just didn’t feel like my own hand. I had always had a speech impediment and it got worse. I am an administrator in a school and I couldn’t see my mistakes so I was in danger of losing my job. Life seemed very black.
‘My parents had been to Stephen Makinde at his Perfect Balance Clinic in Hatfield, Herts, and persuaded me to go and see him. He thought I was suffering from nerve damage from the operation and told me that I was using the wrong muscles in my upper arm when lifting things. He gave me laser treatment with K Laser, and some exercises to retrain my muscles and I was soon pain free. I became able to make a proper fist and with his help I was able to wean myself off the medication so at last I felt more normal.
‘I can make a fist without having to concentrate, but I still have some problems with lack of sensation – I burnt my finger the other day because I didn’t notice immediately that it was burning. Because of my love of singing and dancing my whole life revolved around having two hands. If this hadn’t worked, I don’t know where I’d have been now.’
K Laser is being trialled at the hand therapy department at St Thomas’s Hospital, London, particularly for carpal tunnel syndrome, trigger finger, Quervains’ and diabetic wounds. However, it is available privately at various clinics and is being used for sports injuries, osteoarthritis, and other deep tissue injuries. It is also widely used in vets for animals with arthritis and injuries.
Contact: Stephen Makinde, Perfect Balance Clinic, www.perfectbalanceclinic.com