Thursday, 8 August 2013

Saws and plaster casts

Hello, so I am really far behind in my blogging. Sorry! Last year got a bit busy towards the end, both academically and personally. Expect a few from me over the next few days highlighting some interesting things I got to do, but not one for each week.

After falls and funny turns I was on orthopaedics. I got to spend quite a bit of time in fracture clinic clerking patients and looking at x-rays whilst a scary consultant stood over me waiting for my management plan. Thankfully most of them seemed to be, can you wiggle it, are you getting pins and needles, can you feel me touching here? Brilliant, come back in a few weeks. I got to spend a whole day in paediatric orthopaedic theatres which was amazing. It wasn’t entirely timetabled, but after one of the morning X-ray meetings a surgeon caught up with my partner and I as we were busy trying and failing to get a secretary to tell us what patients were on the theatre lists for the afternoon so we could go and meet them and get their consent to watch their surgery. “Are you medical students? Go down to paediatric theatres and get scrubbed, I’ll be down soon.” No one ever says they actually want us anywhere, so we leapt at the chance.

On the list for that day was a baby with clicky hips, a child with clicky hips whose first surgery hadn’t worked and a child with a broken arm which needed pinning. Watching the baby being operated on was surreal, it looked like a doll it was so tiny and still from the anaesthetic. The child’s surgery was ridiculous. The surgeon sawed off the front of the child’s pelvis and then inserted it horizontally like a wedge into the hip joint to change the shape of the joint space and hopefully help the head of the femur to stay in the socket and not dislocate. It was so brutal to watch, but I really liked the practical approach to trying to fix the problem. Plus it was good to see what actually happens once you’ve found clicky hips in your new baby check, and to be able to take your time to properly feel them in an asleep child with the problem.  The last case was the child of one of the surgeons in the hospital, so everyone was on tenterhooks a little in case anything went wrong.

It was really and truly multidisciplinary, which was nice to be part of. There was the usual theatre team, but then there were also radiologists, to image the patient on the table to check things were in the right place once they had been fixed, and some specialist nurses which applied the fastest plaster casts I’ve ever seen. We all had to wear these really heavy lead aprons and it was such a hot room it’s a wonder we didn’t faint. It was a good day though. They were a really friendly team, and apart from the fact that I’m not sure I could take a saw to people, it was a really interesting topic and I quite like orthopaedic surgery.

No comments: