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New Nuffield Spinal Surgeon Speaks Three Languages

Mr Papanikolaou 2Consultant spinal surgeon Mr Panteleimon Papanikolaou has recently joined the team at Nuffield Health Wolverhampton Hospital to increase the provision of spinal disorders services. 

Treating a range of spinal disorders, his specialist areas are degenerative disease of the spine, including sciatica, leg pain, slipped disc and spinal stenosis, neck and arm pain, spondylolisthesis and sponylolysis. He has specific expertise in spine trauma and spinal tumours. The spinal service at Nuffield Health Wolverhampton Hospital extends from advice and joint injections through to keyhole surgery and major open surgery to reconstruct the spine.

Originally Panteleimon Papanikolaou comes from Greece, where he attended school, then qualified in Rome and completed his specialty training in Athens. His neurosurgery fellowships were at the Walton Centre, Liverpool and in Newcastle upon Tyne. He is fluent in three languages, these being English, Greek and Italian.

Mr Papanikolaou joins three other spinal surgeons at Nuffield Health Wolverhampton Hospital. With his NHS consultant practice split between Royal Wolverhampton Hospital and University Hospital of North Midlands, Stoke on Trent, Mr Papanikolaou lives in Wolverhampton with his wife and young children. When not working, he enjoys spending time with his family and playing basketball and golf.

He very much enjoys working with patients and the results of spinal surgery are now far better than people realize, explaining  “Sometimes the assessment will show that generalised back pain is a result of wear and tear and, following tests, the patient can be reassured that the problem isn’t anything more serious. Over time, we are seeing more conditions related to age, such as spinal stenosis, a complaint caused by pressure on the nerves in the lower back – this causes pain when walking.

Spinal surgery has improved over the last 10 years and many procedures such as those for trapped nerves have more than a 90% success rate. Patients with sciatica typically go to their GP with severe leg pain and possible numbness. The most common cause is a herniated disc pressing against the nerves in the back. Where surgery is necessary, this involves a very small incision and a small part of the disc is shaved away, giving the patient instant pain relief. There is often a lot we can do -don’t turn your back on these problems.”

For a taste of what’s available, there are regular free events at the hospital in Tettenhall.  In the Spring, on the evening of Thursday 1 March 2018, there will be a presentation on Spinal Problems with specialist consultant Mr Papanikolaou. To book early for this, or to find out about other patient focused events, please ring 01902 793269

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