Mr H, aged 23
Condition: Fracture of the thoraco-lumbar spine
Mr Rai's notes
"Mr H had a car accident while driving without wearing a seatbelt. He was thrown 80 yards from the vehicle so was likely to be badly hurt. However, when the ambulance crew arrived, he was able to move his arms and legs and showed no apparent signs of serious spinal injury.
Still, the paramedics were careful in transporting him and once at hospital, x-rays showed a severe fracture dislocation. Most people with such an injury are paralysed so it was truly amazing that Mr H had normal function in his legs.
This is a difficult fracture to correct as there is a high risk of causing paralysis during surgical treatment. Mr H was linked to a spinal cord monitoring system throughout the procedure, which allowed us to check his nerves were not damaged during the operation.
The operation was planned in detail by the surgical team. We placed screws above and below the fracture to act as a scaffold before realigning the spine. We then inserted rods and a titanium cage from the front, creating a strong structure for stability and support.
Mr H was able to leave hospital after 2 weeks and recovered very well, so he is almost back to a normal life. He is an extremely lucky man given he suffered such a severe fracture."