- Learn about traditional treatments for pain relief to bridge from inactivity to physical therapy
Age at surgery: 22
Years since surgery: 1 year
Jennifer was in the 6th grade when she was diagnosed with adolescent idiopathic scolioisis. Initially her curve was 40 degrees, and a pediatric orthopedic surgeon placed her in a brace to try to stop the curve from progressing. Unfortunately, the brace did not stop her spinal curve from worsening. Jennifer stayed active and played soccer during high school, but was limited some in running due to her back pain. She took up cycling, a lower impact exercise which was easier on her spine.
As she reached her early 20s, Jennifer's back pain worsened and her curve progressed to the point that her body image and self confidence were affected. Everyday activities such as driving, walking, and working as a waitress aggravated her back.
At the age of 22, Jennifer began to search for help. Early in her search, pediatric orthopedists turned her away because of her age, and adult spine surgeons seemed intimidated by the size of her curve. She researched online and came across reviews of Dr. Matthew Geck, a physician who focused on scoliosis.
In her meeting with Dr. Geck, Jennifer talked about her pain and her progressive spinal curvature. Dr. Geck examined her and noted her severe rotational deformity. Jennifer's curve measured 93 degrees, and Dr. Geck explained to her that many curve types are considered for surgery between 40 - 60 degrees. He next went over current techniques, such as complex osteotomy and reconstructive options, which would allow an excellent correction even with a more progressed curve.
Dr. Geck performed the corrective surgery and two days after surgery, Jennifer was standing taller and walking. Her recovery included a walking program and physical therapy. Jennifer still incorporates exercises learned in physical therapy into everyday life. She returned to work within two months. One year after surgery, her curve is corrected to 22 degrees!
Today, Jennifer is pain free and
back to a normal lifestyle. Some of
her favorite activities
time outdoors and
enjoying time with
her friends and