Eight teenagers have surgery during ‘scoliosis week’
In a national first, eight teenagers from across Norfolk and Suffolk are all having spinal surgery to correct scoliosis over a week in July at the Norfolk and Norwich University Hospital.
The aim is to give them time to recover from their operations during the school holidays and be fit again for their studies in September. The operations take place from Monday 11th to Monday 18th July.
Mr Am Rai, Consultant Spinal Surgeon at NNUH and President of the British Association of Spinal Surgeons, said: “Most hospitals will carry out one or two of these major operations each week. We have grouped the surgeries together to allow our young patients recovery time during the school holidays and to deal with our operational pressures.
“With changing pressures on the NHS we recognise different ways of delivering care which fits with what patients need. This initiative will streamline scoliosis care in an efficient and cost effective way with emphasis on patient safety and quality by working in very specialised , professional and highly trained teams.
“A huge amount of work has gone into planning scoliosis week and everyone in the multi-disciplinary team is contributing to making the event a success for our young patients and their families. We are carrying out a detailed audit of scoliosis week and will be presenting this information to other hospitals to see if our learning and innovation can be shared across the NHS.”
Mr Bob Crawford, who is also a Consultant Spinal Surgeon at NNUH and President of the British Scoliosis Society, said: “This surgery can transform lives, improving patient’s self-image and reducing complications later on such as pain and reduced mobility. Young patients recover very quickly and can move on with their education and go back to sporting activities after a few months.”
NNUH is a specialist centre for orthopaedic surgery with a team of 23 surgeons and five spinal surgeons. Young patients are supported in their recovery by the multi-disciplinary teams in the Jenny Lind Children’s Department.
Mr Rai and Mr Crawford carry out scoliosis surgery for young people in the developing world as part of the SpineAid charity run by Mr Rai. He said: “Families in poor countries are not able to afford this surgery without our help.” Mr Rai is cycling from London to Paris at the end of July. For more information, go to: http://spineaid.co.uk/