Wednesday, August 28, 2013

"Soul" -- a thanksgiving artwork and note from Benjamin and his family from Baton Rouge, LA

Back in May, I shared a little bit about Benjamin, an 18 yo young man with severe adolescent idiopathic scoliosis from Baton Rouge, Louisiana.  His blogpost is here. 

His parents, Mark and Rachel are wonderful people, and made the 14 hour drive to visit us at Hey Clinic during Benjamin's spring break from college to get a second opinion for Benjamin's scoliosis surgery.  Mark, a surgeon,  was the best man for an excellent spine surgeon here in Raleigh who suggested to make the trip to come and see me.   A couple months later, they came back to Hey Clinic and Duke Raleigh Hospital next door and Benjamin got straightened up nicely, and flew back home.  He's done very well since then, and we've stayed in touch over the phone and internet, checking X-Rays locally which get mailed to me on disc so I can review them.

Yesterday I was just blown away when I received this awesome gift from their family, with the following hand-written note from Rachel, Benjamin's mom.  I want to share it here, linked to this picture of the artwork so I can remember this special encouraging day and share it with others from our Hey Clinic and Duke Raleigh Hospital team that make great journeys like this for our guests happen every day.

Dear Dr. Hey,
You have truly been a blessing to Benjamin and our family.  From your initial thorough consultation via phone with Mark, even before meeting us, until our discharge from Duke Raleigh Hospital, we have been overwhelmingly impressed by each and every individual and encounter.  We could not have prayed for a better outcome for Benjamin.  Our appreciation for your expertise and your compassionate care is difficult to adequately express.  We therefore hope this work of art by our friend Mordechai Rosenstein might say it best and express the magnitude of our collective gratitude.
Sincerely, Rachel and Mark H.

On the back of this 3D framed artwork is a description of the piece called "SOUL"
Around the circumference of the piece it says:
"Whoever Preserves a Single Soul, Scrupture ascribes Merit to Them as Tho They Saved a Complete World"

Mortechi explains the piece further:
"The basis for the design is a passage from the Talmud, Chapter Sanhedran.  I chose green as the main color which in my mind represents life and renewal.  I had many images to choose from, but the ones I chose were a broad spectrum
   1.  The lamp of universal knowledge
   2. The brass serpent of Moses which stopped the plague and represents the healing arts
   3. Birds that fly and fish that swarm oceans
   4. Grapes mean plenty
   5.  Flowers and trees that cover the earth


Mortechai Rosenstein's artwork can be found at Emes Editions LTD, in Elkins Park, PA.  Wow Mortechi -- I absolutely love this piece and will focus on it as a way of refreshing my own soul to continue to serve with compassion and strength.  Thanks for creating it.

I left Mark and Rachel a thank you voice mail late yesterday, but unfortunately was sound asleep when they called me back at 10pm my time as I rested up for big kyphoscoliosis surgery for today.  Thanks so much Rachel for calling me back.  Blessings to you and Mark and Benjamin.

I then received this nice email from Benjamin this evening:

Dear Dr. Hey,
I'm so glad that you liked the thank you gift and wanted to let you know that I am doing great.  In fact, today I rode my bike to my first day of college classes!!! My recovery has been amazing and I can't thank you enough.  These past few months have been incredible and I am so thankful.

Thanks again,

Personal notes and gifts like this, after 5 or 6 or more hours in surgery absolutely lifts my soul and empowers me to go into that next consult room or answer that next consult request from a family from far away with renewed strength.

Thanks again Rachel, Mark and Benjamin and Mordechai for truly blessing me and our Hey Clinic and Duke Raleigh Hospital staff.  I will share this with our team at our weekly Quality and Clinical Care Joint Meeting we have with our staffs each Thursday morning.

Dr. Lloyd Hey
Hey Clinic for Scoliosis and Spine Surgery

Wednesday, August 21, 2013

Today's anterior/posterior reconstruction for severe flatback.

Ann is a delightful lady from Wilmington, NC who has had previous lumbar surgeries with fusions L2-S1. She now has severe adjacent level failure above and below he fusion with severe flat back syndrome with trouble standing up straight and severe spinal stenosis at L1-2 causing clumsiness and trouble walking.  I did a quick video this morning of me explaining this to Ann's husband Dr. W which is shown here on YouTube:

We performed anterior posterior reconstruction for her today, which went well.  She received no blood transfusion.  Anterior L5S1 ALIF helped to jack open the base of her spine to help restore her posture and to also help stabilize that vacuum disc level.  I did laminectomy at L1 and posterior osteotomy at L1 and L5, and did some special techniques at top of the bottom with sublaminar fixation to help prevent PJK proximal junctional kyphosis and also a special truss technique at base to help prevent failure at LS junction.

Her surgery went well, with about a 1 hour anterior procedure. We finished the posterior procedure around 2:45 pm.  I met with her husband who is a physician from Wilmington, NC who was very pleased with the news and the X-Ray review.  She should be going to one of our Duke Raleigh Hospital orthopaedic beds later this afternoon and start to get her up tomorrow to check out her new posture!!

Here are her intra-op X-Rays showing the new hardware and improved posture.

Dr. Lloyd Hey
Hey Clinic for Scoliosis and Spine Surgery

Tuesday, August 20, 2013

Some good feedback on latest videos, and a couple new videos today

I got a couple of nice responses regarding the 5 video interviews posted from Friday's clinic, and a couple of emails back from the families who participated

Good evening Dr. Hey,

The video testimonies you posted certainly and greatly provide a wide range of circumstances and age group of people who travelled similar journeys toward a healthy straight spine made possible by your God given gift of healing. My son Charlie gave your blog of videos two thumbs up!

I am going to post your blog with these videos in my 3 homeschooling groups.

Thank you,


I then got this note from Rachel's Mom, with an attached video.....

Dr. Hey,
This is a hip hop dance that Rachel learned on Saturday 8-17-13. It's her least favorite type dance but it just happen to be the choreography they learned this weekend so I thought I would share. She's in the pink tank top and black dance shorts. You have to follow her in the mirror to see some of it. She's a great dancer and I have to say this is probably the worst she's danced in a long time but I was more proud of her than ever!!
Thank you

Thanks for sharing guys.  I also posted some new video of today's surgery discussion and some interesting lessons from clinic yesterday.  Here are those videos.

Discussion of Patient concerned about Metal Allergy, and alternative treatments for scoliosis -- including extensive bracing and physical therapy.

Here's a good discussion I had with family regarding when to schedule their daughter's surgery

Here I am in the operating room going over today's surgery --- 60+ degree thoracolumbar collapsing curve, former adolescent scoliosis, now in 57 yo patient suffering badly with back and leg pain, trouble walking.

Here are Pam's X-Rays today right after I completed surgery, showing very good correction of her deformity, and very good balance.  We used our new Truss Technique for supporting the lumbar-sacral junction was used to help minimize stresses and decrease risk of hardware fracture at this high load junction.  Pam's curve progression from adolescence through adulthood, with declining quality of life and increasing pain is one reason why we encourage adolescent curves to be corrected at a younger age.  This allows us to get a better correction with a less invasive surgery, while allowing the person to enjoy many more years of better posture.

Spent some time this evening talking to a mom of a 16 yo boy who has a Grade IV spondylolisthesis with severe flat back syndrome and pain after surgery performed a year or two ago elsewhere.  These are tough problems.  More on that later. 
Great day.  Time for bed.  We have a complex anterior/posterior flat back syndrome surgery tomorrow for a lady who had fusion done elsewhere years ago, now with severe trouble standing and walking.

Dr. Lloyd Hey
Hey Clinic for Scoliosis and Spine Surgery

Monday, August 19, 2013

This past Friday at Hey Clinic --- 5 Hey Clinic guest families across the full age spectrum share their life stories on video.

After a nice couple of weeks off, last week I was back to work in the operating room in scoliosis surgery for adolescents and adults, and back to clinic as well next door at Hey Clinic.  I brought my new little camera and tripod with me into clinic this past Friday, and had some of our Hey Clinic guest families coming back for follow-up after scoliosis and kyphosis surgery who were willing to tell their story.  Wow!  I was blown away by what I learned from listening to their stories, and here they are for you to hear and see.  One of the cool things about our clinic is that we truly see the full age spectrum of spinal deformity, with literally moms with newborns/infants bringing in their kids in their laps, through the
small children with early onset scoliosis (see Maggie and her mom Lisa's video above in the red T-Shirts!) and congenital scoliosis, up through the MANY adolescents, then college/young adults and finally the adult groups.  Here are the several videos that I made, and figured out how to upload to YouTube and now share with you.  I even set up a YouTube Hey Clinic "Channel" -- woo hoo!  If you have any suggestions on how to do this better, let me know... I am open to suggestions.

Thanks to all the families who chose to share their stories. 
Dr. Lloyd Hey, Hey Clinic for Scoliosis and Spine Surgery.

13 yo Rachel 6 weeks after adolescent idiopathic scoliosis surgery returns to dance! 

David, Princeton Junior from Winston-Salem, NC shares his scoliosis story 

Mom tells her adolescent scoliosis journey, and her adolescent son's as well! 

Kate, from Hartford, CT tells her 30+ year journey with adolescent scoliosis through adulthood