New scoliosis patient video makes its debut
Pictured: NNUH Spinal Surgeon Mr Am Rai completes a patient’s surgery for scoliosis.
The first showing of a new patient information video takes place next week which explains the patient’s journey through the experience of having major spinal surgery for scoliosis. The film is supported by the British Scoliosis Society, the British Association of Spinal Surgeons and the Scoliosis Association of the UK (SAUK). Scoliosis is the abnormal twisting and curvature of the spine and, in severe cases, surgery is used to stablise the spine.
Mr Nick Steele, Consultant Spinal Surgeon at NNUH who developed the video with the hospital’s Medical Illustration Department, said: “We offer specialist surgery to correct scoliosis in young patients from across Norfolk and Suffolk. Each year we see over 1,000 patients and it is important that they have an understanding of the process and can see other patients recovering afterwards.”
The video was filmed earlier this year during an initiative where the spinal team carried out surgery on eight teenagers from across Norfolk and Suffolk in July at the Norfolk and Norwich University Hospital.
In around eight out of every 10 cases, a cause for scoliosis is not found. It is often identified as children reach their teenage years and, in certain cases, a brace can be used to correct the condition or stop the curve from progressing. Where bracing is not successful or the condition is severe, metal rods are used to straighten the spine, attached with screws, hooks, and wires, and bone grafts to fuse the spine in place. This metalwork will be left in place permanently.
During the operation, the patient’s spine is monitored to prevent damage to the nerves of the spine. Patients spend about five days in hospital with a programme of physiotherapy to help strengthen the muscles and help the patient to adjust to their new posture.
Mr Steele added: “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 allowing them to return to their education promptly and gradually return to sporting activities.”
NNUH is a specialist centre for orthopaedic surgery with a team of 23 surgeons and five spinal surgeons. Young patients undergoing surgery are supported in their recovery by the multi-disciplinary teams in the Jenny Lind Children’s Department.
Notes to editors
The video is being shown in the Benjamin Gooch Lecture Theatre, Level One East Atrium at the Norfolk and Norwich University Hospital, from 1230-1330 on 22nd December 2016. If you wish to send a reporter, please call the Communications Team on 01603 287634.