Lynne B. | Scoliosis Patient
My story begins in 1949 when at the age of 7, I contracted polio. Later, at age 14, I was diagnosed with scoliosis. In 1956, I had spinal fusion surgery and had to wear a plaster cast from my neck to my hips for a full year—not fun for a teenager. But, the fusion kept my spine from curving for over 40 years, until it started to deteriorate.
At about the age of 52 or 53, I noticed that my curvature had worsened, but so slowly that it took me a while to realize it. I went to see a supposed scoliosis specialist in St. Louis, and he did not even mention surgery and told me that my only options were to get a cane and a handicapped sticker for my car! Later I went to see my chiropractor who suggested a brace might help and referred me to an orthopedic surgeon.
At my first visit with Dr. Lenke – who I went to looking for a brace – he informed me that there was a surgical procedure that would help me. That surgical procedure has probably saved me from ending up in a wheelchair.
Since my surgery in July 1999, I have seen the following benefits: 1) I stand much straighter—people who don’t know about my curvature may not even suspect I have one; 2) I have grown taller by 3 inches! 3) I am able to have a very active physical life, which probably would have become more and more difficult with each passing year, had I not had the surgery.
From a psychological standpoint, I no longer feel self-conscious about my body; I shop for clothing with less dread and feel myself to be more attractive. Finally, and most importantly, it is probable that my spine will not curve anymore for the rest of my lifetime—a very reassuring prospect for me as a polio survivor.
The last comment I would like to make is how grateful and appreciative I will forever remain to Dr. Lenke and his extremely capable and caring colleagues and staff. I received excellent care both in a medical and personal sense. My husband and I are always treated with the utmost respect and concern. I cannot sing their praises enough! My warmest thanks to all of you.