Scoliosis is the curvature of the spine, but in very rare cases, can occur in the neck. Usually in an S or C shape. Depending on the severity of it, will depend on the pain. Usually affects girls, but boys can get it. Doctors still haven't determined why it happens. If spotted soon enough, a doctor can brace it, meaning you wear a brace on your back. This prevents it from curving more, but will not reduce the curve. But in cases where it is not spotted quickly enough, surgery is usually required to fix it, or it may cause breathing and walking troubles in the future. The surgery procedure goes like this: Once you are knocked out, they make an incision on your back, usually from the top of the spine to the tailbone. Then they straighten out the vertebrae, and place 2 metal rods on each side on the now straightened spine. They also attach screws, to keep the rods from shifting around. Then they take bone chips from your hips, and the "bone bank" and sprinkle it over the spine, so in time the bone will merge and become part of your spine. Usually when you have severe scoliosis, your shoulders are uneven, so on one shoulder they have to pull the muscles and nerves up, and on one they have to pull it down. While your recovering, most people experience muscle spasms in their shoulders. After six months is when you can start doing things like lifting, bending down, reaching up, etc. again. A full year is the full recovery.
Scoliosis IS a big deal, and DOES affect your life, whether you have the surgery or have to wear a brace, but from someone who went through the surgery, I would MUCH rather have been able to wear the brace. I had severe scoliosis at at 73 degree curve, and had the surgery. A lot of the nurses said that they had never seen a curve as bad as mine was. I had the surgery a little over a month ago. For five more months, (obviously when you first have the surgery it's six months), I can't lift anything over 5 pounds, play sports, bend down, reach up, and at school I have to bring a pillow to support my back. I have to have support on my back, so the little benches that everyone sits on at lunch I can't use, and I have to pull up a folding chair. I missed about a month of school, and still can't attend a full day yet. It's a pretty hard thing to deal with, physically of course, but also emotionally. When I see other kids able to run around, and sit comfortably, and even pick up something heavy, I get jealous. because I know I can't. But with the support of my family and friends I'm on my way to a very long, but hopefully good recovery.
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