Spinal surgery helps Sheffield woman who got intense pain from shopping and ironing

Mr Antony Louis Rex Michael reviews the scan photos of Elaine Colegate's spine at the Northern General Hospital
Mr Antony Louis Rex Michael reviews the scan photos of Elaine Colegate's spine at the Northern General Hospital
0
Have your say

A woman who could not stand up in a queue or do the ironing is back on her feet again – after undergoing innovative surgery in Sheffield.

Elaine Colegate, aged 67, of Gleadless, has suffered with a back condition that causes the spine to curve abnormally since she was 32 – making it impossible for her to do everyday tasks without getting intense pain.

She had an operation in 2006 to put in a metal frame to support her spine, but problems returned a few years later.

Elaine has now been given a new lease of life after undergoing spinal fusion surgery at the Northern General Hospital. She said: “I couldn’t stand, or do everyday things like the ironing without getting a jabbing pain in my legs. Even going shopping was a nightmare as I couldn’t stand in a queue.”

She underwent a cutting-edge operation that avoided the need to remove her previous metal plate and instead saw surgeons make a small incision in the side of the body allowing them to open delicate tissue surrounding the spine without cutting muscle, avoiding injury to the nerves.

Mrs Colegate said: “I felt so much better after the operation, and within a week I was moving about ordinarily. It was such a relief being able to walk and stand, and do a bit of cooking and ironing. I can swim again now, too, as I had to stop going when they found the nerves compressed in the spine.”

Antony Louis Rex Michael, consultant orthopaedic spinal surgeon at the Northern General Hospital, said: “Direct lateral interbody fusion is very good for patients who have failed to respond to conventional treatments as it is a much smaller operation. I’m delighted that it has had a huge impact on the quality of Elaine’s life.”