An Irish woman has become the first adult in the world to receive a revolutionary remote controlled ‘robo spine’.
Deirdre McDonnell was diagnosed with scoliosis as a newborn baby. After undergoing the first of many operations at just six weeks old, surgeons decided to try the pioneering MAGEC rod operation back in June 2014.
After three decades of living in pain with a 130 degree ‘C’ shaped spine, surgeons performed an operation that involved screwing magnetic rods in to Deidre’s spine. These rods can now be controlled externally to correct the curvature and straighten her spine.
Deirdre said: ‘The operation has completely changed my life. Before, I could only walk short distances without being in pain but now I love to walk everywhere.
‘After more than 30 years of operations and taking painkillers, I’m finally hopeful for the future.’
Up until now, the £15,000 procedure has only been performed on children, as it was thought only to be effective for early onset scoliosis – typically diagnosed before the age of ten.
Thanks to the success of Deirdre’s operation, doctors are now hopeful that the bone implant will help other adults, many of whom have undergone a number of unsuccessful and painful invasive surgeries in an attempt to straighten and lengthen their spine.