Surgeons Team With US Spine And The International Hospital For Children To Provide Young Woman With “New Back”

January 21, 2009 at 2:00 pm Leave a comment


A young woman from St. Vincent in the Caribbean, had spent most of her 20 years suffering from severe scoliosis. The condition, which caused extreme curvature of her spine and a “hunched back” appearance, continued to worsen over the last couple years to the point where her already diminutive stature was disfigured to a stage where her general health was threatened.




With limited resources and no doctors on the island of St. Vincent trained to help her specific condition, the woman’s family reached out to the International Hospital for Children (IHC) in Richmond, Virginia and Richmond orthopedic surgeons H. Robert Tuten, M.D. and Chester Sharps, M.D. with a desperate plea for help.




Dr.’s Tuten and Sharps, two Richmond based surgeons, each make time to work regularly with the IHC to perform particularly difficult cases in third world countries where medical science suitable to treat specific conditions is not available. In some particularly complex cases, the young patients are sent to the US for treatment, as was the case with the young woman from St. Vincent who arrived for her surgery in last October of last year.




For the surgery, Dr. Tuten and Dr. Sharps utilized the Preference 2 Complex Spine System™ medical technology developed by Boca Raton based US Spine. The system, which the doctors had helped develop, featuring state of the art hooks, rods and screws designed to treat complex spinal conditions, was donated by US Spine.




“Without surgery, the already significant curve in this patient’s spine would have continued to increase,” said Dr. Tuten. “This would have caused respiratory and cardiovascular problems. Osteoarthritis in the lower back was likely to occur as well. Significant curves can also lead to spinal stenosis. Of course, the cosmetic factor of not having a visible deformity of the back also should be considered.”




The complex surgery required Dr. Tuten to implant 24 screws and two rods into the patient’s spine to correct the deformity. The procedure took almost five hours to perform, but ended with significant reduction to the curvature and a more natural alignment.




The surgeons, hospital and medical device makers donated their time, talents and technology to provide this young woman with a “new” back for the New Year. The procedure increased her height two inches and she required no bracing afterwards. She was walking two days after the surgery and only had to stay in the hospital for a week. Now more than two months after her surgery, her x-rays continue to exhibit a normal shape and she no longer suffers from debilitating pain.



About the Surgeons




H. Robert Tuten, MD of Tuckahoe Orthopaedic Associates, Ltd. in Richmond, is an orthopaedic surgeon with special interest in pediatric orthopaedics and scoliosis. He received his MD degree from the Medical College of Virginia in Richmond, where he also performed his residency in orthopaedic surgery and interned in general surgery. He is certified by the American Board of Orthopaedic Surgery.




Chester H. Sharps, MD of Tuckahoe Orthopaedic Associates, Ltd. in Richmond, is an orthopaedic surgeon with special interest in pediatric orthopaedics and scoliosis. He received his MD degree from the Hahnemann Medical School in Philadelphia, where he also performed his residency in orthopaedic surgery and interned in general surgery. He is certified by the American Board of Orthopaedic Surgery.



About the International Hospital for Children




The International Hospital for Children in Richmond, Virginia is a nonprofit humanitarian organization linking worldwide pediatric surgical, diagnostic and preventative resources to heal critically ill children in developing countries. IHC also helps build indigenous health care capacity–saving lives now while transforming pediatric health outcomes for years to come.



About US Spine



US Spine is a privately held, middle-stage medical device company focused on the development and commercialization of advanced spinal implant systems with breakthrough technology to address the rapidly increasing spine implant market. US Spine’s development efforts focus on motion and tissue preservation through the use of advanced biomaterials and expert surgeon designers.



US Spine

[Via http://www.medicalnewstoday.com]

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