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.”