Skip to main content

Jonathan’s scoliosis surgery: one year on

Jonathan Stands in front of Sheffield Children's Hospital
09 June 2023
Jonathan rides his red bike in a blue helmet.

Jonathan loves to ride his bike!

Meet Jonathan! A joyful three-and-a-half-year-old who had scoliosis surgery last year and can now do all the things he loves – riding his bike, playing with his brother and sister, and mischievously climbing things that he perhaps shouldn’t climb.

Jonathan received vital treatment at Sheffield Children’s Hospital for congenital scoliosis, which was picked up early in his mum Elizabeth’s 20-week pregnancy scan.

Candice Sutcliffe, one of our Extended Scope Physiotherapists, who has lots of experience helping children and young people with scoliosis explains the condition: “Congenital scoliosis describes a child who is born with scoliosis. In these cases, there is usually some abnormalities within the vertebrae. There might be some vertebrae that are fused together or abnormally shaped which can then create the scoliosis.”

Jonathan and his family first visited Sheffield Children’s just one week after he was born, where they were told that Jonathan would require surgery to correct his 55-degree scoliotic curve.

Last year he had that surgery – a hemi-vertebrectomy, which is surgery to help correct the curve and remove the wedge-shaped vertebra / bone in the spine. Mum Elizabeth said: “Whilst he might not be playing rugby for England any time soon, Jonathan is able to do everything a typical, lively three -year-old wants to. The pins and plates in his back aren’t stopping him doing anything. The operation has really improved his quality of life.”

Two x-ray scans side by side, showing the patient's spine before and after surgery

Two scans side by side, showing the patient’s spine before and after surgery. Our EOS Scanner was funded by The Children’s Hospital Charity in 2019.

“Sheffield Children’s have been brilliant. We have received very good care and excellent communication even during the coronavirus pandemic. Jonathan stayed in the hospital for a week last summer for his surgery we are delighted with the outcome.”

Sheffield Children’s is one of just 24 specialist children’s spinal services across the country, providing excellent healthcare for children, young people and families. The Spinal Service team includes Spinal Surgeons, Orthotists, Physiotherapists, Nurses and Orthopaedic Technicians, and they’re well prepared to look after people just like Jonathan! Colleagues are also leading cutting-edge research to improve patient experience across the country, including studies specifically on scoliosis.

Mr Edward Bayley, part of the specialist spinal team at Sheffield Children’s, treated Jonathan. He said: “We’re really pleased to see Jonathan doing so well after surgery and getting to do all the things he enjoys doing! We’ve been looking after Jonathan and his family since he was a baby, thanks to early detection of the condition we’ve been able to treat it as soon as possible, it’s great to support the family all the way through.

“At Sheffield Children’s we see 30- 50 patients a year with congenital scoliosis but only need to operate on a very small number of these. We’re a specialist team of people ready to support families with any type of scoliosis. Early diagnosis for scoliosis is key – it may be spotted in a 20- week scan, or if the child is older, we encourage you to contact your child’s GP if you spot any sign of uneven shoulders, abnormal waist symmetry or prominent ribs.”

June marks the beginning of Scoliosis Awareness Month and mum Elizabeth joins Sheffield Children’s in raising awareness about the importance of early recognition in the treatment of all forms of scoliosis.

Elizabeth said: “We were incredibly lucky that the technology was there to pick up Jonathan`s scoliosis in the womb, and that we were seen by Mr Bayley and monitored as soon as he was born. Due to the early diagnosis and treatment, he is now an active little three-and-a-half-year-old!”

We’d like to say a massive Sheffield Children’s thank you to Jonathan and his family for sharing their story. If you’d like to learn more about our approach to scoliosis treatment, you can read all about our wonderful spinal team on our website.

You might also be interested in...

    [0] => Array
            [message] => You currently have access to a subset of Twitter API v2 endpoints and limited v1.1 endpoints (e.g. media post, oauth) only. If you need access to this endpoint, you may need a different access level. You can learn more here:
            [code] => 453


By continuing to use the site, you agree to the use of cookies. more information

The cookie settings on this website are set to "allow cookies" to give you the best browsing experience possible. If you continue to use this website without changing your cookie settings or you click "Accept" below then you are consenting to this.