Scoliosis Stories

Written by a Teen for Teens

Kaitlyn Hawkins

Joined Apr 24 2013
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20 years old
Las Vegas, Nevada
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My story: I was first diagnosed at age twelve where I was told a have a sixty degree curvature. The doctor said my curvature was too large for a brace, so surgery is nessecary. I really didn't expect to need surgery, so I was blown away by this. A couple days later my mom was told about Shriner's Hospitals For Children. I had an appointment at Shriners Hospital in L.A., and met a surgeon there. There are 22 Shriners Hospitals across the U.S. One of the things that makes them unique, is the fact that they do not charge anything for surgeries, or bracing, or whatever care you receive there. They also have the best of the best surgeons. When I went to Shriners in L.A., the doctor looking at the x ray the surgeon who diagnosed me took, she said my curve is not sixty.. but 90 degrees. This was a huge shock, and I knew I was in good hands. I was going to have surgey at Shriners in L.A., but instead I went to Shriners Hospital in Sacramento, CA. I met a new surgeon there, Dr. Rolando Roberto. By this time my curvature was 100 degrees. At school, things did'nt go so good. When I told my friends, I was bullied. I would be called things like "hunchback." This was probably the hardest part of my whole scoliosis experience. When you have surgery, usually at most 50 degrees can be reduced. Usuallly this is not a bad thing, but by the time I had surgery my curve was 107 degrees. The type of surgery most with scoliosis have is a spinal fusion, but to be more specific it is a posterior spinal fusion. Not only did Dr. Roberto want to do a posterior spinal fusion, but because my curve was over 80 he also wanted to do a anterior spinal fusion. In the anterior spinal fusion he made three insicions on my right side, and my lung had to be collasped. Then he removed discs from my spine and replaced it with bone graft. A week later after this surgery, he did a posterior spinal fusion when my spine was straightened and I had two rods and fourteen screws put in my spine. These surgeries happened on November 16, 2010 and November 23, 2010. My curvature was reduced to 35 degrees.:D I only spent two weeks in the hospital, even though I was expected to spend a month. I only missed two months of school, when I stopped taking pain medication. Once I was a year post op. I was back in gym, and doing everything I was able to do before surgery. I was started to be asked to say speeches for Shriners, and even interviews on the news and the newspaper. I am currently two years post op., and I have absolutley no regrets about surgery. If your curve is over 50 degrees, I would say go for it. Its a tough recovery, but its worth it. :) If anyone needs someone to talk to about this, you can email me at [email protected]

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Reply Katelyn
3:39 AM on August 10, 2013 
Hi I have to Check back in with my doctor to see how bad my scoliosis the truth is i am really scared I am never a very emotional person my parents think I am strong about this but I am not because I play many different sports including (volleyball,basketball,horseback,ect. And I am pretty popular in school I'm afraid I have to quit my sports and that I will be bullied. I hope that my spine will stay where it is thank you your story inspired me and I'm sorry I prolly would have been one who would bully you . This is a scary time for me you are very strong you inspire me
Reply Scoliosis Stories
8:27 PM on May 27, 2013 
Thanks for posting your before and after photos!
Reply Lucast13
4:48 PM on May 24, 2013 
Kaitlyn, hello my name is Lauren. I have scoliosis also, my top cure is 59 and bottom is 48. I still have to go meet with the surgeon in two weeks. I will be going to Shriner's Hospital in Louisiana. If you have time to speak with me I would love to find out about your experience at Shriner's.
Reply Kaitlyn Hawkins
12:36 AM on April 25, 2013 
thank you!
Reply Scoliosis Stories
12:28 AM on April 25, 2013 
Thanks for becoming a member on my website! If you have any questions, feel free to ask. You have a very inspiring story and I'm so glad that you are spreading the word that your surgeries went so well!

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Let me know your story. Tell me about your curve, your treatment, and how this condition affects your everyday life. Maybe I will post your story too! Please do not include your real name or any other names.  If you have a brace that looks different than mine feel free to email a photo to me.  Please do not send a photo with your face.

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