The Sheffield Neuro Spinal Clinic sees children with conditions such as spina bifida and other disorders affecting the spinal cord.
The clinic was one of the first in the UK – initially set up in 1979 – and has continued to provide a multidisciplinary service ever since, as well as being the origin of a series of influential research papers.
At present the clinic is held on the afternoon of the first Tuesday of each month.
To our knowledge ours is the only service in the UK that gives children and their parents/carers access to as wide a range of specialists within one clinic visit. These include:
Consultant Paediatric Neurosurgeon: children with these conditions can have many problems associated with the spine, which may need surgery. These include myelomeningocoele, tethered cord and syrinx amongst others. Often there may be associated conditions in the brain that also need surgery, most commonly, hydrocephalus and Chiari malformation.
Neurosurgical Specialist Nurse: works with the Neurosurgeon specifically for the management of hydrocephalus and associated complications.
Consultant Paediatric Neurologist: who is responsible for medical aspects of care, including any complications such as epilepsy. He also tries to provide a more holistic overview looking at aspects of daily living, schooling etc.
Consultant Paediatric Urologist: one of the major problems in spinal disorders is involvement of the bladder and bowel. As well as causing social difficulties, bladder management is very important because without it there is a risk of kidney damage. Our Urologists perform all aspects of care including assessment (imaging, urodynamics) and management ranging from basic care to specialist surgical procedures. They also look after bowel problems such as constipation.
Urological Specialist Nurse: works with the Urologist to help children and their carers with for example self-catheterisation.
Advanced Physiotherapist: who assesses and advises about physiotherapy and other types of therapy care.
Consultant Orthopaedic Surgeon: an orthopaedic clinic runs in adjacent rooms which allows orthopaedic issues to be assessed and managed at the same visit.
In addition the hospital has a full range of diagnostic facilities such as advanced MRI technology, and has access to other specialists when needed, for example renal medicine if renal problems occur or spinal orthopaedic surgeons if scoliosis or other bone problems occur.
This multidisciplinary nature also allows the specialists concerned to discuss and plan together what to advise.