Friday, December 30, 2011

What's up with all these scoliosis young ladies towering over me? Erin back from College As My Helpful Shadow.

Saw lots of smiling teenagers yesterday afternoon and today in clinic back with their parents for postop adolescent idiopathic scoliosis (AIS) and kyphosis visits. Saw some new families for scoliosis consultation.

To my left here is Taylor, who had a 77 degree kyphoscoliosis. It was awesome to hear her talk about how her life has changed since her surgery. She's gained a couple inches in height, (now taller than me!), and finds it easier to play her horn in the band since her breathing is easier. She also shared how it has improved her posture and appearance, which has helped her self-confidence. Go Taylor!!

I also saw Jessica back for her scoliosis postop visit. She's going to be a lawyer, and is smart as a whip. We saw her little sister as well who has scoliosis and some kyphosis, but the curves look like they are going to be amenable to conservative management.

I see a consistent problem now.... these young ladies are all now taller than I am! Bumma! Need to find some of my smaller guests.....

NOW I'm feeling a little taller.... Logan, my 11 yo early onset scoliosis surgery patient was back for her six week follow-up visit doing very well getting back into her usual dance and other activities. Logan wants to be a marine biologist.... I want to get her and her family to visit my friend who is semi-retired Professor at the Duke Marine Lab down in Beaufort NC this summer.

Yesterday in clinic, I had Erin shadowing me --- Erin had scoliosis surgery with me five years ago and now is a freshman in college. Erin ended up being able to help several scoliosis families who had lots of questions about possible surgery for their sons or daughters. Erin actually wrote a book about her scoliosis surgery journey back when she was 13 -- a book that has been at Hey Clinic ever since. She used the book in clinic yesterday to show the realities of scoliosis surgery. Erin could then also answer questions ---- including showing how she can put her hands flat on the floor, bending all the way down to the ground even though she is fused from T5-L3! Erin's willingness to help other people and sharing her journey was inspiring. Her mom has also chosen to help several scoliosis families over the past few years, including accompanying one family during their child's surgery. Inspiring loving service to total strangers, who end up becoming trusted friends.

Happy New Year to All!

Dr. Lloyd Hey
Hey Clinic for Scoliosis and Spine Surgery
on twitter @drlloydhey

Tuesday, December 27, 2011

Christmas gift from Lexi's family from Maryland

Last week I received this wonderful Christmas gift from Lexi's parents, Mark and Michelle from Maryland. I did Lexi's kyphosis surgery last year, and she has been able to return to high performance sports within the first few months after surgery.

In this beautifully framed collection of three photos, we see Lexi swimming, running track / cross-country, and playing lacrosse! All awesome pictures -- Michelle is gifted sports photographer.

They sent it along with a Christmas card which said:

"The pictures in the frame were all taken within six months post-surgery!! She is doing great both in school and on the field. God bless you and your family and your staff. -- Mark and Michelle"

Mark and Michelle -- Thank you for this very thoughtful gift. I love to hang up pictures like this in the clinic to remind all of us how restoring proper alignment and stability not only can allow a stable posture, but can allow people to return to the things they love to do.

I know one of the worries / concerns Lexi and her family had before her adolescent kyphosis surgery was how long she would be out of sports. We start getting most adolescents back into their sports training within the first few weeks after kyphosis and scoliosis surgery. We even have some physical therapists who focus on spinal deformity and work with your local trainers and / or physical therapists if needed to help design a postop program. One of these therapists, Rob Wiese, from Duke Raleigh Hospital, just recently helped one of my postop kyphosis patients from Tokyo Japan ----- Rob taught him special exercises with 2-way Skype Video!!

Thanks again Lexi, Mark and Michelle for your special gift. We look forward to see Lexi's academic/career as well as athletic life continue to grow and prosper! Keep the pictures coming.

Dr. Lloyd Hey
Hey Clinic for Scoliosis and Spine Surgery

Sunday, December 25, 2011

Merry Christmas Activities At Hey Clinic.

We've received so many caring Christmas / Holiday cards from many of our Hey Clinic guests from all over. We've also received many Christmas good wishes via email as well. Thanks to everyone who took the time to share with us. We do hope all of you are having a good holiday with your family and friends. I've been rounding this weekend at Duke Raleigh Hospital for our guests who are still recovering in the inpatient environment, but still have had some time to celebrate Christmas with my family.

We had just a half day in clinic on Friday, letting the Hey Clinic staff head home for the holidays. Friday afternoon, I did an anterior cervical discectomy and fusion (ACDF) surgery for a lady in severe pain and trouble using one of her arms. She did great, and went home the next morning with relief. A good gift!

I got a chance to see one of our adolescent idiopathic scoliosis guests back for follow-up 6 weeks after his surgery. He is doing very well, and is two inches taller -- which makes him way taller than his mom (who is still boss!)

He has been able to resume his normal activities, and is kicking butt in school.

I also saw this gentleman and his wife back for follow-up. He had an extremely severe spinal stenosis and spondylolisthesis and could barely walk preop with severe pain.

He is now walking great, standing up straight with pain relieved, and very thankful.

This lady had a complex revision kyphoscoliosis reconstruction with a history of broken spinal rods with a thoracic fracture. I used a special "triple rod" technique to help reinforce that high load area. She is now well healed, standing up straight, and doing very well.

This gentleman was referred to me by a neurologist, since the patient was losing control of his arms and legs due to severe cervical spinal stenosis.

He has regained the use of his arms and legs, and is celebrating his one year anniversary of his surgery. He actually wept for joy on his first postop visit, and thanked God for his returned neurologic function.

Before surgery, both his arms and legs were very weak and clumsy. His surgery was a multilevel cervical laminectomy with posterior cervical fusion.

Best Christmas / Holiday Wishes to all our Hey Clinic Guests and Families.

Dr. Lloyd Hey
Hey Clinic for Scoliosis and Spine Surgery

Friday, December 23, 2011

FW: Kelli: Post Op Update. Our Adolescent Scoliosis Patient From Tampa Florida -- Mom Update!

Received this note today, which Jill said was absolutely OK to share with all of you!  Many thanks to the entire Hey Clinic and Duke Raleigh Hospital Team that makes exceptional care like this happen for our precious guests and families, many of whom choose to travel to receive such care for their loved ones.

Dr. Lloyd Hey
Hey Clinic for Scoliosis and Spine Surgery

On Dec 23, 2011, at 2:03 PM, "Jill " <> wrote:

> Dear Dr. Hey,
> Just wanted to say Thank You once again. We had a smooth flight back to Florida on Tuesday. Kelli is moving around (cruising) better each day. It is going to be very Hard holding her back from the Ball and Glove. She actually said to me last night, "I feel as though I could go throw soft toss with dad right now"!!
> As I reflect back on our experience over the past week, I feel a strong sense of relief as well as tremendous gratefulness to you, your staff and Duke Raleigh Hospital staff. The compassionate, caring  professionals who worked with Kelli were like no other!! I know you are very proud of your entire team and you should be.....The care Kelli received was EXCEPTIONAL! I have worked as a Registered Nurse and I can honestly say I have never seen a more competent group of health care professionals.
> Please express our Sincere Gratitude to Everyone and once again Thank You & Merry Christmas
> Jill

------ End of Forwarded Message

Thursday, December 22, 2011

Flat back syndrome fix for today

Scrubbing in for anterior ALIF for this 56 yo w Harrington Rod Scoli fusion flat back syndrome.

I on twitter @drlloydhey.

Everett does great job with presentation this morning

Everett, premed from NC State gives presentation on DVT prophylaxis at Hey Clinic Quality Meeting. Great job Everett!!

Wednesday, December 21, 2011

FW: Merry Christmas. Haley's return to dance / ballet 4 weeks after adolescent idiopathic scoliosis surgery

Haley’s folks sent this nice email and photo for me to share with our staff and followers on the Hey Clinic Blog.
Merry Christmas Haley!  You look beautiful!

Dr. Lloyd Hey
Hey Clinic for Scoliosis and Spine Surgery

------ Forwarded Message
From: Lisa >
Date: Wed, 21 Dec 2011 10:21:27 -0500
To: Lloyd Hey <>
Subject: Merry Christmas

Hello Dr Hey
We wanted to wish you and your staff a very Merry Christmas and Happy New Year!
Our daughter Haley was diagnosed with scoliosis when she was just 5 years old. We spent 8 long years dreading the thought of surgery and tried a number of different braces and forms of physical therapy, trying deparately to change the final outcome.
Unfortunately her curve progressed, her back pain increased and she ended up having surgery in Dec of 2010. We were fortunate everything went well - thanks to you and your staff.
This has been an incredible year for Haley. It's like a weight has been lifted from her spirit. We'd didn't fully appreciate the emotional and physical toll scoliosis had taken on her. Haley was back to school and her passion - ballet - in just 4 weeks after surgery. She is completely pain free and feels like a "normal" teenager. It's also amazing how much her dancing has improved, now that her spine is straight.
Enclosed is a photo of Haley from last weekend's performance of the Nutcracker by Cary Ballet - she was a sugarplum fairy.
All the best
The C’s

------ End of Forwarded Message

14 yo w adolescent idiopathic scoliosis straightened up this am

Just finished fixing 14 yo w scoliosis straightened up this am. Surgical time 3 h EBL 500cc

Tuesday, December 20, 2011

Physician Assistant Rachel Robinson finding scoliosis on vacation!!

Got this text from Rachel this morning!!

I'm even looking for scoliosis & kyphosis when I'm on vacation :) ! Here I am at the smithsonian museum of natural history in DC.

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

Monday, December 19, 2011

FW: Holiday Greetings! Professor of Surgery postop from Spondylolisthesis and Stenosis Surgery Doing well years later.

Ares is a Professor of Surgery, who had a high grade L5S1 spondylolisthesis that I fixed for him several years ago now.
He is incredibly athletic and active, and is also very good about staying in touch each Christmas to let us know how he is doing.
I think he’s having a heck of a lot more fun than I am, and he is burning 150 cal more than I can on the elliptical for 30 minutes every morning!

He gave his permission to share this latest update with all of you on the blog.

Dr. Lloyd Hey
Hey Clinic for Scoliosis and Spine Surgery

From: FACC Ares
Date: Sun, 18 Dec 2011 16:40:29 -0500
To: Lloyd Hey <
Subject: Holiday Greetings!

Dear Lloyd, We Wish You and Your Family Joyous Holidays!
[I am currently doing 500 Cal/30-min on the treadmill daily, and walk for about an hour as well.  You did a fantastic back surgery on me, thank you!!!!!!!!!!!! ]


Saturday, December 17, 2011

"Flat Back" Friends and Co-Workers Meet up by chance postop and straight up at Hey Clinic Friday

We had a lot of great visits at Hey Clinic on Friday, including Cathy, who was back for her postop visit from anterior-posterior reconstruction for flat back syndrome below her old Harrington rod fusion. She’s doing very well and it was good to see her back.

As I was opening the door to see Cathy, one of my other patients named Jennifer was walking the hall, and gave Cathy a big “hello”! It turns out that Jennifer knows Cathy as a co-worker at American Express. After Cathy did well with her flatback surgery, Cathy recommended Hey Clinic to her friend, who also suffered with flatback also due to an old non-instrumented fusion done many years before for adolescent idiopathic scoliosis.

So we ended up having an unexpected very happy reunion there, and actually got all three of us together for a photo together. It is amazing how often patients find us through friends, family, and co-workers.

Both young ladies have very nice standing postures, and are getting along with a better quality of life.
Friends helping friends.

Dr. Lloyd Hey
Hey Clinic for Scoliosis and Spine Surgery

Nice shirt!!

10 yo POSTOP scoliosis feeling great after shower!

Wednesday, December 14, 2011

48 hours after scoliosis Surgey: looking great and straight walking halls-- home today

They let me share this picture w all of you!
Our 31 yo scoliosis young lady from Monday 12-12-2011!

42 yo woman w painful 58 deg progressive adolescent idiopathic scoliosis fixed! 3h

58 deg Preop curve now looking very straight!
Ebl 400 cc.
No blood transfusions.
Surgical time 3.0 hrs.

She got her Christmas wish!!

Our 10 yo arthrogryposis scoliosis from yesterday is doing well and slept through night in PICU. Family thankful.

Emergent surgery last night for woman losing use of right hand is doing very well this am with returning function.

Tuesday, December 13, 2011

10 yo boy arthrogryposis w severe congenital and early onset scoliosis fixe today

Ebl: 1200.
Operative time: 3 hr 45 min
Many answered pressures for this family!

Friday, December 9, 2011

6 week postop from adult scoliosis surgery for origianal adolescent idiopathic scoliosis.

Mary had scoliosis surgery with us 6 weeks ago.
She is doing great and very thankful, and has come off all narcotics.
Below she gives short video with her husband on her progress and the difference the surgery has already made for her quality of life and posture.

Thursday, December 8, 2011

49 yo man w history discecomies w years of severe pain helped today

L4-iliac windg instrumentation and fusion w revision decompression laminectomies and discecomies and 2 level TLIF spacers.

Surgical time 3 hr 20 min.
Complications: none.

Wednesday, December 7, 2011

Dr. Hey is tweeting!!! Drlloydhey. Today's Surgery and great visit with Mike Levin from MIT College Days, Theta Delta Chi.

I just got home after very long day. Whoop tired, but a great day!

Did big anterior posterior scoliosis reconstruction in 44 yo woman today, then a complex proximal junction kyphosis correction this evening using navigation technology from Brainlab and bone cement , pmma. I WANTED TO SEND OUT A VERY BIG THANK YOU TO NURSE KELLY, WHO CAME IN AT 2PM AND STAYED THROUGH DINNERTIME TO HELP US WITH THIS COMPLEX SURGERY TO HELP A VERY NICE LADY FROM SPRUCE PINE NEAR ASHEVILLE, NORTH CAROLINA! KELLY, YOU ARE A GEM!

In between surgeries, I saw a 12 yo boy and his dad with new diagnosis of 55 degree scoliosis. My nurse practitioner, Brittaney, asked me to join her for visit when she saw how big the curve was. The boy is big, and growing fast, and hid the curve with his big size. Dad looked a bit like a deer in the headlights, which I can completely understand. Had to be gentle, spent a lot of time. Curve too big for bracing. Gave them a bunch of good info, and both seemed peaceful and well informed by end of visit. We can talk more later. Surgery later this winter, to do what is right in long run. Showed them picture of 55 yo who never had scoliosis fixed on my blog, from Mississippi, who then was suffering with terrible collapse in his lumbar area, and faced strong possibility of not being able to work due to constant pain. This boy also has a very unusual left thoracic curve pattern that we will also work up with an MRI. There may be a congenital scoliosis component to this as well, which we will see better on MRI.

Yesterday spent a LOT of time with another family with a teenage sophomore with a 55 degree congenital proximal thoracic scoliosis, seeking to help them to make choice. Very smart family. Boy is big time athlete.. More to follow.

I've been experimenting w Twitter. Find me at drlloydhey. Might be helpful since it is really hard for me to sit down and take time to write a full blog entry. Met a friend who is a blogger who researches and writes for 4-5 hours every day. Yikes!!! No time for that! I can't tweet while doing surgery, but I have had Howard, my instrument rep Tweet for me on my iPad while I was doing surgery.....I am amazed to see how much some people Tweet -- like Ken Rosenthal from Man, that guy is Tweeting every 2 minutes! Wow!

Had dinner Monday night w Mike Levin, a fraternity brother from MIT visiting from California. He contacted me out of the blue, finding me through the MIT alumni website. Wow, it is amazing how fast 27 years has gone by since graduation from MIT! Those were very special years, with very special people that I wish I had stayed in better contact since then.

Mike and I had a great visit! He also inspired me to use the MIT Alumni website, and my old fraternity team photos to reach out to several of my old fraternity brothers, including Dr. Joe Sabik, my big brother, now at Cleveland Clinic in Ohio. Heard back also from Bruce Schena, my "little brother" out in the Bay Area of San Francisco, who has been very successful entrepreneur and inventor, including doing a robotics startup with Mike Levin. Bruce emailed me back, and has great family, and is still "tinkering" in the machine shop, while working with daVinci Robotics for surgery!

Mike told me about his several successful companies he has helped start, and is on yet another startup now which is going very well in the computer sector. I got a chance to show him Chapel Hill, and also go over to see Duke Chapel and the other "Duke Chapel": Cameron Indoor Stadium for basketball and Coach K!!!!

Mike shared how many of our fraternity brothers have gone off to do successful startup companies, including Mike Saylor, who I've followed in the news, as well as my classmate Pete Diamandis --- the Space guy. We used to call him "Pete in Space!!!" --- and he definitely has kept his focus on space ever since. This was an inspiring group of guys to spend time with. Thankful for Dean Koutsoubis, who first invited me to pre-Frosh gathering at his home before going to MIT, as well as my old roommate and friend Khanh Hoang, who was also my sailing partner on the MIT sailing team. David DiPietro was one of my "little brothers" along with Tom Esselman, now in Minnesota and Bruce Schena as mentioned above. I also sent word out to Joe Parrish, who apparently is doing extremely well.

Hope to connect with more of the Brothers from the Theta Deut Chapter of Theta Delta Chi at MIT. So thankful for the upper classmen who mentored me, like Guido, Dino and Ed --- 3 seniors who shared a Quad with me my first semester freshman year! My bed that first year sat on a door which rested on 4 paint cans. Every night at midnight, the 3 seniors would open up the front window on the Flag Room, and play REO Speedwagon at about 110 dB and yell at people walking down Memorial Drive. I sat at my desk, and wondered if I'd ever pass Calculus! I still listen to REO Speedwagon really loud sometimes and fondly remember those days in college, looking at the Boston skyline from Memorial Drive.

I shared this Fraternity Brother photo with Mike when we got together from 1984, the year of my graduation from MIT. Also found a bunch of other photos, including taking hikes in New Hampshire with the Brothers, and Lindsay Russell, our elder mentor for many years at Theta Delta Chi.

Thanks again Mike for getting in touch.

If any of the other Theta Delta Chi brothers from MIT (Theta Deuts) who are coming to RTP / RDU area, let me know.

Would love to see you and possibly share a meal!

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