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First 'trolley' surgery in Europe

Thanks to support from the University of Sheffield, the Morrisons Foundation, and David and Jean Fyfe’s 2018 Daffodil Ball, the Sheffield Children's Hospital has one of only two EOS scanners in the UK.

Based on a Nobel prize-winning invention, EOS provides an ultra-low dose 2D and 3D digital X-ray system and will hugely improve the diagnosis and treatment of orthopaedic patients. Patients can sit or stand, with a complete head-to-toe image provided in 15 seconds or less.

The machine also ensures an 80% reduction in X-ray exposure, reduced waiting times and improved image quality enabling more accurate assessments and surgical planning.

Not content with just having the scanner, the charity Artfelt (part of the Children's Hospital Charity) commissioned Dom Kesterton to produce visuals for the exterior of the scanner that would make it less daunting to children having to use it.

What this means is that the scoliosis (curvature of the spine) of children like nine-year-old Connor Demetriou can be diagnosed with much clearer and accurate imagery. In his case, he went on to become the first person in Europe to have groundbreaking new surgery to treat his curved spine, as part of an international study involving 17 patients worldwide.

The treatment – known as trolley surgery – involves inserting expanding rods into the spine. This realigns the curve and allows the rods to grow with the child as they get older.

The revolutionary surgery took six hours to complete, and was carried out by a team of nine at Sheffield Children’s Hospital, led by consultant spinal surgeon Mr Lee Breakwell. The operation is considered the first of its kind as the generic trolley structure needed to be modified to suit Connor’s severe curve.

Following surgery, Connor stands up straight – two inches taller than before – and can run, swim, jump, and play football with ease.

 

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