We’ve all got a case of the Mondays after a long week and a busy – but fun – weekend. We put that all aside, though, to focus on finishing strong in this last week of the mission.
Our surgical case du jour is a young man named David with congenital scoliosis. We corrected his deformity as much as was safe, and fused him into his corrected position. Having never witnessed much pediatric scoliosis surgery at my home institution, I must say it is striking to see the degree of correction achievable. To see the shape of a patient’s spine altered so drastically is something to behold. What is most remarkable is that the majority of the correction occurs in the last few minutes of surgery. Hours are spent exposing and placing pedicle screws, and then just before the surgery is over and closing begins, a few rods are bent just so, the spine is moved here and there, and suddenly – and somewhat miraculously - the patient’s spine looks almost normal, when just minutes before it looked a bit of a mess.
Sue: “Have you been outside? There must be 30 people out there in line holding x-rays!”
Such is the nature of clinic. It pops up sometimes without warning, and when it rains, it often pours. We did our due diligence and made sure everyone was seen. Many of the patients we saw needed anti-inflammatories and physiotherapy rather than surgery, but we did find one or two patients that were added on to the OR schedule later in the week.