Monday 23 September 2019

Progress is made over scoliosis waiting lists

(Stock photo)
(Stock photo)
Claire Murphy

Claire Murphy

An orthopaedic surgeon who has led the drive to reduce waiting lists for children with scoliosis has said that for the first time there is "some daylight and an end to lists" - but warned that progress must continue.

The current waiting list for patients requiring spinal surgery in Ireland is more than 150. At least 2pc of the population has scoliosis - but one in 1,000 have a severe curvature of the spine which requires urgent surgical intervention.

Megan Halvey-Ryan was one of dozens of children and teenagers who spoke about the pain and discomfort of living on the list. Megan (14) waited more than two years for treatment before she underwent life-changing surgery last year to correct her twisted spine.

Pat Kiely, consultant orthopaedic surgeon at Crumlin Children's Hospital, said that now thanks to greater access to theatre time, better technology and improving specialist teams' capabilities, the number who are waiting in pain is reducing.

"We're still challenged by a waiting list but they're not as big or as long as they used to be, we can see some daylight and end to lists now, if this rate of progress continues. We're about 60pc along the road we need to be.

"We'll keep doing time-critical cases and trying our best to get through the list as much as we can," he said, adding time is of the essence when it comes to corrective surgery.

Irish Independent

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