Offerton mum back to marathons after spinal surgery success

A mum from Offerton in Stockport has said goodbye to a life of pain as she trains for her next half marathon, thanks to a new specialist operation at Stepping Hill Hospital.

Kerry Bentley, 46, had suffered from severe back problems for several years. She had two slipped discs, osteoarthritis and had a constant severe pain in the left hand side of her lower back.

Kerry had been working as a civil servant, and a full family life with husband Will and children, Mollie and Oscar (now 19 and 9.) but the pain she had to contend with was unbearable at times.

She was unable to tie shoelaces, pick up young Oscar, brush her teeth without having to hold onto the basin, and many other simple tasks. Sleeping was very difficult too. Kerry’s back was taking a hard toll on her life.

Mr Vineet Tandon, Kerry’s surgical consultant at Stepping Hill Hospital tried a number of methods to ease her pain, including epidurals and steroid injections, but nothing seemed to work.

In 2015 as a result of further diagnostic testing it was identified that Kerry had a problem with her ‘SI joint’, which joins the lower spine and pelvis, she became eligible for an innovative new procedure carried out at the hospital – the ‘i-Fuse method’.

The iFuse method inserts three small titanium implants across the SI joint, and is designed to stabilise and fuse the SI joint.

In January 2016, Kerry became one of the very first patients in Stockport to undergo the iFuse treatment, carried out by Vineet Tandon and his surgical team.

Kerry said, “The effect was dramatic and as soon as I woke up from surgery I could feel the difference as the joint felt stable. That night I had the best night’s sleep in years. I was virtually pain free overnight ”

With the help of both hospital physiotherapists, and exercises arranged through her local GP surgery, Kerry’s recovery was soon complete.

Vineet Tandon said, “Kerry was in constant pain which was having a debilitating effect on her life, and the iFuse procedure was the ideal way to solve her problem. The procedure is minimally invasive and is therefore safer, with a much quicker recovery time, than previous methods.”

Feeling much fitter and healthier, Kerry decided to take up running and ran her first 5K parkrun at Woodbank Park in Offerton on 04 May 2017. She continued to increase her distance and together with husband Will, Kerry ran her first half marathon in October last year, completing the 13.1 miles in 2 hours 16 minutes. She completed a second half trail marathon last month in 2 hours 17 minutes and has had her place confirmed to run the Manchester half marathon on 20 May 2018 to raise funds for the local charity, The Wellsprings. She also plans to run a full marathon next year.

Kerry said, “It’s such an amazing feeling being able to run for miles when just a couple of years ago it was not even an option.

“The effect on my life has been incredible. Mr Tandon and the whole team were so supportive right through the whole process. I can never thank them enough. I hope they go on to help many more people the way they have done for me.”