Wednesday, November 26, 2008

22 yo young lady with painful progressive double curve scoliosis fixed today with neear 100% correction!

Today we helped Alex, a 22 yo woman who I have followed for a couple years with her painful double curve scoliosis.
She has spent the past 18 months in Sudan, Africa, and the pain has really gotten bad in the low back area.
Today I fixed her upper and lower curve T5-L3 at Duke Raleigh Hospital.
She did great during surgery.
Surgical time:  3 hours 14 minutes
Estimated Blood Loss (EBL):   725 cc.
Correction:  near 100%
Postop location:  Private Orthopaedic Floor Room, with family waiting.
Mom’s reaction when she saw the postop X-Ray with straight spine:  tears of joy.
I got a chance to show Alex her X-Ray as well.  Her reaction:  “Wow!!”

It is important to minimize the number of fused segments.  I used some preop bending X-Rays to determine that I could preserve the bottom 3 discs, which is much better for Alex in the long run.

I recently saw a similar curve in a 15 yo girl where they were planning to fuse to L5.  Similar bending films revealed that I could fix the curve with a shorter fusion, sparing 3 discs as opposed to only 1 disc.  This helps prevent adjacent level failure and maximizes flexibility.

Tomorrow we’ll get Alex up for her first walk.
She’ll be at least an inch and a half taller, and with a symmetric “hourglass figure.”
She’s planning to go back to Sudan in a couple of weeks, and get back to her important work.

Get well soon, Alex!

Dr. Lloyd Hey
Hey Clinic for Scoliosis and Spine Surgery
Raleigh NC  USA
Member, Scoliosis Research Society (SRS)

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