It was party time for previous scoliosis surgery patients at The James Cook University Hospital in Middlesbrough as the service celebrated a highly successful four years.
Scoliosis is an abnormal curvature of the spine which occurs in children. The team with the skills to correct the curvature was boosted in 2010, with the appointment of consultant spine surgeons Mr Waleed Hekal and Mr Raman Kalyan.
They joined the clinical director of spinal services at the trust, Prof Charles Greenough. A specialist paediatric-trained nurse, Cheryl Honeyman, was employed to coordinate the service, provide education, and support patients and families.
The team also includes consultant paediatrician Dr Ramesh Kumar, who assesses and coordinates investigations for patients with other medical problems. A group of consultant anaesthetists – Dr Ahmed Aziz, Dr Kate Woods, Dr Andy Lloyd and Dr Dave Booth are also an integral part of the team.
Outcomes over the last four years have been very successful, with many very happy patients. The improvement in spinal shape and the X-rays is remarkable. The unit uses questionnaires and surveys, and an interview-based research project has highlighted patients’ positive opinions.
The event gave previous patients, whose lives have been turned round by the surgery, a chance to come back and meet the team again and swap hints and tips. There was also a chance to take part in patient information projects, led by Cheryl.
A video showing one young patient, Jodie Parke’s journeys through the service in the hospital was also shown and can be seen at https://www.southtees.nhs.uk/services/orthopaedics/paediatric-spinal/.
Specialist nurse, Cheryl Honeyman said: “The difference successful scoliosis surgery makes on a young person’s life is huge. I’ve seen patients change from shy, introverted, unhappy people, to confident, outgoing, positive role models for others. The team we have here at South Tees has achieved outstanding results, with almost full correction of spinal curves up to 110 degrees, recovery as comfortable as possible and positive experiences of surgery and hospitalisation. I wanted to bring as many patients and families together to meet each other and to celebrate with some of the many staff in different areas, who all contribute to the care of our patients.”