Friday, February 25, 2011

6 yo Janelle now 3 months after Shilla Procedure for Early Onset Scoliosis (EOS) Doing Great

We just saw Janelle and her mom back for follow-up, now 3 months out from her anterior/posterior scoliosis short fusion with Shilla growing rod technique we did with Dr. Richard McCarthy at Arkansas Children's Hospital back in December. She has no pain, is eating well, and loves her new shape/posture.

She looks awesome and happy today, and has grown 3/4 of an inch since we saw her just six weeks ago! The Shilla technique allows her to keep growing, as the rods can slide through the pedicle screws at the top and bottom.

She will be going back to do some ballet now, and gave us a little demonstration here at Hey Clinic.
Janelle and her mom gave us permission to share this with all of you.

Many thanks again to Dr. McCarthy and his wonderful staff for allowing me to come out and learn this technique, and his wonderful care for Janelle and her family.

Take care Janelle! You look awesome.

Dr. Lloyd Hey
Hey Clinic for Scoliosis and Spine Surgery

Thursday, February 24, 2011

Awesome artwork from one of our kyphosis Postop patients!

Thanks Annika!

Huge surgery went well today. Scrubs Dan Remains Focused and Self Disciplined, only a week to Daytona Bike Week.

Just finished doing a very complex T5-Iliac wing reconstruction for a very pleasant 49 yo woman.  She had a non-instrumented scoliosis fusion as a child, and was left with a large thoracolumbar deformity. She then developed collapse at the levels below, and had an anterior / posterior reconstruction.  She did well quite a while, but then actually cracked her old fusion mass at thoracolumbar junction, and developed progressive kyphosis and increasing scoliosis with pain.

Today I revised this surgery with an osteotomy, and extension instrumentation and fusion.
She did very well.
No blood transfusions.  Evoked Motor and Sensory Function was normal.  

It was quite complex, due to the old fusion mass which blurs your anatomic landmarks.  

Scrub tech “Scrubs”, also known as “Motorcycle Dan” helped me today along with Scrub Sheila, and Nurse Kelly, Jenny and several others.

Scrubs Dan wanted everyone to know that he remained “focused and self-disciplined” throughout surgery, even though he is only one week away from his 9 day vacation at Daytona Bike Week!  He loads up his Harley on the trailer next Friday and heads south.   

Dan thought we’d be working til 5pm, and was pleased when we finished up at 2pm, about 4.5 hours altogether.  

Dr. Lloyd Hey
Hey Clinic for Scoliosis and Spine Surgery

Wednesday, February 23, 2011

Flat back becomes beautiful lumbar lordosis

Everything went great.
At beginning of posterior surgery, her low back and buttock was flat like a washboard.

Now, she has a visible "sway" in that lower area and lordosis is improved by 30 degrees.

Ebl: 925 cc total for anterior and posterior.
Blood transfused: none.
Complications none.
Surgical time: around 5 hrs

It is totally cool to watch these folks get up Postop day 1: some are moved to tears when they can experience standing up straight, usually with significantly less pain.

Today's surgery: Harrington rod flat back syndrome in 45 Yo woman

She has severe progressive back pain w severe loss of disc height below previous Harrington rod fusion done for adolescent idiopathic scoliosis years ago.

II just finished doing the anterior part, removing the narrow degenerative L45 and L5S1 discs, then "jacking up" the disc space back to their original teenage height. I then inserted the Anterior Lumbar Interbody Fusion (ALIF) cages made out of a special composite material and packed w bone and a bone growth stimulant. Some anterior instrumentation is then inserted to help prevent cage migration. The general surgeon then closes up the anterior part with plastic surgery closure of the small abdominal incision just above pelvic bone.

We just turned her onto her front and are
prepping the back area for second stage. More updates to follow!

Monday, February 21, 2011

One Year Surgery Anniversary Letter from Chrissie

I received this encouraging word today from Chrissie, a 34 yo woman who had a very painful L5S1 spondylolisthesis with a pars fracture which really interfered with her quality of life.
As shown at the bottom, Chrissie gave her permission to share this note with all of you.   It was really a blessing to see Chrissie and her family including many small children in our clinic in Friday.  We had a bunch of huge chocolate chip cookies left over from our Hey Clinic lunch which made for a great afternoon snack for these guys.
Chrissie — thanks so much for sharing your heart.  It is a real encouragement for all of us at Hey Clinic who try to help families each day.
Dr. Lloyd Hey — Hey Clinic for Scoliosis and Spine Surgery.

Chrissie’s letter, received today:
I guess I’m big on dates. I seem to remember them, for some reason, especially days that matter.
I remember the first time I saw Dr. Hey. It was January 22, 2010. For a lot of people, that is a date that remembers the gift of life. It is for me, too. But last year, it was the first step in renewing my own gift of life.
Dr. Hey met with me and reviewed all my MRIs, x-rays and options. Then we talked about the possibilities that he could open up for me by going through surgery. I was once a very active person—I had played some college basketball and since then had grown to love working out, running and other sports. But my back pain had all but brought these loves to a halt. I had the mentality of “I can’t.” I couldn’t run anymore, I couldn’t jog, even. Lifting was difficult. Even picking up one of my four children was taking its toll.
He said I could have that lifestyle back, with my surgery. He talked about what I could do, if I was willing to consider it. To do that was a huge deal, because, any mother will tell you there is no way you would put yourself ahead of your children. Think of the hardships a back surgery entails!
But I decided that this was indeed an investment in my kids in the long run. In my dear husband, too, who has always accompanied me in our joys and struggles.
We decided to set a surgery date. Any date was fine… I thought. God knows my heart, though. He knows my love of significant dates.
“How about February 11?” He asked, looking ahead.
“I think so,” I said, with a bit of hesitation. Seriously—I’m going to do this?! I wondered. No, wait, I thought. I should pick a special saint’s day or something. Oh well, OK, I told myself. I’ll just go ahead.
So we set it for February 11, 2010.
“Dr. Hey, I’m a little nervous. Would you mind if we prayed about it?”

“Sure,” he said warmly, with a gentle smile. And so we did. At that moment, I didn’t feel any wave of peace wash over me, but I simply bowed my head in trust.
As a lifelong Catholic, I have invoked the help of saints, good examples of real people who’ve gone before us, who’ve struggled and fallen, but get back up and strive for closeness to the One who made everything, including them. Someone a little like how our kids look up to sports heroes, like Michael Jordan or Peyton Manning. Each saint has a particular feast day where we celebrate their life of virtue; some are more well known than others. Since I’m kind of a date-junkie, I’ve always been interested in seeing which feast day falls on certain events… oftentimes I have found that they coincide with special events in my life, and I will feel a special connection or intercession from that saint on my behalf.
I drove home after the appointment, thinking over the conversation I had just had. Never had a doctor really listened to me as Dr. Hey did. His physician assistant, Jenny Chapman, was so kind and professional, as well, and I could ask her anything. And never had a professional prayed with me before. All these thoughts distracted me from the deeper question at hand: whose feast day was it on February 11?
When I got home, I went to the calendar and flipped the page.
February 11 is the feast of our Lady of Lourdes, France. Thousands of pilgrims have been healed there both spiritually and physically. Well, I would definitely need a whole lot of intercession from above on that day. She would look out for me, and make sure I did heal, and watch out for Jenny and Dr. Hey.
Healing was nothing but tough. Many, many days I did not think I could go on. I was confused. I wanted things to happen yesterday! I wanted to heal, and I can tell you there were days that I felt I regretted going through the surgery, because it was physically and emotionally difficult.
But as I healed, I found out so many good things about myself: I am strong—in God. I am cared for and about—by so many. There were so many people who reached out to me and to my family in countless ways. God wants to make us new. I can face tough things and come through—with Christ’s strength (Phil. 4:13)!
As time progressed, I began to say, “I CAN!” The physical healing I have experienced is incredible, but the emotional and spiritual healing is way beyond. Perhaps I never visited Lourdes in person, but I feel He has healed me through the miles. He is everywhere, of course; nothing is impossible for God!
It is now February 11 once more. February 11, 2011. Today I saw Dr. Hey and Jenny once more. There were lots of smiles and laughter. I still have a small amount of pain, but nothing compared to what I had before. I feel myself getting stronger. Was it worth it? Yes. How refreshing and edifying to see a complete team of professionals so dedicated to the complete healing of each individual, from the front desk, to billing, to appointments!
And God willing, I’ll have many more dates to look forward to. But I’ll never forget this one. Thank you, Jenny, and Dr. Hey, and to your entire staff who made it all possible. May God bless you all in the calendars to come.
Chrissie _____


On 2/21/11 8:19 PM, "Chrissie ---- wrote:

> Hi, Dr. Hey.
> I would be honored to be on your blog!
> It is so good to hear from you. This past week has been nothing but a
> blessing, as I recall all the wonderful and simple things I am able to do. I
> have to say I am a more grateful person because of everything you and your
> staff has done for us.

> I have to tell you that that immediately following our visit, I went to the
> chapel next to our house. This is where I wrote the reflection--in Christ's
> presence. I shed many tears of joy and gratitude. I really believe that you
> are living your mission of healing and I want to encourage you to keep up
> your powerful work.
> Now every time our kids see huge cookies, they point and laugh and call them
> "Dr. Hey Cookies". :)
> God bless you always!
> Chrissie

Saturday, February 19, 2011

Before and after scoliosis surgery photo showing immediate postoperative posture improvement

On Valentine’s Day earlier this week, we shared with you the preop and postop x-rays on the 35 yo woman we treated that day for severe collapsing thoracolumbar scoliosis.  This patient had a small thoracolumbar curve during her teenage years, but noted progressive deformity during her adult years that also became increasingly painful.

She did very well after surgery, going home yesterday from the hospital.  The night of her surgery, she shared a photo that she took of her back the night before surgery, showing the large spinal deformity with big trunk shift and “hump”, with asymmetric posture including loss of normal “hour glass” coronal alignment.  I have seen many patients like this over the years.  Sometimes the curves can progress very slowly, but then when the curve and trunk shift get beyond a certain level, the curve can collapse much more quickly, causing severe pain in back and/or legs, and also a very worrisome and upsetting change in posture.  This has to do with gravity, which is able to exert more force on the spine with greater trunk shift, which causes more rapid disc and facet joint degeneration, possibly leading to increasing destabilization, progression and pain.

This young lady did very well.  Her surgery was challenging, given the curve size, trunk shift and curve stiffness.  It is easier to fix these curves when they are corrected in the younger ages when the spine is a bit more flexible.  

It’s been a great week, and it is a beautiful sunny blue sky North Carolina day here today.
Hope you are all enjoying your weekend.

Dr. Lloyd Hey
Hey Clinic for Scoliosis and Spine Surgery

Monday, February 14, 2011

Whale with Scoliosis!

Nurse Kelly pointed out a very interesting article today that she found on line this past weekend — a whale with scoliosis!!

This is interesting at several levels ---
First, the whale appears quite sick, which makes you wonder if he/she is symptomatic due to the scoliosis, or it may be interfering with his/her ability to swim and feed, perhaps causing pain!

Second, obviously scoliosis can occur even when you are not standing erect and having gravity working on your spine.

Enjoy this little article.
Thanks Kelly for sharing this!

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


 HONOLULU — Experts believe a sick whale spotted off Kauai this week may be suffering from scoliosis, or curvature of the spine.

It's a rare disorder but scientists say they have seen it in other marine mammals like dolphins.

The National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration's marine mammal response coordinator, David Schofield, says officials are confident the whale was either born with the condition or acquired it over the course of its life.

The Honolulu Star-Advertiser newspaper reported Friday that Schofield ruled out a boat collision, saying it's not plausible an animal hit by a boat would have retained the shape of such an injury.

A flight instructor on Kauai spotted the white, emaciated whale with a severely deformed spine on Monday. He said the 50 foot whale "appeared to be bent in half."

What dis you get for Valentine's Day?

A brand new and improved posture!
She did well.
Ebl 950 cc
Blood transfused: none.
Surgical time 4 hrs 40 min.
Complications: none.
Correction: excellent.

Happy Valentine's Day scoliosis challenge for today

When dr. Gorman, the anesthesiologist saw this young lady's twisted back this morning when we turned her over for surgery, he asked "why did she wait so long to get this fixed?"

Her curve is now almost 60 degrees in the Thoracolumbar region. We will be straightening her up today, but this indeed is why we emphasize the importance of lifetime follow-up as well as proper screening for scoliosis. This would have been easier to fix with less fused segments, better correction, more lumbar discs preserved, and more years to enjoy better posture, less pain and better appearance as well as quicker recovery time and less chance for complications. Age 35, however, is still better than 45 or 55 or 65 or 75 or 85, which are all possible, but more difficult.

Sorry for the blog drought. Been super busy at work and at home.

Happy Valentines Day to all of you!

Wednesday, February 9, 2011

FW: One year anniversary from scoli surgery

------ Forwarded Message
Date: Wed, 9 Feb 2011 10:37:01 -0500 (EST)
To: Lloyd Hey <>
Subject: One year anniversary from scoli surgery

Dear Dr. Hey,

Although I use Facebook and post things that you share with patients I do not know all of the little things on how to send notes, etc.  I think I managed to tag Hey Clinic so that you could read & share if wanted.  Today being my one year anniversary date from my scoli surgery I woke up and wrote a meaningful note on my Facebook to share.  It's been a very emotional, joyful day for me and my family beginning at the dinner table last night and recapping what each of us remembered along my (our) journey before and after my scoli surgery.  A great big thanks to you who we keep in our daily prayers.  Know that you are prayed for Dr. Hey.

At a perfect time I read this in a little book given to me called bedside blessings and wanted to share with you. I am dedicating it to you on this anniversary date of my surgery February 9.

"When will we ever learn that there are not hopeless situations, only people who have grown hopeless about them?  What appears as an unsolvable problem to us is actually a rather exhilarating challenge. People who inspire others are those who see invisible bridges at the end of dead-end streets."

When my spirit was overwhelmed within me, You knew my path.  -Psalm 142:3

Thank you Dr. Hey. Have a blessed & wonderful year!

Charlene & family

------ End of Forwarded Message