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MY SCOLIOSIS STORY

At 11 years old I started experiencing back pain, but being involved in so many sports I shook it off thinking I was just sore and that it would pass. Until one night at the soccer field, it got so bad I had to get taken off the field. After a couple of days, we went to a chiropractor and immediately after I layed on the table, the chiropractor had said he thought I had scoliosis. I was terrified, not knowing what scoliosis was.

 

After an x-ray, it was determined that I had scoliosis and that the curvature of my spine would keep growing if it was not treated. Surgery was needed. We spoke with Dr. El-Hawary from the IWK Health Centre in Halifax, Nova Scotia and had decided on a new groundbreaking surgery called the Vertebral Body Tethering (VBT) procedure instead of the traditional spinal fusion. 

The procedure involved placing 8 screws into the vertebraes on my right side. A cord would then be placed onto the screws which would correct my scoliosis over time as I grew. The operation was 10 hours long and included deflating my right lung which led for a long recovery.

 

Within 8 months post-op I was able to play soccer and hockey again. Now, approximately 2 years post-op I participate actively in CrossFit, hockey, badminton, soccer, volleyball and track & field with no concerns regarding my spine. As I continue to go for regular check-ups with Dr. El-Hawary, I am pleased to know that all is well.

My goal is to help raise awareness to this spinal condition so we can encourage early detection and try to minimize the amount of young people feeling the way I did during my  diagnosis. I would also like to be a success story to show those who are going through this journey that they can do great things post surgery.

For more information on scoliosis and the Vertebral Body Tethering procedure, here are some links that I found useful : 

https://www.mayoclinic.org/diseases-conditions/scoliosis/symptoms-causes/syc-20350716

 

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=miWPVMmn-zQ

https://nurse.org/articles/vertebral-body-tethering-for-scoliosis/

 

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=cy7QQKlq9LA