Saturday, February 9, 2013

Memorable Moments Interacting With Precious People This Week

I took a few minutes late this Saturday afternoon to download the photos I have taken over the last 8 days or so on my phone camera.  Below is a sample of some of the patients I have seen back at Hey Clinic for their postop follow-up visits at 6 weeks, 6 months and a year after surgery.  We call these photos our "Hey Clinic Graduation" photos --- marking a special completion of a journey for all of us together through the scoliosis / kyphosis monitoring, conservative treatments, and in some cases surgical treatment and recovery.  You can get a sense of the "life-long" focus of Hey Clinic, where we evaluate and treat small children with scoliosis, many adolescents and young adults, middle-aged adults, and older adults.  I treasure each of these photos as I remember each family.

 Courtney is doing awesome after her adolescent idiopathic scoliosis surgery
 This was a very nasty kyphoscoliosis that we straightened up nicely, using new proximal fixation technology that helps prevent proximal junctional kyphosis (PJK)

 Complex anterior-posterior revision surgery using U-Rod, and complex pelvic fixation construct now obtaining her wish of walking standing up straight, and free of sciatica.  Margo and Jim have become like family --- Jim is retired MIT Professor.

 Extension instrumentation and fusion for flat back below Harrington Rod done less invasively with smaller interbody spacers.
 PreMed in College, who wants to be a surgeon!  Maybe she can take my place some day!

 Another adolescent scoliosis doing great postop
 Many thanks to my brother Ken, an amazing mechanical / structural engineer, who flew in this week and helped me design a new Truss construct to help solve a complex scoliosis / spondylolisthesis revision surgery for patient Diana.  Diana did great, and is now standing up straight with little pain, and very thankful!  Thanks Ken.

Here is Diana's mechanical reconstruction, using XLIF, and special new Truss Technique with load sharing.

  Complex Adult Scoliosis reconstruction, now doing great using a different truss technique to help prevent hardware breakage at lumbo-sacral junction.  It worked great.  Notice her excellent posture.

Soraya came back to see me from Charleston, SC 1 year postop from her scoliosis correction doing just great!  She gave me an incredible gift of an engraved Hippocratic Oath.  She is actually a Greek scholar, and read it to me.  I shot a quick video of her explanation that I'll likely share on a later blog.
Soraya's gift

This gentleman came to us about 7 weeks ago, losing the use of his arms and legs with a severe multilevel cervical stenosis.  He literally could not even feed himself or hold a cup.
Here he is yesterday proudly holding his coffee cup!  He is so excited that his neurologic function is still returning, including his lower extremities.

 This young teenage lady had kyphosis surgery with me about 6 weeks ago, and now is really psyched about her new posture and pain relief.  Her posture looks normal.  Mom is happy too!

 Noah and his parents came in to celebrate his one year anniversary from his adolescent idiopathic scoliosis surgery.  He went back to long-distance running within a few weeks of his surgery, and actually has run a half marathon!  He brought me a gift of a framed photo with one of the medals he has one this year, and gave me another photo of him running at one of his events.  

 This young lady is another adolescent scoliosis patient postop back with her family.  Unfortunately her dad's head got cut off by my wonderful PA who shot the photo.  Sorry dad.  Otherwise everyone is happy, and her posture looks great.

Her before and after X-Rays

Our biggest scoliosis surgery this week was a 27 yo gentleman with DeVic Syndrome, which is an auto-immune disease that attacks the nervous system.  It unfortunately caused him to become completely blind by age 15, and likely contributed to his severely progressive scoliosis.  As shown below, his curve continued to progress rapidly as an adult, and was about 84 degrees when I straightened him up on Wednesday this week.  His surgery took 5.5 hours, and he had an EBL of 600 cc.  He spent one night in ICU, but was extubated in the recovery room.  He advanced quickly on his physical therapy and went home this morning very happy.  

You can imagine how difficult it was to explain the surgery to someone who is completely blind.
I will tell you though, that Angelo is one of the finest people I have ever met.  Gentle, kind, and a lover of life.  He also has a wonderful family.  Getting a chance to know folks like Angelo and his family, and to be able to play some role to help him is a great joy.

One of the last patients I saw in clinic yesterday was this 15 yo young lady who had a 46 degree scoliosis this past August. At that point, I recommended surgery, but the mom really did not feel peaceful about that.  They decided to wait and see.  The X-Rays yesterday showed that the curve had progressed to 58 degrees -- 12 degrees in less than 10 months ---, and now her daughter is having increasing back pain, and the "hump" and trunk shift has gotten to be very large.

The mom was quite upset, regretting not fixing it last summer.  The teen actually held it together quite well, and is cool getting it fixed sometime soon.    Yes, it would have been better to fix the curve last summer, but all is not lost.

Dr. Lloyd Hey
Hey Clinic for Scoliosis and Spine Surgery

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