A MAN who went into spasms of back pain while doing a crossword - leaving him requiring a wheelchair - went on a hillwalking holiday just weeks after having major spinal surgery.

Father-of-two Stephen Arden, 65, a newly-retired residential surveyor from Malton, first developed problems six years ago when he was diagnosed with sciatica and a bulge on a disc, and underwent two successive operations.

Everything was fine until last October when he was in a car which drove over a pothole, jarring his back. The pain subsequently worsened and he was referred to Greg Rudol, consultant surgeon at Spire Leeds Hospital.

He saw Mr Rudol in early December and surgery was scheduled for January. However, one week before the operation, Stephen was leaning over a table doing a crossword when his back suddenly went into a spasm leaving him “hanging onto the back of a chair in agony”.

He was taken to A&E and given morphine, and the next morning went to the private Spire Leeds Hospital. However, he couldn’t walk to the hospital from the car park due to excruciating pain and had to use a wheelchair.

He had “revision” surgery which involved trimming the bulge of the disc and removing scar tissue from previous surgeries.

“I had surgery in the evening and by the next morning I woke up early and the pain had completely gone. It felt marvellous,” said Stephen.