Starting at 10:30 AM CT, ( 3.30pm (GMT) the Pan Am Clinic opened its operating room to students by allowing a live video conference connection for questions from students around the world to the surgeon. The patient’s surgery was on the “funny bone” nerve found in the elbow. To be more specific, the patient’s surgery was a left in-situ ulnar nerve decompression. The ulnar nerve, if entrapped in the elbow can lead to Cubital tunnel syndrome (also known as “Cell Phone Elbow”), which causes numbness in the pinky and ring finger. Over time however, the numbness can be there all the time which will lead to weakness in the hand. The sensation has been described as hitting your “funny bone”, but the feeling lasting much longer. The surgery was interactive, meaning students were be able to ask surgeons questions and receive immediate feedback in real time. The surgery was streamed to Sisler High School, and then from there streamed to students around the world thanks to a partnership with Frontier School Division.
Goals of the Video Conference: The goal of this project is simply to make high tech procedures such as surgeries more accessible to students. A project like this allows students to understand what exactly goes on behind the scenes during a surgery, something that is nearly impossible to replicate in a typical classroom setting. This will be the third live surgery which has stemmed from a partnership with Sisler High School, Pan Am Clinic, Telehealth, and Frontier School Division, the first two being live ACL knee reconstructions.