Friday, December 31, 2010

Follow-up thank you from young adult woman after kyphosis surgery back to hiking

My physician’s assistant Brittany received this encouraging email from Frances, who had kyphosis surgery with me at Duke Raleigh / Hey Clinic on October 2008. She had a T2-L2 instrumentation and fusion with evoked potential monitoring, and and was around 40 years old when she had her surgery. She had a history of adolescent kyphosis, which progressed and was painful and disfiguring in adulthood.

She gave her permission to share her email and photos with all of you!

Great to hear from you Frances and glad to hear you are doing so well!


Dr. Lloyd A Hey, MD MS
Hey Clinic for Scoliosis and Spine Surgery

From: Frances
Date: Wed, 1 Dec 2010 19:52:20 -0500
To: Brittany

Dear Brittany,

Last week, it was so good to see you. I've been meaning to stop in for
months, but it has been so busy with work and family. I will always be so
grateful for all your care and encouragement. I remember not understanding
why I was so tired after surgery and became so frustrated with myself and
you reminded me that I did have a huge surgery and to cut myself some slack!
I sometimes forget surgery, although is correcting something, is really just
trauma under anethesia...LOL!

Thankfully, my procedure went well and I have been able to hike, ride roller
coasters and enjoy driving for miles and miles. My posture is awesome and my
clothes fit so much better and best of all, the lumbar pain went away and
NEVER returned. I am also so grateful to have you as my PA and Dr. Hey isn't
so bad either!

I've enclosed a few pics. Since my surgery, I have done things I long gave
up on and am thrilled to experience once again.

Thanks again for everything!!!!



Thursday, December 23, 2010

FW: Merry Christmas to ...... Christmas Wish to Hey Clinic from West Virginia's Pauline, Scoliosis Guest.

------ Forwarded Message
Date: Thu, 23 Dec 2010 07:15:59 -0800 (PST)
To: Lloyd Hey
Subject: Merry Christmas to ......

Good Morning, Dr. Hey,
Just wanted to say Merry Christmas to you and all of our wonderful, extended family there at Hey Clinic!  Many Blessings to you, your wonderful family, and The Hey Clinic Staffers during this the most wonderful and meaningful season.  
Will see you January 3rd (weather permitting!)


------ End of Forwarded Message

Thursday, December 16, 2010

Dr. Heys Christmas present!!!

19 Yo lady w painful Thoracolumbar adolescent idiopathic scoliosis fixed this am

Surgical time: 2 hrs 50 min
Complications none.
Ebl: 450 cc.
Blood transfused: cell saver only.
Famiily from Winston-Salem Nc.

Dr. Lloyd Hey

Tuesday, December 14, 2010

Thank you note to Hey Clinic from 6 Yo Janelle

Got this note today from Janelle, who had her early onset scoliosis surgery a couple weeks ago w McCarthy and I in Arkansas.

Thanks Janelle! Get well soon!!!

Friday, December 10, 2010

School Vice Principal 1 year after scoliosis Surgery. FW: One year later

From: David
Date: Fri, 10 Dec 2010 09:55:20 -0800 (PST)
To: Lloyd Hey
Subject: One year later

Hey Dr. Hey. I will be coming in today for my one year post-op visit. Wow,
what a year it has been. I am attaching a picture for you with this email
just to thank you for making my life so much better!! Merry Christmas!! I am
glad I will be able to remember Christmas this year. haha!! You're a
blessing to so many people, including me!

------ End of Forwarded Message

Sunday, December 5, 2010

6 yo Janelle's Shilla Procedure w/ Dr. McCarthy, Arkansas Children's: Chance to Learn and Serve Better

Even though I had to travel over 2,600 miles to and from Little Rock Arkansas twice, this week was just awesome!  

As mentioned in previous blog, I did surgery at Duke Raleigh Hospital, and saw some patients at Hey Clinic.  I then jumped on an airplane Monday evening, and then did an anterior release surgery with Dr. Richard McCarthy at Arkansas Children’s Hospital, on one of my patients named Janelle, who recently turned 6 years old.  She has severe case of Early Onset Scoliosis (EOS) which has been very resistant to brace treatment.

Through my involvement with the Scoliosis Research Society, and combing the literature, I researched and presented several different treatment options to Janelle’s parents, after talking to several SRS surgeons from around the country that I know.  Dr. McCarthy’s Shilla Procedure seemed like best option, since this procedure fixes the main deformity with a fusion around 3 disc levels usually at apex, but leaves the rest of the spine to grow in a guided way using rods that can slide through pedicle screws.  Dr. McCarthy was not only willing to see Janelle, but allow me to come out for both the anterior portion of the surgery, and posterior portion to scrub in and learn and help.

The anterior release portion consisted of going in through Janelle’s side, and taking out three discs around the worst part of the curve.  We found some benign neural tissue on the side wall of the vertebra and overlying the disc spaces that may have stimulated her unusual scoliosis, which we partially removed and sent for pathology.  Bone graft from the removed rib was placed in those disc spaces.

A couple of days ago, on Friday, I was back out in Little Rock, and having breakfast with Dr. McCarthy at 6:30 am, who bought me breakfast and coffee as he reviewed a couple of talks on his laptop on the Shilla and other techniques.  We went and talked to Janelle’s parents, discussing details of surgery.  Dr. McCarthy shared how his first Shilla was done about 7 years earlier on a 2 year old patient, who has done just great, and has been able to get into little league baseball.  The parents of this child have helped talk to other parents considering Shilla.  

The posterior portion of the surgery went very well, doing fusion on the apical 3 vertebra and 4 vertebral bodies, placing bilateral pedicle screws in these vertebra.
Above and below this section, the muscle was preserved, and pedicle screws were placed percutaneously through the muscle using image guidance and special guidewires that went through the pedicle and into the vertebral body.  The screws actually had holes in them, so they would go down the path of the guidewire.  This prevented us from needing to dissect the muscle off the bone, which could cause unwanted fusion.  These percutaneous screws above and below the fusion have holes at the top of them, so the 4.5 mm rods can actually slide through them as Janelle grows, allowing her chest and entire torso to grow more, but not needing multiple surgeries as is usually required with growing rod technology.  Dr. McCarthy’s Junior Resident Eric was scrubbed in as well, and was great to work with.  An excellent correction of the deformity was obtained, and she woke up and moved her legs well, and was extubated.

After the surgery, Dr. McCarthy and I got a chance to meet with Janelle’s parents, and show them the before and after X-Rays.  They were so thankful.

And I was thankful too, for Dr. McCarthy’s excellent care of Janelle and her family,  and for Dr. McCarthy’s excellent team at the hospital and in his office, especially his assistant Cindy who was very kind with all of the arrangements that were necessary to allow me to operate out of State, and at a whole  new hospital!

I flew home Friday night as the sun was setting over the Mississippi River writing down all my notes from what I learned from this adventure.  I learned a lot!  I also feel like I made some new friends in Little Rock, Arkansas.  I’ll be seeing Janelle back in Raleigh at Hey Clinic, and will do all of her postop care.  I look forward to being able to share this new Shilla technique with some of our younger guests like Janelle who have severe Early Onset Scoliosis that does not respond to conservative management.

Many thanks again to Dr. McCarthy and his wonderful team for Janelle’s care, and helpful teaching and inspiration.

This is a great example how the Scoliosis Research Society helps to deliver better care to children, adolescents and adults around the world:  surgeons and others working together to learn from each other, and research and develop better treatments with life-long learning.  Learn more about SRS at  

Get well soon Janelle, and we look forward to see you back in Raleigh.

Lloyd A Hey, MD MS
Hey Clinic for Scoliosis and Spine Surgery

Wednesday, December 1, 2010

Janelle's Surgery at Arkansas Children's Hospital

Yesterday I spent the day with Dr. Richard McCarthy and his team at Arkansas Children’s Hospital. Dr. McCarthy just finished serving as the President of the Scoliosis Research Society, and is teaching me how to use the new Shilla Technique for treating Early Onset Scoliosis (EOS).  The Shilla Technique is similar to the growing rod technique, but allows the rods to slide through pedicle screws, decreasing the need for multiple surgeries.

One of my patients, Janelle, who is 5 and a half years old, has had a rapidly progressive scoliosis, despite bracing.  Janelle and her parents flew out to Little Rock Arkansas for this surgery, and I got a chance to meet with them before surgery yesterday in preop.  Dr. McCarthy, and his junior resident Eric and I worked together to do a 3 level anterior release and fusion yesterday afternoon.  His administrative assistant Cindy was incredibly kind to me, getting me set up with my badge, getting me oriented to the med center, buying me lunch, and then rushing me to catch the last flight out of Little Rock yesterday evening!

Little Rock is a beautiful city.  The folks at the Peabody Hotel treated me very well, and gave me a ride from the airport, and then to the hospital yesterday morning.  There was a beautiful view of the Capitol building from the front of the Arkansas Children’s Hospital.

I am back in Raleigh to do surgery today, and clinic tomorrow.
Tomorrow night I fly back to Little Rock to do the second half of Janelle’s surgery, doing th posterior Shilla Technique.
Many thanks to Dr. McCarthy and his team for helping Janelle and his family, and for allowing me to learn this new technique!

More to follow.

Dr. Lloyd Hey
Hey Clinic for Scoliosis and Spine Surgery.

Thursday, November 25, 2010

FW: Thanksgiving blessings

------ Forwarded Message
From: phyllis
Date: Thu, 25 Nov 2010 07:53:22 -0500
To: Lloyd Hey
Subject: Thanksgiving blessings

Good morning, Dr. Hey:

We are up preparing for a feast and stopped a moment to reflect on our blessings.  This Thanksgiving we are very happy to have Mama at home and in far less pain.  She is standing up much straighter and is doing well.  We thank God for that!  

Thank you for your abilities, intelligence, and patience.  Thank you for not giving up on her and others like her.  We thank God for your skills and knowledge.

God bless you and your family!!

Thanks again!!

The Taylor Clan

------ End of Forwarded Message

Tuesday, November 9, 2010

14 yo Lexi doing well after kyphosis surgery

I dropped of Lexi and her mom at RDU airport Sunday morning, for their flight back home from after her surgery last week.  I received this note from Lexi’s mom today.  We’ll be working on getting her back into training for her next lacrosse season.

Get well Lexi!!! You look great!

Lexi is home from her surgery!  The surgery went very well.  She actually woke up and said that she loved Dr. Hey and thanked us for making her go through with the surgery.  Dr. Hey was amazing.  Not only is he brilliant, but he is so compassionate.  He prayed with us before and after the surgery!  I am thankful that I found him and that he was the one to perform the surgery on Lexi.”

Dr. Lloyd Hey
Hey Clinic for Scoliosis and Spine Surgery

Thursday, November 4, 2010

14 Lexi did great w her scheuermann's kyphosis surgery

PReop kyphosis 84.
T3-L3 instrumentation and fusion w osteotomies.
Postop: normal
Ebl: 650 cc
Cell saver: 300.
Complications: none.
Family thankful.
Life is good!

Tuesday, November 2, 2010

Flat back gonzo 2:30 pm. Now nice "sway"!!!

Just finished the anterior posterior reconstruction for flat back on the 46 Yo woman from Ohio w Harrington rod fusion for adolescent idiopathic scoliosis many years ago.

She did great w surgery.
Anterior took 2 hrs L45 and L5S1 ALIF.
Posterior took 3 hrs 45 min.
Ebl 1500
Cell saver 620 cc
Blood 1 unit prbc.
Complications: none.

You can actually see the difference --- she has a buttocks again!

Time to talk to family and get lunch and to clinic c
Great day.

2 16 mm ALIF's in. Flatback reconstruction under way.

Just finished anterior. Both discs were completely gone, bone on bone. Had to take a lot of time to gradually jack up and clean out each space. Got 16 mm cage in at both L45 and L5S1. Her disc spaces are back to close to their original height.
Dr. WATTERS, general surgery now closing, then we will turn pt over and do posterior osteotomies and laminectomies and extension instrumentation and fusion.

Dr. Lloyd A. Hey
Hey Clinic for Scoliosis and Spine Surgery

Today's challenge: anterior posterior reconstruction for flat back syndrome.

This 47 up woman from Ohio had Harrington rod fusion done for scoliosis as teenager.

She did well until a few years ago where she had increasing back and leg pain and trouble w walking and standing.

Her L45 and L5S1 discs have collapsed below her long fusion which actually put her lumbar spine in kyphosis.

We are starting the anterior procedure right now to do the anterior alif's first.

Sunday, October 31, 2010

FW: Halloween Picture at Hey Clinic

------ Forwarded Message
Date: Sun, 31 Oct 2010 15:58:43 -0700 (PDT)
To: Lloyd Hey
Subject: Re: Halloween Picture at Hey Clinic

Dr. Hey
Thanks for the picture. You may put it on your blog and the TV in the office. Thanks for much for taking time with Olivia. She thinks so much of you.
I will show Olivia. I know she will be excited.
Take Care,

Saturday, October 30, 2010

Happy Halloween from Hey Clinic! Bracing for Early Onset Scoliosis / Juvenile Scoliosis

After four great days of scoliosis surgery this week, the Hey Clinic team rolled into clinic yesterday ready to go.  There were some signs of Halloween among the Hey Clinic staff, with PA Brittany spurting her purple horns, and Tracy wearing her Halloween Fall Scrub top.

To help us get in the Halloween mood, our clinic received a great “Shivers Down My Spine” Halloween card from Diana, one of our scoliosis guests from Ohio.  She is coming in this coming week to have an anterior/posterior revision extension instrumentation and fusion done for flat back syndrome after an old Harrington rod fusion.  

But the highlight of our Halloween clinic on Friday by far was Olivia and her sister, who came into clinic all made up, and absolutely ready to “Trick or Treat”.
This put us in a bit of a bind, since we weren’t expecting REAL Trick or Treaters in Clinic.  Fortunately, I had a couple of giant chocolate chip cookies on hand for Olivia and her big sister.
Next year, we’ll make a better effort to be ready with official Treats.

Olivia has Early Onset Scoliosis, or Juvenile Scoliosis, and is being treated in a brace.  She’s growing out of her brace now, over this past year.  The brace seems to be working, but Olivia is growing like a weed.

We saw another Early Onset Scoliosis yesterday as well, who showed off her pretty pink brace for us, with excellent stickers, including a 3D tropical fish!
Her curve is doing very well in the brace, and her brace is fitting well.  We fine tuned the brace tension with her parents.
The younger children seem to tolerate and cooperate with  the scoliosis braces (Boston Brace) much better than the older ones who are becoming teenagers.
Hormones and growth change everything!

This coming week we’ll be having guests coming into see us from Ohio, and from Baltimore, Maryland.  
Yesterday, I saw one of our patients from Harrisburg, Pennsylvania who has a painful 78 degree Scheuermann’s kyphosis.  We’re going to be trying a round of physical therapy for him, but if his quality of life does not start improving, he may be considering surgery for early 2011.

When my kids were young, I used to love to take them around Trick or Treating.  Since the fall is usually fairly warm here in NC, I often went as a surgeon in my typical Duke Blue scrubs.
Kids grow up quick — savor those precious moments when you can.

Several of our guests in clinic, especially our younger guests, asked me what I am going to be for Halloween this year.
I’m not quite sure yet, but I am open for suggestions.
At last check, Jenny and her husband were going to go as Batman and Robin....  I think Jenny would make a great super hero!

Hope you are all doing well.
Have a great weekend.

Dr. Lloyd Hey
Hey Clinic for Scoliosis and Spine Surgery

Thursday, October 28, 2010

Little People Can Have Scoliosis and Stenosis Problems Too!

I saw Franklin today who popped in to drop off some MRI's for us.
Franklin had severe lumbar stenosis, which is common in people with
achondroplasia. I did a multi-level laminectomy for him a couple years ago,
since he was having severe problems standing and walking. Now he walks
great and is working full-time.

Franklin is active in the Little People societies, and also is our favorite
actor in the Raleigh "Christmas Carole" --- Hey Clinic has now made it an
annual tradition to go out to dinner together, and then see this great play
together in downtown Raleigh, NC.

Right after bumping into Franklin, I saw Dawn as a patient, who is also a
little person at 48 inches tall. She has scoliosis, kyphosis and has new
thoracic stenosis with myelopathy. We're going to get her fixed up with
surgery Monday.

Franklin said it was ok to put this picture of the 2 of us up on the blog.
Thanks Franklin!

Dr. Lloyd A. Hey
Hey Clinic for Scoliosis and Spine Surgery

Tuesday, October 26, 2010

L45 spondylolistheis and lumbar spinal stenosis fixed this am

Had severe back and leg pain.
Fixed w L45 decompression and Fusion w TLIF.
No complications.
Very athletic former marine should be back to better quality of life shortly.
Home from Duke Raleigh hospital tomorrow.

Did 2 big scoliosis surgeries yesterday: T10-iliac wing extension decompression and fusion for a gentleman w progressive thoracic myelopathy. Second patient was young lady in 40's w progressive very painful Thoracolumbar scoliosis fixed w T5-Iliac wing instrumentation and fusion w TLIF. Her surgery was 4 hours. First surgery yesterday was 5 hours w tough 7 level lamimectomy, including complex revision laminectomy through old noninstrumented fusion. Whew. Long day. Got home about 9:30 pm. Both of those patients are doing well this am w woman who had scoliosis telling mr her severe leg pain she used to have all night was gone! Her husband, a surgeon, stayed w her in private room last night.

Wednesday, October 20, 2010

Today's surgery: failed spinal cord stimulator w degenerative scoliosis and previous laminectomies

If you are considering spinal cord stimulator or morphine pump and you have scoliosis, Spondylolisthesis and possible spinal stenosis, it is helpful sometimes to get second or third opinions from someone who does complex spinal revision surgeries and deformity.

This woman ha previous laminectomies w ongoing back an leg pain w trouble walking. She ten got stimulator which didn't help at all.

Today we removed the stimulator, did complex 4 level revision laminectomy and T12-iliac wing instrumentation and fusion.

Surgical time: 2 hrs 55 minutes.
Ebl: 1400 cc.
Blood transfused: none.
Cell saver returned: 565 cc
Complications: none.

Monday, October 18, 2010

Adjacent level failure w Spondylolisthesis and lumbar stenosis fixed this afternoon

Removal of Steffee Plates, L3-S1 extension fusion w L3 laminectomy.

Surgical time: 2 hours 05 min.
Ebl: 650 cc
Blood transfused: none.

Dr. Lloyd Hey
Hey Clinic for Scoliosis and Spone Surgery

Presto Chango!

This is the "after" xray from this morning.
Surgical time: 2 hrs 45 min.
Complications: none.
T11-ilia wing instrumentation and fusion w osteotomies and laminectomies.
Excellent correction of lordosis and scoliosis.
Ebl: 600 cc
Blood transfused: none.

Good Monday morning!!

Dr. Lloyd Hey
Hey Clinic

This morning's challenge

Severe back and leg pain with trouble walking.

Dr. Lloyd Hey
Hey Clinic for Scoliosis and Spine Surgery

Saturday, October 16, 2010

TwistedSister Wins first Hey Clinic Clinical Puzzle!!

Well, ladies and gentleman, we have our first winner of the Hey Clinic Challenge Question.
Yesterday we received this answer from “TwistedSister” via the Hey Clinic Blog:

“I suspect that her neck pain may be attributed to her trying to hold her neck in a normal vertically straight upright position. Thus, her neck musculature is competing against the "natural" gravitational force caused by the scoliotic curvature...just my guess (unfortunately deduced from personal experience). “

Posted by  twistedsister  to  The Hey Clinic for Scoliosis and Spine Surgery <>  at  October 15, 2010 1:23 PM

Twisted Sister is absolutely correct!!!
If you look carefully at the X-Ray, you’ll notice that I actually drew an angular measurement in the upper thoracic spine, showing 14 degree “lean” to one side.  This gives the neck a tilted “foundation”, so that in order for her to keep her head level, she has to bend her neck back about 14 degrees or so to get her eyes level.  This puts extra strain on the neck.  As we all get older, and our neck gets more arthritis / degeneration in the facet joints and discs, it is harder and more painful to compensate for this.  

This particular patient will be having surgery with us, and we’ll straighten that up for her along with the rest of the deformity, which should help her posture as well as pain and functioning for a better quality of life for the long run.  That unbalanced gravitational force is what also can cause scoliosis to progress more rapidly in later years, as the discs and facets break down, and the “moment arm” or lateral force becomes stronger.  That’s why they had to fix the Leaning Tower of Pisa before that unbalanced loading would have caused the 500+ year old tower to come crashing down to the ground if it had gone beyond the critical few degree threshold.

Patients who have kyphosis also have trouble with neck pain.
Years ago I saw a 50 woman from Chicago who had a normal neck MRI with severe neck pain.
It turned out that she also had a 90 degree thoracic kyphosis, which meant that she had to hyperextend her neck all the time in order to just look straight ahead.
I fixed her kyphosis, and her neck pain went away!  
She also told me that she no longer looked like a “Turtle” --- a posture she never liked since she was a teenager.
Here’s web link to her interview with me after surgery:

TwistedSister — strong work on the quiz.  Sorry to hear you had to learn it through your own painful experience.  If you send in a web request with your correct email through, Tiffany in my office will send you out an official Hey Clinic T-Shirt this coming week, in white, or pink (our breast cancer walk color).

Hope you are all having a great weekend.
If you like the clinical puzzles, let me know and I’ll come up with some more.
Gotta get you thinkin’ and learning even more.

Dr. Lloyd Hey
Hey Clinic for Scoliosis and Spine Surgery

Tuesday, October 12, 2010

The first Hey Clinic Clinical Puzzle.. 2 matching curves.

Earlier today, I saw this woman who drove up from Alabama to see us for a
second opinion for her severe scoliosis with large trunk shift.
Surprisingly, her pain is primarily in her neck.

Question: Why is she having neck pain, when her obvious problem is in her
thoroaculumbar spine?

I welcome suggested answers via comments.
First correct answer wins a Hey Clinic T-Shirt!

Other notes this week that are interesting:

Yesterday, I saw a 12 yo girl with a 33.5 degree thoracolumbar scoliosis.
She has occasional low back pain, but it is not limiting. Her folks
initially came up to see me from Florida for another opinion. They now live
in far western North Carolina. Since her curve has been stable since last
visit a few months ago, we all decided to wait on surgery. She still has
some growth remaining, as documented with her iliac wing growth plate
carilaginous edge.

Later in the day, I saw a 19 yo young lady, who had the exact same curve
pattern, and exact same 33.5 degree curve. However, she had a larger trunk
shift to the side, and is having significant back pain throughout the day at
college. It is also starting to greatly affect her posture and standing
appearance. She was braced for quite a while during her younger teenage
years, which she did NOT like! Even though her curve is under the 40 degree
measure where surgery is considered, her quality of life at this point is
unacceptable and getting worse.

The main point of this comparison is to show the importance of taking more
than just the curve measurement into consideration ---- age, symptoms,
progression, and other factors should be taken into consideration. We need
to be careful to take care of the "whole person", not just the Cobb angle of
the scoliosis curve.

Have a great rest of your week!

Dr. Lloyd Hey
Hey Clinic

Monday, October 11, 2010

Erik comes back to see us from Kentucky after Flat Back Syndrome Surgery at Hey Clinic

During Friday’s clinic, we saw Ekic and his family who drove seven hours (341 miles) from his home in Richmond Kentucky to come back to see us for his one year postop visit.
Erik had a previous scoliosis fusion done years ago, and has had difficulties with flat back syndrome for many years with severe deformity and pain.
You can see his previous blog entries here:
Surgery Sept 15 2009:
Postop Day 1 Sep 15 2009:
7.5 months postop:

In this Blog, 38 yo Eri and his family share their thanks to Hey Clinic and Duke Raleigh Hospital Staff, for his new posture and new life off narcotics and enjoying family again.

Great to see you Erik, and thanks for making the trip to come back and see us!
Take care,

Dr. Lloyd Hey
Hey Clinic for Scoliosis and Spine Surgery

Friday, October 8, 2010

"Do you think that laminectomy might have affected my scoliosis?

I think I need to hire a scribe to follow me around all day, to help me capture all of the interesting stories our guests share with us, and what we learn from serving them each day.  The past couple weeks have been filled with lots of great people visiting us from all over.

The woman pictured here was diagnosed with scoliosis as a teenager, but it was considered mild.
She did fine for many years, but about 8 years ago had a minimally invasive microdiscectomy and laminotomy done for a pinched nerve in her lumbar spine.
Soon after that, her posture began to lean to the right and forward, and she developed severe progressive pain and deformity.

Now she walks with quite a limp, and has quite a lean to the right and is quite kyphotic.
Her X-Rays show a severe collapsing double curve kyphoscoliosis and MRI shows severe spinal stenosis in lumbar region.
We can help her with a thoracolumbar sacral iliac wing instrumentation and fusion, with laminectomies and osteotomies, since her quality of life is bad, and getting worse each week.

Early detection and life long follow-up for scoliosis and kyphosis, as well as caution especially when considering laminectomy only in face of deformity are all  helpful suggestions to help prevent severe curve progression and more complex reconstructions, and also prevent lost quality of life days!

Dr. Lloyd Hey
Hey Clinic for Scoliosis and Spine Surgery.

Hey Clinic on Breast cancer walk !!!

Over the past several months, Shelbi and others in our office have been
organizing fund-raising and awareness for breast cancer research. We even
created a pink version of our Hey Clinic T-Shirt that we have been giving
out to our guests who made a donation for the American Cancer Society -
"Making Strides Against Breast Cancer" Walk October 1st.

Our Hey Clinic team helped raise over $1,100 for the charity with the help
of many of our Hey Clinic guests who have visited us. THANK YOU SO MUCH TO
EVERYONE WHO HELPED OUT WITH THIS EFFORT. Your donations have been given to
American Cancer Society, and Shelbi, Jimmy and Sue are pictured here for the
actual "Making Strides" Walk held at North Hills, in Raleigh NC. Many
thanks also to the Hey Clinic associates who made this happen.

Most of our families, including my own, have been touched by cancer,
especially breast cancer. Learn more about the event at :

Dr. Lloyd Hey
Hey Clinic for Scoliosis and Spine Surgery
Raleigh, NC

Monday, September 27, 2010

28 Yo woman w painful adolescence idiopathic scoliosis fixed today

Her curve continues to progress as adult.
T5-L2 instrumentation and fusion.
Surgical time 3 h 05 min.
Ebl 750 cc b
Cell saved 245
Blood transfused. None.
Correction: excellent.

Dr. Lloyd Hey
Hey Clinic

Tuesday, September 21, 2010

L45 spondylolisthesis and stenosis fixed this pm

Severe back and leg pain.
Surgical time 2 hrs
Ebl. 250 cc.
No blood transfused.
No complications.

Dr. Lloyd Hey
Hey Clinic for Scoliosis and Spine Surgery

Thursday, September 16, 2010

Thank You from Louise's family for Duke Raleigh Hospital and Hey Clinic

------ Forwarded Message
From: Pam
Date: Thu, 16 Sep 2010 11:11:22 -0700 (PDT)
To: Lloyd Hey
Subject: Louise B and Family

Just a little Note
by Pam
Dr Hey Clinic Duke/ Raleigh the Staff and All of the Wonderful people their. What an Amazing experience if you ever have to be in a predicument like my mom(Louise) Dr Hey has performed several surgeries on her to reconstruct her back & has done such a Phenomenal job!
We had an opt.9-27-10 to have Moms rods cut down because of the settleling of her body, but there was an emergency on 9-14-10 where Moms rods came through her skin, as we all thought it would. I Called Dr Hey's office spoke w/ Shelbie & right away she wants us to get their as quickly & as safe as possible. Got their at 3:00 & was seated in the Registration room (very nice) where staff members from her post-opp (Ruthie) were coming down to wish her luck with hugs. Never seen a Hospital like this before in my LIFE! she was in OR 5:30 & was being worked on by Dr. Hey & Brittney & his other WONDERFUL TEAM members (Maureen,Lisa, Paula & 2 wonderful Anethesiologist Dr.treadwell(pretty hands,& who can 4 get Mr. Handsome (Robbie). Mom was in a room by 9:30 that evening , just enough time for me to Thank the Lord for what a Great! job he had done & to get something to eat. LIKE CLOCK-WORK these people are AMAZING!!! Mom got to leave next day,,we're not talking about waiting around for hrs to here from so many people, paper work & all other impersonals that make you stressed out like other hospitals or for experiences I have had in the past.We were told she could go home, Dr. checked her out I went got the car & home within the hour. I cannot tell you how much I appreciate ALL the staff Nurses((Peggy Mary Ann & the Nurses Asst (Pasha & Doris) @The Hey Clinic & Duke/ Raleigh hospital & the Volunteers (Ray) who also make it Very comfortable for us...Everytime we visit it's like visiting family not like going to a regular doctors visit.
I want to Thank you for taking such Great Care of my Mother & My Family.

Kind Regards,

The Family of Louise B

Please pass this note along to ALL!

Pam Dixon

------ End of Forwarded Message

Sunday, September 12, 2010

Martha's Life Changing Report One Year After Complex Adult Scoliosis Reconstruction

Yesterday we had a great, but very busy clinic at the end of a really great week. Martha and her husband came back to see us one year and one day after her major reconstructive surgery I performed to correct her old adolescent idiopathic scoliosis (AIS), which was combined with severe adult degenerative scoliosis, spondylolisthesis and severe spinal stenosis.

Martha and her husband take a few seconds here to share their sincere thanksgiving to all of the caring nurses, physical occupational therapists, scrub techs, physicians, physician assistants, social workers and others from Duke Raleigh Hospital and Hey Clinic who helped them start a whole new life together.

Her smile tells it all. Thanks for taking time Martha to thank the folks who "bust their butts" every day caring for folks like you, but rarely if ever get a chance to see the wonderful long-term results, and the difference it makes in your lives for years to come!

Dr. Lloyd Hey
Hey Clinic for Scoliosis and Spine Surgery

Thursday, September 2, 2010

Encouraging thank you note from 13 yo Claire from Voula Greece who had adolescent idiopathic scoliosis surgery (AIS) with us recently.

"Dear Hey Clinic,

When I found out I had scoliosis I felt like a weirdo, like I was strange. I hated the ugly hump on my back, I hated how I was different. I developed a very bad attitude and was very hard to be around. We decided that the surgery would be the best for me. I acted like the surgery would be nothing, but in reality, I was terrified. I walked through the hospital doors and it felt like my heart weighed 200 pounds. I sat in my little hospital bed and began to think about God. I didn't believe in God for a long time but suddenly I found myself praying. My prayers were answered. All my nurses were amazing. All the doctors explained everything to me in words I could understand, not in fancy words to my dad. When Dr. Hey came in the room and asked if he could pray with us, I knew that it would be ok. the time in the hospital passed slow but I made it through it. When I looked in the mirror and saw a straight back with no curves or humps it brought tears to my eyes. I have all of you to thank for it.

Thank you so much for giving me my life and my faith. thank you for taking the stress off my shoulders.

You will forever be a part of my life and I thank you dearly.

Love, Claire"

Claire sent this very touching hand-written note recently. She had her scoliosis surgery at Duke Raleigh Hospital at age 12 with our Hey Clinic team. We love caring for guests of all ages at Hey Clinic, but our adolescent and pediatric scoliosis and kyphosis guests are SO SPECIAL and PRECIOUS!! Thanks Claire for sharing your heart, and allowing us to share it with others!

Here is post from your surgery day:

Dr. Lloyd Hey
Hey Clinic for Scoliosis and Spine Surgery

Wednesday, September 1, 2010

14 Yo young lady w 47 degree adolescent idiopathic scoliosis fixes this am

Team: PA Brittany, circulator nurse Kelly, motorcycle dan scrub, nurse fran scrub. Evoked potentials: Sarah. CRNA eydie, anesthesiologist Jon.

Room aura: excellent.
Surgical time: 2 hrs 45 min.
Correction: excellent
PReop curve: 47 degrees.
Ebl: 250 cc.
Cell saver returned: 100
Blood transfused: none.
Postop location: private room w family at duke raleigh hospital.

A good morning.

Dr. Lloyd Hey
Hey Clinic

Friday, August 27, 2010

Jessica from Discovery Channel Dr. Hey TV Show Comes back to Hey Clinic 10 year reunion!

Ten years ago last month, Jessica had scoliosis surgery with me at Duke University Medical Center.  Her story was featured on Discovery Channel’s show called “The Hospital”, which was a wonderful series of patient and physician stores from Duke Medical Center, similar to recent Boston Med show on ABC.

Jessica was a pharmacist her 20’s at the time with a severe scoliosis, and only 4 feet 10 inches tall.
After surgery she was two inches taller, measuring the magical 5 feet!
I will never forget that day in the operating room, and also in the clinic when we were all crowded in with the cameras and crews.

Bill Hayes was the producer of that show, and did an awesome job.  He has produced other successful documentary-type reality TV shows for Discovery Channel — he has a very thoughtful spirit.

Jessica’s story has been shown many times on TV over the past 10 years.  I loaned my copy of her video to a student years ago, and never got it back --- Jessica offered to send me a copy, which I would love to see again.

Jessica shared with me that she did have a baby 3 years ago, no problem with delivery, etc with her scoliosis.  They were able to do a spinal anesthesia, and she did bring her X-Ray into the hospital to show the obstetrician and anesthesiologist as I suggested, so they knew where the hardware and fusion ended.  People do listen to me!

She’s done great over the past 10 years, but had a flare up of some back pain when lifting something heavy a few days ago.  She may have given herself a small annular disc tear, which will likely heal up well with conservative therapy.

It was so good to see Jessica back, doing well 10 years later!  Time does fly.

Dr. Lloyd Hey
Hey Clinic for Scoliosis and Spine Surgery

Encouraging letter we received today from mom of two adolescent idopathic scoliosis patients who had surgery with us recently with severe curves

By Pamela B. – 8/27/2010

I have been wanting to write  this letter for a long time but words, at times, does not seem to express how grateful and thankful that God has used Dr. Hey for His purpose and mission to bless people, like my children, for the gift he has given us.  Let me just say that Dr. Hey has operated on both of my kids.

Derek, 17 years old, was complaining about back pain and he also stated that he had problems running.  When Derek first visited Dr. Hey in June 2008, his curve measured at 64 degrees; his right shoulder was higher than the left with the scapula more prominent than the left.    After a family discussion, we decided it was best for Derek to have surgery.  This was a hard decision, because who wants their child to go through major surgery?  I prayed about it and God gave me the comfort I needed.  Derek was scheduled for surgery on August 4.  His scoliosis measured close to 78 degree angle.  There was one thing I remember when Derek woke up from surgery.  He was crying, but he said, “Momma, thank you so much for allowing me to go through this.  It does hurt now, but I don’t regret having surgery at all.”   Wow, what can a parent say to that?  After staying in the hospital for a week, my husband and I took Derek home and we walked him every day.  He did very well but I was so nervous, as a mom would be, for my son was going away to college in a few weeks.  I wanted Derek to stay home the first semester and then go to college.  But Derek assisted on going and said, “Mom, I am going to be fine, I have to be a man and I will be alright.”    Well, Dr. Hey, Derek is doing great!  It has been over a year and he is so confident in himself and still feels that the surgery was the best thing that happened to him!   My husband and I do too!

Now, after looking at my daughter I knew in my heart that her back was worse than Derek’s.    My husband and I didn’t want Kayla to be operated on because she was so young.  But Dr. Hey reassured us; the younger the patient, the faster the recovery.  Kayla was 13 years old when she was operated on by Dr. Hey.  Kayla’s scoliosis measured close to a 90 degree angle prior to surgery.    Kayla recovered a lot faster than Derek and she is doing great!    She loves to dance, sing and she wants to take another class in tennis!   We totally trust Dr. Hey and would recommend him to anyone.

Dr. Hey, as I mentioned earlier, words can not express how I feel but I am going to try…Thank you, thank you so much for being a true blessing in my kids life.  You are a blessing from the Lord. You do not know how much it meant when you prayed for my kids, our strength, your strength and the hands of your team before, during and after the surgery.   Every time we joined together as one and prayed, I knew in my heart our Heavenly Father was in there with you and your staff and that, gave me so much comfort.    Below is a personal thanks to each of you:

Dr. Hey- We love you and please continue to bless others through your gift- your prayers and hands.

Jenny – Thank you so much for being there for my kids especially Derek – you were always so patient and kind answering my questions and concerns. Thank you for everything.   

Brittany – Thank you so much for being there when I had so many questions for Kayla and her medicine- you were always on time and always made me feel good even when I may ask dumb questions, thank you for your care and kindness.   Thank you, for everything.

Shelbi, Meredith, Melissa, Jennifer, Tiffany, Tracy, Sue – You are a great team and always so cheerful! Thank you for coordinating the surgeries, appointments and billings and especially for your kindness!    You know the old saying, first impressions last forever and you have far exceeded that impressionJ

Love you with God’s love,

Darryl and Pamela B

Pamela and Darryl,
Thanks so much for this very encouraging note to all of us.  It means a lot.
Thanks for also allowing for us to share it with others through the blog.
Take care!

Dr. Lloyd Hey
Hey Clinic for Scoliosis and Spine Surgery

Tuesday, August 24, 2010

Today's surgery: Adolescent Idiopathic Scoliosis. Yesterday's surgery: Severe cervical myelopathy

This morning we straightened up Grace, a delightful 13 yo young lady from eastern North Carolina who had a 51 degree right thoracic adolescent idiopathic scoliosis (AIS).
T5-L1 instrumentation and fusion with evoked potential monitoring.
Surgical time:  2 hrs 20 minutes.
EBL 375 cc
Correction:  excellent.
Complications:  none.

Wow — what a difference from the 105 degree scoliosis correction I did last Thursday, that I shared about in the last blog!  A 50 degree curve seemed like a walk in the park!  There really is an advantage of fixing the curves when they are a bit smaller (40-50 degree range) compared to much larger.  The smaller curves are more flexible, less rotated, and probably a bit safer to fix.  Surgical times are also much less ---  half the curve size, half the time!  This emphasizes the importance for careful longitudinal follow-up for children and adolescents with scoliosis and kyphosis.  A stitch in time saves 9, or at least makes the job much simpler to fix!

Yesterday we helped an attorney from eastern North Carolina who was losing the use of both arms, and had clumsiness in both arms and legs.  His MRI showed severe spinal stenosis at C34 and C45.  I took the pressure off the spinal cord anteriorly with 2 level ACDF procedure.  His arms and legs felt better in the recovery room, and he went home today doing well.  He has a huge wonderful family, who were all here, including his 3 boys, their wives and his grand kids!  Great supportive family.

Yesterday I also helped a lady who had severe spinal stenosis at L34 and L45 above an L5S1 instrumentation and fusion I had done for her back at DUMC – Duke Medical Center back around 10 years ago.  She’s doing well now, getting up and around.

Carly, our 105 degree adolescent idiopathic scoliosis from last Thursday did great, and went home from hospital this past Sunday looking great.

Hope you are all doing well.

Dr. Lloyd Hey
Hey Clinic

Friday, August 20, 2010

Carly's Postop X-Ray from 105 degree Preop scoliosis

Yesterday we straightened up Carly, the 11 Yo w 105 degree Preop curve.

Carly is doing well today and got extubated right after surgery.

Dr. Lloyd Hey
Hey Clinic for Scoliosis and Spine Surgery

Thursday, August 19, 2010

Today's challenge: 105 degree scoliosis in 11 YO girl

Surgery went great at WakeMed (for Carly with a C).
Notice the lung compression on MRI. Her pulmonary function tests were abnormal.
Nice correction.
Surgical time: 5 hrs 8 min.
Complications: none.
Ebl: 500
Blood transfused: none.
Great day!

Our 14 Yo scoliosis young lady from Monday (Karly with a K) was wandering halls w her parents looking quite straight an happy. She went home from Duke Raleigh Hospital this am.

Dr. Lloyd Hey
Hey Clinic.

Monday, August 16, 2010

14 yo young lady w 44 degree thoracolumbar adolescent idiopathic scoliosis fixed this morning

I am back after a nice one week break, including a wonderful family reunion.
This morning I was "back in the saddle" and stopped in to see Karly and her family. Karly is obviously well loved: she had over a dozen people here, who all squeezed into her Preop room forming a circle of prayer led by her youth pastor. What a great group!

Her surgery this am went great. We go a great correction w T10-L3 instrumentation.
Surgical time: 2 hr 50 min.
Complications: none.
Postop location: large private ortho room w bed for mom or dad. ( not enough for everyone I saw this morning!!!)

It is good to be back. Hope you are all doing well.

Dr. Lloyd Hey
Hey Clinic

Thursday, August 5, 2010

75 up woman from Fort Walton Florida w 67 degree curve fixed today

She had severe progressive back and leg pain w trouble walking and progressive deformity.
T4-iliac wing instrumentation and fusion, laminectomies an osteotomies.
Ebl: 1800 cc.
Surgical time: 4 hr 30 min.
Complications: none.

Dr. Lloyd Hey
Hey Clinic

Tuesday, August 3, 2010

14 up girl from Virginia w 59 degree Thoracolumbar adolescent idiopathic scoliosis straightened up today

3.4 cm Preop trunk shift to right.
Surgery time: 3 hrs 25 min.
Blood transfused: none.
Complications: none.
Correction: excellent.
Mom and patient will be psyched w the correction!

We did similar curve yesterday in 67 Yo who dis well and saw 26 Yo w sMe curve w severe pain after 3 pregnancies with progression of her curve.

Good week so far!
Dr. Lloyd Hey
Hey Clinic for Scoliosis and Spine Surgery

Tuesday, July 27, 2010

Mildred from Naples FL w scoliosis, x-stops fixed today

Mildred had a 52 degree Thoracolumbar degenerative and idiopathic scoliosis. She was treated down in Florida w 2 level X-Stops.

We fixed her today T5-iliac wing w L5S1 TLIF, osteotomies, laminectomies.

You could really see the severe nerve pinch on the R side which I fixed by thorough "roti-rooter" and distraction of those foramen. That is where the instrumentation and fusion really helps.
Surgical time: 4 hours 35 minutes.
Correction: excellent w 19 degree curve and excellent lordosis.
Complications: none.

Monday, July 26, 2010

Charlotte spends the day with us in surgery

This morning we helped Magnolia who had a severe lumbar spinal stenosis with L45 spondylolisthesis.
Her surgery went well.
Today we had Charlotte with us in surgery — an NC State Honors student interested in going into medicine (Pre-Med).
Charlotte is doing a one month internship @ Hey Clinic, and is doing a great job in clinic, and with the clinical research / literature search projects she has been given.
Here we are at the very end of the surgery she watched.
Great job Charlotte!

Dr. Lloyd Hey
Hey Clinic for Scoliosis and Spine Surgery