Sheffield medics have been praised by a soldier who was able to serve in Afghanistan after surgery to repair an arm which ‘disintegrated’ after a 20ft fall from scaffolding.
Michael Warren’s fall shattered his elbow and left him unable to use his left arm at all and after a number of failed operations at his local hospital in Sussex he was told it would have to be amputated.
But before the drastic surgery, he was referred to the elbow unit at Sheffield Teaching Hospitals NHS Foundation Trust in a last-ditch effort to save his arm.
Thanks to a total elbow replacement and a bone graft from a donor, Michael’s arm was saved and he has now regained full movement.
Michael, a Territorial Army soldier, said: “Before the accident, I was very active, I enjoyed doing my job and took great pride in serving my local Territorial Army regiment.
“The accident meant that all these activities were threatened.
“You do get very low when your life suddenly changes like that.
“I had a few operations at my local hospital in Sussex which involved having metal plates fitted, but it didn’t work, my arm was left floppy and useless.
“I was told the bone had disintegrated and my arm would have to be amputated.”
Michael, who recovered enough to be deployed to Afghanistan after his operation, worked with local elders and Afghan communities to rebuild roads, bridges and schools.
He said: “There were some very frightening times when we were engaged by the enemy during patrols but I didn’t regret signing up - I was very keen to do a tour.
“After my fall I thought that chance was robbed from me but thanks to Mr Stanley and his great team I got it back.”
David Stanley, Consultant Shoulder and Elbow Surgeon, at Sheffield Teaching Hospitals NHS Foundation Trust, said: “The technique has previously been used in this country around the hip and knee but Sheffield is the only centre in the United Kingdom with significant experience of the procedure at the elbow.”