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According to an article in today’s The Daily Mail’s Good Health section a new keyhole operation for spinal injuries can mean patients walk out of hospital the following day.

Matthew Crocker is director of neurosurgery and a consultant neurosurgeon at St George’s University Hospitals NHS Foundation Trust in London, he said ‘We estimate there are more than 10,000 spinal fractures a year in the UK. For the past two years we have been using a new minimally invasive approach through eight small holes made in the skin, which means a much faster recovery for patients.

The DIY-analogy would be that instead of taking out a wall to fit a new kitchen in one piece, we assemble it through the letterbox.

It’s been made possible by the development of hollow screws, just as strong as the solid ones used in the traditional procedure, that can be inserted and screwed in place over a guide wire.

This means the surgeon doesn’t have to open up the back to be able to see where to put the screws.

All the instruments that go with the screws, as well as the metal rods, can be inserted in the same way.

Once the bone has healed, after eight to 12 months, we remove the screws and the metalwork though the original incisions.

It really is a new paradigm in treating spinal patients. It gives the very best chance of a full recovery, and most people are able to walk out of the hospital the next day’.

We can only hope that this is the future in spinal surgery. Amazing …

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