I have been treating patients with Limb Reconstruction problems for over 10 years, with more than half of that time at a highly specialist level. I have selected a few cases below of patients who really exemplify the kind of work I am passionate about, the kind of patients I have a huge respect and love for and the kind of results we can achieve as a team.
Let's have a look:
A- Age 15
I met "A" as a 9 year old girl who was deeply traumatised and grossly injured. She had been a victim of a militia raid and her family was brutally murdered. "A" managed to escape and was treated in a mission hospital. After multiple failed operations she was brought to the UK by her loving aunt and found her way to my care.
At the time she had three badly injured limbs and would not talk.
Through 5 years of careful planning and the expert team care needed for limb saving treatment we saved her right arm and her left leg and managed to re-grow 10cm of healthy bone. Now she can walk without any pain, take part in all her school activities and has grown into a talkative lovely young lady.
L- Age 13
"L" had contracted meningococcal septicaemia as a baby. After a harrowing time battling this highly aggressive infection "L" pulled through. Unfortunately for him this left him with a childhood of damaged growth plates and uneven arms and legs.
When I met the family they had had one round of reconstructive surgery under a different team and in Mum’s words “it nearly broke us as a family”.
I proposed and carried out pioneering surgery in our department and managed to straighten his legs and grow another 9cm of healthy bone in his leg. "L" has been a star throughout and I am proud to have been able to take care of him and give him and his family an easier path in managing this difficult story. He is so pleased that now he wants me to lengthen his arm too!
T- Age 9
“Mummy, why can’t we just cut off my leg?”
A horrifying sentence to hear for any mother. Her 8 year old son had had enough of failed surgery for his femoral dysplasia to try and regrow parts of a leg that had never grown. He had been through two lots of big surgery that had taken months to endure. When he finally recovered he had another injury that left "T" with a very stiff knee, a short leg and unable to even use a standing scooter without trouble.
I listened to "T" carefully and had to give him his due. He was a smart lad and knew what he wanted. We went through with the plan. After a few weeks of rehab he got a new prosthetic limb. Now we get regular updates on how happy he is and how well he is managing with life, including starring in TV shows!
M- Age 15
21cm of new bone. That’s how much bone we have managed to grow for this brave young man who has had a childhood full of surgery to treat his Ollier’s Disease.
Easily one of the most quietly committed patients I have ever met "M" has worked with his team and himself to stay on top of his rehab and his lengthenings. He has experienced every kind of lengthening procedure possible and has always come out on top. He is a testament to the power of the mind and the outcomes possible when patients are able to commit wholeheartedly to their part in the treatment.
J- Age 8
"J" had his first frame aged 6. As a patient with fibular hemimelia he really had little choice about when to start treatment, although we tried to let him get as big as he could to try and look after his mind as well as his body. I needn’t have worried. "J" has managed his limb reconstruction surgeries like a livewire. Much to his parents’ chagrin it never slowed him down even a little. One of my little heroes in my care, 4cm of length and two surgeries on we march on together looking forward to intra-medullary lengthening as the next step.
"A" came to me through a friend and colleague to my adult clinic. She had been to see him about a knee that didn’t feel right. He had some doubts and sent her to me. As soon as she took off her shoe I could tell that no-one had really ever understood her or explained why she had had to put up with walking unevenly all this time.
Through careful planning, discussion of her options and advanced techniques in limb reconstruction I operated on both her legs at the same sitting. I lengthened one side a modest 3cm along with realigning the other side and it made all the difference. Another of my stoic strong willed favourite patients, she has never stayed in hospital more than 3 days and has always worked hard resulting in a wonderful outcome.
Mrs. S- Forever 21 ;)
Mrs. "S" suffered a very bad injury in Spain after falling off her terrace. She had surgery that failed and got infected and landed up with one of the premier knee surgeons in the UK. Knowing my expertise and passion for these types of cases he sent her to me.
To say she wasn’t pleased with what I suggested is an understatement! But with patient explanation, a strong team with me, and most of all the support of her loving family, Mrs. "S" had a frame reconstruction for her infected tibial plateau non-union. She is now infection free, walking almost as if she had never been injured and enjoying life again.
C- Age 12
"C" just wants to wear “normal” trainers. Specifically “Nike Airs with the Bubbles in the heel.”
Having been born with Autism and severe neurofibromatosis, he had a limb that didn’t develop in the usual way and had to have repeated surgery to heal the leg and to lengthen it.
Between his Dad, who is a big fan of the glue gun, and "C" who is a whizz with 3D printing and CAD designs they have managed to design a whole host of practical upgrades and additions for circular frames that make life easier and more interesting when having this treatment