Home : Patient Stories : Michelle Print Story


When I was 11 years old, I began arming myself with as much information as I could find to help combat my fear of surgery to correct my recently discovered Scoliosis. My dad was the first to notice that something was wrong. One day when he was walking behind me, he could see that one shoulder blade was more prominent than the other. When we got home, he looked at my back and it was obvious something wasn't right. They immediately took me to a doctor, who took a x-ray of my spine. I remember thinking that my spine looked really weird in the x-ray and that made me scared. It turns out, I had a fairly severe 68-degree curve in my spine, and the doctor recommended surgery as soon as possible.

However, my parents and I decided to go home and talk about it. They talked to me about what would happen and the pros and cons of surgery. Ultimately, they left the decision up to me. I decided to do it because I knew if it went untreated, the condition of my back would only get worse!

Since I was definitely having the surgery, I decided to go to the library and to the Internet to learn all I could about Scoliosis and the surgery I was about to have. Having the knowledge and understanding about what was happening to my body really helped prepare me for the process I was about to undergo.

Two months later, I had surgery to insert rods to straighten my spine. I missed six weeks of school, but my regular teacher came by to tutor me, and the kids in her class wrote me letters and sent cards. They were really nice to me and curious about what was happening. When I went back to school, I took x-rays of my spine from before and after the surgery, and I explained to my classmates about Scoliosis.

Someday, I want to be a writer. I remembered how much understanding my condition helped me, so I put my story into words, and on the Internet, so other kids with Scoliosis can read about my experience and better prepare for their own. Kids from all over the world e-mail me with questions and words of thanks and encouragement. Sometimes I even get to meet them in person and that is the best part of all! Read more about Michelle's experience.

After reading this please keep in mind that all treatment and outcome results are specific to the individual patient. Results may vary. Complications, such as infection, blood loss, or nerve damage are some of the potential adverse risks of spinal surgery. Please consult your physician for a complete list of indications, warnings, precautions, adverse events, clinical results, and other important medical information.

  • Published: April 24, 2002
  • Updated: March 30, 2009