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Elizabeth H. | Congenital Scoliosis Patient

I was born with congenital scoliosis. Until age two, my condition was undetectable. When my scoliosis was discovered, my spine was measured to have a curve of 40 degrees. As I got older, my curve progressively got worse. When I was 12, I had a spinal fusion. However, the surgery was not successful. It was discouraging that the surgery did not work, but I never lost hope that someday someone could correct my curve. My spine continued to get worse after my first surgery and reached over 100 degrees. Thankfully, my doctor referred us to Dr. Lenke when I was a sophomore in High School. We quickly arranged a visit with him and after the visit, a surgery was scheduled for the summer after my junior year.

That summer quickly approached. I had a halo screwed into my head two weeks before the surgery. A halo looks like a horseshoe and it is attached to the skull with six “screws.??? I thought it was some kind of medieval torture device when they began to add weights to the halo, but the halo allowed me to be in traction to stretch out my spine. This stretch would allow for the fantastic results of surgery. I had a two-part spine surgery, each a week apart and both about ten hours long. While they were both high-risk surgeries, Dr. Lenke was very skilled and had a great team working with him.

The recovery was quite hard, but the results were phenomenal. Weeks after my second surgery, I got up enough courage to look at myself in the mirror for the first time. I was overwhelmed with joy. I was so much straighter and three inches taller! For so many years I had been praying for an answer for my back. That day I saw the answer in the mirror. Thank you Dr. Lenke!!

My back has never stopped me from doing the things I love, but now I have a completely new image. Problems with my organs could have arisen from my spine’s curve, but with my new spine those problems have been avoided. The surgery helped me learn to face each challenge with a determined confidence, knowing that there will be setbacks along the way. I have found a strength I never knew I had to battle past the pain. I want to thank Dr. Lenke and his amazing team for what they did for me. My new back is a dramatic improvement. I couldn’t have asked for a better doctor or better results!