Patient case study - Intradisc Implant

Jamil Hussain

Jamil Hussain

The care I received at BMI The Priory Hospital was fabulous! I feel like I’ve been given my life back.

Jamil Hussain, a 40-year-old IT consultant and keen cyclist from Birmingham found out he had a degenerative back problem after a serious fall on Ben Nevis. After a new implant treatment at BMI The Priory Hospital, he has been given back a ‘normal’ life.

In 2015, Jamil was taking part in a charity climb on Ben Nevis when he had a serious fall during the descent. He fell roughly 200m down sheet ice on the mountain and had to be airlifted to hospital.

After x-rays, doctors at a previous hospital diagnosed him with a large haematoma on his back. The doctor also said that he thought he had some degeneration in one of his discs that might cause problems at a later. However, nine months on, things weren’t getting any better and his back seemed to be more sensitive. He still couldn’t ride his bike to work and couldn’t bear anyone being near his back as it was so tender.

Hospital roomOne day, his back went into an excruciating spasm, which left him unable to move at all. He was told that the back spasm was unrelated to the haematoma and told that things would ‘take time’ to heal.

Frustrated by this and confused as to why his back was taking so long to heal, he decided to seek some advice from BMI Healthcare. He was referred to consultant spinal surgeon, Mr Mushtaque Ishaque who did a series of tests, including an ultrasound and MRI scan and he found that the problem wasn’t a haematoma. Jamil had nerve root compression from a disc herniation secondary to a degenerate disc.

Mr Mushtaque Ishaque said that ‘Jamil was quite determined that he wanted to get better as soon as possible. He’d previously been a very active guy, playing sports, cycling to work and taking part in annual charity fundraising events. By the time he came to see me, he couldn’t do any of those things, nor could he play with his young family.'

Jamil and wifeMr Ishaque initially gave Jamil a nerve root blocking injection for the leg pain he was feeling. Fortunately, this completely relieved his leg pain but unfortunately his back pain persisted. After 3 months, having undergone physiotherapy, it was clear that his main problem now was his back pain, so a decision was made to perform the intradiscal implant. 

Within a couple of weeks, there was enormous improvement in Jamil’s back and three months on, he’s living a normal life again: cycling to work, playing with his children and doing all the things that he could before.

How does the intradisc implant work?

The procedure is carried out under local anaesthetic with sedation, where a small needle cannula is put into the centre of the intervertebral disc and short spaghetti-like implants are inserted into the nucleus of the problematic disc.

Just like pasta in water, the implants swell to about 10 times their size absorbing natural body fluids within an hour and a half of the procedure being done. Jamil had to lie still for two hours after the procedure but he was allowed to go home the same day.

As the implants swell up to provide both height and volume in the damaged discs, they can provide a significant cushioning effect compared with previous procedures and patients can feel significant relief within four weeks of the procedure being carried out.

Of his experience with BMI Healthcare, Jamil said, ‘The care I received at BMI The Priory Hospital was fabulous! I’m so pleased to be able to do the things I love doing without being in agony – I feel like I’ve been given my life back.

Mr Mushtaque IshaqueOur consultant Mr Mushtaque Ishaque comments:

Jamil was quite determined that he wanted to get better as soon as possible. He was becoming quite depressed and I was keen to get him back to living a full life again

The beauty of the procedure is that it is minimally invasive and does not interfere with any further surgery that may be required in the future as there is little or no scar tissue generated.

BMI The Priory Hospital provides a wide range of orthopaedic surgery and treatments including, hip replacement surgery, knee arthroscopy and spinal surgery. Find out more about the The Priory Hospital's Orthopaedic Centre here.