Spinal surgery table
12 September 2018
A special piece of equipment made possible by donors has helped hundreds of children with curved spines.
The new Jackson Table at Evelina London keeps patients perfectly positioned in line from their head to their feet. A patient’s entire body is immobilised, which is crucial during incredibly delicate spinal operations. This state-of-the-art table also allows the team to carefully monitor the child during surgery with 360° imaging, and the design means that images can be taken more safely, with reduced levels of radiation exposure for both patient and staff.
The success of the Jackson Table and continuing advances in children’s spinal surgery at Evelina London means more children can be treated, more effectively. Without the Jackson Table, it would take hours for clinicians to transfer patients from the ward to surgery and put them into the right position. Now the process is much easier, faster and safer.
Nearly 200 spinal surgical cases are undertaken at Evelina London each year, and the number keeps growing. The more children we treat, the more children return to happier, healthier lives.
Chantelle is dancing again
One of these children is Chantelle. Despite having a severely curved spine, Chantelle has been a ballet dancer since she was a little girl. Nearly three years ago, at age 14, she underwent a complex, nine-hour operation at Evelina London, having metal pins inserted into her spine to straighten her back.
The surgery went extremely well: Chantelle’s spine was straightened, which meant she grew by three inches. And it was the use of the Jackson Table that helped make the operation such a success.
‘Chantelle took it all in her stride,’ says her mother, Debbie. ‘Mr Jonathon Lucas, her spinal surgeon, and everyone who looked after her on Savannah Ward were absolutely fantastic. Since her operation, Chantelle no longer feels pain and discomfort in her back. We are so thankful to everyone at Evelina London, especially Mr Lucas, for looking after her so well and enabling her to carry on with her dancing.’
What we can do, with your help
Evelina London provides spinal services for children from across south-east England and beyond. Many of these children suffer from complex neuromuscular diseases, including congenital spinal deformities and scoliosis. The spinal surgery team treats patients from newborns up to young adults, as well as through a transition stage into adult care at St Thomas’ Hospital.
With your help, we’ve been able to treat more children more safely, and more effectively. As you can see from Chantelle’s story, the difference spinal surgery makes to children’s lives is immeasurable. With spinal conditions like scoliosis, even walking upstairs can be painful and difficult. But thanks to donations, we’re able to fund equipment like the Jackson Table and transform children’s lives.