THE Orthopaedic Hospital has received state-of-the-art surgical equipment for back surgery.

The League of Friends to The Robert Jones and Agnes Hunt Orthopaedic Hospital (RJAH) has purchased £110,00 worth of endoscopic surgical equipment for the Gobowen-based hospital, which will enable the trust to carry out fully endoscopic spinal surgery.

This kind of surgery allows for the same operation and technique to be used as in open surgery, but done through a single and small keyhole incision, whereas in open surgery the incision can vary from 4-8cm in length.

This can result in much quicker recovery times for patients.

Birender Balain, consultant orthopaedic surgeon, said: “I’ve been involved in minimally invasive complex spinal surgery since 2010. As decompression and discectomies are the most commonly performed spine procedures, I thought we should look at offering those procedures through keyhole techniques.

“I think fully endoscopic spine surgery is the future of all common spine surgeries, and in five to 10 years’ time, new surgeons will all be trained in these techniques as there are huge benefits to patients.

RJAH was the first NHS hospital to practice fully endoscopic spinal surgery.

Mr Balain said: “So far we’ve done 45 cases at RJAH and I’m pleased to say that all have been successfully discharged. We’re using new equipment to enable this keyhole procedure thanks to a donation from the League of Friends, and we’re extremely grateful.”

Victoria Sugden, League of Friends charity director, said: “This is such an exciting piece of equipment for the League of Friends to fund. Having had the privilege of seeing Mr Balain operate, and the positive outcome for his patients, I’m delighted the League has given such wholehearted support.”

Mark Brandreth, chief executive at RJAH, said: “Thank you to our wonderful League of Friends for generously funding this state-of-the-art equipment. This new kit will enable us to carry out this keyhole procedure.

“This will make a real difference for our patients, as this kind of surgery can result in a much faster recovery.”