A KEEN rider from Cupar whose mobility was threatened by a spinal condition is back in the saddle again after undergoing pioneering treatment.
Hannah Golland (36) was devastated when she discovered that she might have to give up her beloved horses after being diagnosed with scoliosis and hyper-kyphosis, or curvature of the spine.
Doctors told her that she would have to undergo risky spinal fusion surgery if she were to have any chance of being able to continue riding.
In desperation Hannah turned to the internet, where she found the Scoliosis SOS clinic in London, which specialises in the treatment of scoliosis without surgery.
After four weeks, her spine was straight and she was pain-free.
It was during a morning ride before work that Hannah started to feel a sharp pain down one side of her back and a fellow rider noticed that she was very hunched over in her saddle.
She went to her doctor, who delivered the awful news.
Hannah said: “At the end of the consultation with my GP, I was distraught.
“I had never realised that my back was out of line, and I was being faced with the prospect of surgery, which from my research could not guarantee my exemption from losing mobility.”
Scoliosis affects more than four per cent of the population and, if left untreated, it can lead to fatal heart and lung problems.
The condition involves both adults and children; however it progresses more rapidly during the teenage years.
Surgery is used as a last resort and involves inserting two metal rods into the back, on either side of the spine, then fusing the spine together.
The operation takes around 10 hours and does not guarantee a positive outcome.
Terrified, Hannah booked a consultation at the London clinic.
She said: “I was so relieved after the consultation; before I went in I was generally scared of what the future was holding for me.
“All I could think about was the constant and growing threat of surgery, but the consultant ensured me that you can get brilliant results without putting your body through the dangers of spinal surgery”
She then signed up for a four-week course, and within a week her posture had improved tenfold.
Within three weeks Hannah was standing in such a better position and the pain had gone.
“I was over the moon with my results, “ she said.
“I have improved so much in the last four weeks I really feel fantastic.
“I generally felt that I had no alternative to spinal fusion surgery, as I was not prepared to lose my passion for my riding, but thanks to the SOS Clinic I could avoid that dreadful outcome.
“I am so happy to be back at the stables, I did not think this would happen again.
“I really want to raise awareness of my condition, as I feel people need to know surgery is not the only solution.”