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Natasha R. | Scoliosis Patient

I was first diagnosed with scoliosis when I was in 5th grade. I went to the Lafayette Orthopaedic Clinic about 40 minutes away from my house. It wasn’t long after that that the scoliosis started getting progressively worse. We called my aunt who worked for a neurosurgeon in Nashville, TN. I had four surgeries in Nashville and finally they said they couldn’t do anything to help me. After that, I went to see a doctor in Carmel, IN, and he wouldn’t touch me.

The Carmel doctor referred me to a doctor at Riley Children’s Hospital. Once again, they wouldn’t touch me. It was after Carmel and Riley that I went to the Cleveland Spine Institute in Ohio, where I met with Dr. Armstrong. He said he wouldn’t perform an operation, but he referred us to a good friend of his, Dr. Lenke.

We met up with Dr. Lenke, and he scheduled my operation as soon as possible. I was in Shriners hospital in St. Louis for 3 weeks prior to my major surgery. I had a halo/traction with 30 pounds of weights hanging from it, literally. That was to make the bones in my neck and back more flexible and easier to work with. On January 26, 2006, I went to St. Louis Children’s Hospital to have what I like to call the “miracle surgery.???

After I had the surgery, I came out with a curve of only 40 degrees, which may sound like a lot, but when I look back on it, 40 degrees is almost nothing. Before my surgery, I was 138 degrees curved. Dr. Lenke saved me from being paralyzed from the neck down.

If we would not have found Dr. Lenke my heart and lungs would have eventually been shut down. I am so thankful for Dr. Lenke because without him I wouldn’t be where I am today. Dr. Lenke is truly a “miracle man???. My pain level now is nothing compared to what it was before I had my surgeries. Yes, my back does occasionally hurt, but usually when I sit in one spot too long or if I am out in the cold for a prolonged period of time. My life is pretty awesome right now, but it’s all thanks to Dr. Lenke and last, but certainly not least, God.