Tuesday, February 25, 2014

Fwd: Natalie...a giant thank you!!

---------- Forwarded message ----------
From: Jackie 
Date: Mon, Feb 24, 2014 at 10:10 PM
Subject: Natalie...a giant thank you!!
To: Dr. Lloyd Hey Hey

Dear Dr. Hey,

What a difference just 6 weeks can make after spinal surgery!!

My husband and I are so grateful to you, your staff and the nurses at Duke Raleigh Hospital.  This has been both a physically and emotionally exhausting journey for Natalie, as well as our selves.  Watching and caring for our daughter throughout this complex surgery and recovery has been trying, yet has strengthened our faith and brought our family closer.  I truly believe that we were led to relocate here to North Carolina this year from Oregon to have the opportunity for our daughter to be under your very gifted, precise, experienced care.  We could not have imagined being in any other physician's hands.  And we sincerely appreciate your compassionate attitude and speedy deliverance of information and help to all of us throughout this process.

Thank you, thank you Dr. Hey!!

Natalie has her 7 week post op appointment this Friday and is looking forward to seeing you again.  I am attaching a picture of Natalie this past weekend, just 6 weeks post op and looking amazing as she heads out to her 8th grade winter formal.  She felt so beautiful and thankful for her incredible new posture.  Everyone took note of it!!

I will not be able to join my husband and Natalie this Friday, so I wanted the opportunity to express my personal feelings to you.  I thank the Lord everyday as I see her up and walking and beginning to feel freedom to move without pain.  She is off all pain relievers, including Tylenol, which is simply wonderful. 

Thank you and God bless!!


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

Wednesday, February 12, 2014


Feb 11 (1 day ago)
to me
Dear Dr. Hey:

I hope this note finds you well. I just wanted to share a huge triumph in my life this past weekend. I have always loved hiking, the outdoors, and the mountains. The beautiful views from a mountaintop brought solace to my life. For many years, I thought I would never hike again due to terrible pain in my back. Thanks to your God given talent, you gave me my life back and I will be forever grateful. This photo is of me jumping for joy on the top of Rough Ridge on the Blue Ridge Parkway after an awesome hike with my husband Mike. May God continue to bless you with the gift of healing as you change lives daily!

Thank you !

Tami had a Harrington Rod fusion as a teenager, with some resultant flat back-like syndrome, and a fusion down to L4.  During her adult years, she began to have increasing back and then radiating leg pain, and trouble standing and walking.  Her MRI showed severe degeneration with severe facet hypertrophy, and spinal stenosis, and disc herniations.  She tried all sorts of conservative therapy including physical therapy, back braces, weight management, NSAID's, exercise program, and injections including epidural injections.  Her quality of life continued to deteriorate as she headed through her 40's.   2 years ago today, 2/12/2012, I performed a posterior L4, L5 laminectomy, partial removal of her Harrington rod and hook, and an extension instrumentation and fusion connecting her old fusion and Harrington rod down to the pelvis.  We were able to do her fusion in her case without having to go anteriorly, since her preop sagittal balance was acceptable -- although very painful for her to try to stand up straight for very long.  

She dropped me this email yesterday, and gave her OK to share it with all of you as she continues to enjoy a much better quality of life, accomplishing her athletic and personal goals.

Great to hear from you Tami!!

Dr. Lloyd Hey -- Hey Clinic for Scoliosis and Spine Surgery   http://www.heyclinic.com

Saturday, February 8, 2014

Can I do well after cervical myelopathy and multi-level ACDF?

From: Herb
Date: February 8, 2014 at 12:56:07 PM EST
To: Sarahruth Miller <sarahruth@heyclinic.com>, Lloyd Hey <hey@heyclinic.com>
Subject: Re: Hey Clinic Appointment

Re: Hey Clinic Appointment Hey Clinic                                                                        February 2014
            Injury and age took
            Dr. Hey's Surgery restored
            Thank you for treatment
More specifically:
            Seeking a second orthopedic opinion regarding a diagnosis and recommendation of an ACDF surgery, I found Dr. Hey by an internet search.  Clearly I chose well. Dr. Hey discussed my issues, examined and reviewed my records, and spent an hour clearly explaining the details of his diagnosis and the meaning and consequences of his findings and answering my questions.  I suffered multiple and advanced disc degeneration and showed MRI and symptomatic effects of spinal cord injury (likely from the auto accident two years earlier).  He offered to meet again, this time with my wife and I to involve her in this important decision, which we did.  The four-level C3-7 ACDF surgery was scheduled and we were kept well informed in the weeks of pre-op preparation.  I cancelled my previously scheduled ski trip.
            After the surgery there was no pain; I did not need, nor use, pain medication.  I closely followed the protocol for wearing the neck brace for the next six weeks (not fun, especially for the first few nights – but necessary). The arm, neck and shoulder pain, that was increasing prior to the surgery, was now, immediately and completely gone.  Next morning I was up and walking about and was discharged from the hospital (I was 69).  
        Healing through the remaining year was uneventful.  Head turning left and right was only minimally reduced compared to pre-surgery.  Bending my head forward and down is reduced a little more.  Symptoms of the spinal cord injury were improved and its danger to my walking and well-being was reduced.  
            Last week I was released from care at my one-year exam.  Next week I return to skiing.  Thank you for the excellent care and surgery.  

Wednesday, February 5, 2014

No, Dr. Hey did not fall off face of the earth.... I've been doing research, and still caring for patients!

Well, the last month has been a real whirl-wind, caring for many children, adolescents and adults with all sorts of scoliosis, kyphosis, spondylolisthesis... disc herniations as big as New Jersey... and on top of that my nights and weekends have been spent helping get 3 research projects done for our big Scoliosis Research Society (SRS.org) meeting this September.  Abstract deadline was Feb 1, and I, along with all of my SRS colleagues serving on the Adult Deformity Committee were hard at work up til the last day!

The first paper is a survey we conducted of scoliosis surgeons from all over the world, examining their concerns about the cost of scoliosis care, and what role we can play to help control those costs, pushing our part of healthcare closer to "lean production"  --- high-quality with little or no WASTE!  Quality control is definitely a passion of mine, and has been for over 25 years, following and practicing the writings of Deming and others -- -most of whom "wrote off" healthcare as hopeless as Deming did in "Out of the Crisis."  Well, "hopeless" is not an acceptable answer when we are dealing with precious human lives in healthcare, and where suffering can be prevented and alleviated.  But how do create more sustainable systems of care so that access is not limited, not just in the USA but all over the world?

Well, we got surveys back from 196 SRS scoliosis surgeons from over 35 countries, and it was quite amazing to see how my colleagues from around the world share the concerns I've had, and are interested in doing more to help be better "Stewards" of our limited resources.  It is our job as Good Stewards working with hospitals, vendors, and others to help ensure that excellent scoliosis care is accessible and affordable for patients of all ages in need.

Our other 2 abstracts focus on proximal junctional kyphosis (PJK) and proximal junctional failure (PJF)  -- which is a potential complication with scoliosis or more likely kyphosis surgery.  We conducted another survey of surgeons to try to pull out "best practices" from surgeons also from all over the world, and will be using this information combined with a major total literature review to start to come up with new classifications and practice guidelines to help surgeons prevent and treat this potentially serious complication.  I know in my own practice over the last 18+ years, I've developed a bunch of new innovations, including some new sublaminar techniques using advanced fiber technology combined with more flexible rods.  These innovations have drastically reduced the incidence of PJK/PJF.  So why not figure out ways to have more experienced / more engineering-oriented surgeons to share their "tricks" with the "younger guns" and speed up that learning curve with checklists, guidelines, and special tips!!  All very cool stuff.

It has been awesome to work with like-minded SRS surgeons from literally all over the globe, including 18 different time zones!!! Makes conference calls a bit tricky.... but it is all good.  Teamwork always brings better results, with different perspectives an insights.

Meanwhile, I've kept myself firmly grounded in the "real world" of the operating room 4 days a week, and clinic 5 days a week, and rounding on my patients 7 days a week, where the outcome is always worth it:  smiles and hugs.

Here's some recent pictures and video to enjoy.  All of these were taken during the last couple of weeks!!!!  

More later.  Time for bed.  Big scoliosis surgery tomorrow.
Dr. Lloyd Hey -- Hey Clinic for Scoliosis and Spine Surgery -- http://www.heyclinic.com

Lindsey volleyball photo

Date: Tue, Feb 4, 2014
Subject: Lindsey volleyball photo
To: "drlloydhey"

Dr. Hey,
I have attached a photo of Lindsey setting the ball during her volleyball tournament last weekend. She set, served, blocked and hit the ball well, especially considering she was 6 weeks post surgery.

Thank you so much for Lindsey's successful surgery!


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