A Leyland policeman who suffered horrendous back injuries while restraining someone has returned to work after undergoing revolutionary treatment.
Michael Dowd was left in such excruciating pain after suffering his injury that left him virtually unable to move.
The 41-year-old is a riot policeman with Lancashire Police and his roles include executing drugs warrants and dealing with public disorder incidents.
However his life was turned upside down when he was injured on duty.
He said: “I was restraining a man who was under the influence of drugs and was very violent when I suddenly suffered a lower back injury.
“We were having a violent struggle and I had him pinned to the floor when I suddenly felt a twinge in my back. Less than 24 hours later, I ended up in hospital as I was in agony and my movement was completely restricted.
“I could not do anything for any period of time and even walking, sitting or standing was incredibly difficult. There was no way I could have done my job as it requires you to be in top physical condition.”
Michael was signed off work and referred for physiotherapy.
But physio just made him worse, so he was referred to Fulwood Hall Hospital where his luck changed.
Neurosurgeon Aprajay Golash told him he was an ideal candidate for a new procedure which involved replacing the damaged disc in his back with an artificial metal one, in the similar way to hip and knee replacements.
In traditional back surgery, the damaged discs in the back are trimmed away.
Michael said: “The procedure involves the surgeon going into the back through the stomach and taking out the old disc in the back and replacing it with an artificial one.
“I was a bit apprehensive about having it done, but decided to go ahead with it and the results were amazing.
“I was immediately free of pain and even the doctors could not believe how I was up and walking about the day after the surgery. I had had a few problems with my back before suffering my injury, but nothing too serious.
“This procedure cured me of all my back pains and I instantly felt taller as I could stand up straight and I no longer have any back pain.
“It has completely changed my life and I am so grateful to Mr Golash and Fulwood Hall Hospital and cannot thank them enough.”
Aprajay Golash said: “In suitable patients where there is significant wear and tear of the disc or if a disc has ruptured or slipped out, this surgery can bring life-changing improvements.”