Monday, July 16, 2012

Straightening out Scoliosis

Straightening out Scoliosis (article from CCHMC blog)

by Tanya Leach on June 20, 2012
Did you know treatment for early onset scoliosis can begin when patients are babies? Experts at Cincinnati Children’s often correct curves in a child’s spine with a series of casts. June is National Scoliosis Awareness Month, and we invite you to learn more about early onset scoliosis.
A bump on her back.
A mother’s instinct told Courtney Strotman something was wrong with her baby.
Addyson Strotman was 4 weeks old when Courtney noticed the bump on her back. Courtney’s husband, Brandon, tried to ease her fears, telling her it was just a muscle. But Courtney insisted it was something more.
Five months later, doctors at Cincinnati Children’s diagnosed Addyson with infantile scoliosis. An X-ray measured the curve in Addyson’s spine at 26 degrees. Two months later, it had worsened to 42 degrees. The Strotmans’ options were to do nothing and face the complications of spinal deformity, to put growing rods in Addyson’s spine, or to try to correct the problem with a series of casts that their baby would wear for about a year.
Controlling curves with casting?
They decided on casting, a method that is quickly becoming the preferred treatment for early onset scoliosis. Orthopaedic surgeon Dr. Peter Sturm brought the Mehta casting technique to Cincinnati. “We can actually control curves and frequently get them better just with casting,” Sturm says. “It’s less invasive, and it works.”

We need to act fast! If we can prevent anyone else from going through with a terribly invasive surgery like our son did, then we have succeeded! Early detection is key to overcoming this condition. It may not seem like a mainstream illness, but it does affect children negatively, often through difficult treatments. Casting is the preferred method because it is less invasive than surgery, but even casts can be difficult to treat with. We need your help to find a cure and better treatment options. Read this article, check out the CCHMC Crawford Spine Center Facebook page and our website for more information.
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Wednesday, May 23, 2012

Weighing the Treatment Options for Scoliosis

This article, one of the few times that scoliosis has been written in mainstream publication, outlines some information about scoliosis, as well as, new techniques for treating scoliosis. I will not be able to do justice to the importance of articles like these, so I will allow you to view it in its entirety:

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Saturday, April 7, 2012

Risk of Blood Loss in Childhood Spine Surgery

After a study by Johns Hopkins Children's Center was completed and the results were shown, the risk of blood loss in spinal surgery for children is believed to be directly linked to the underlying condition. Children with Cerebral Palsy had the highest rate of blood loss during surgery while Adolescent Scoliosis patients the least. This is great news for the medical community, patients, and families since the medical staff can now use this information to prepare better for surgery. One element that was not discussed in this article was the risk to infants or young children ages 10 or less. From our discussions with the doctor, the risk for bleeding is higher in younger children. However, I will have to find more support for this claim. Please read the entire article here.

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Monday, February 13, 2012

Jim Calhoun Taking Medical Leave Due to Spinal Issues

Although this blog is for scoliosis, there is a story I wanted to share about Jim Calhoun, men's basketball coach at UConn. Jim Calhoun's legacy is marred with controversy and questionable ethical practices. For this reason, he is definitely not one of my favorite coaches. However, no one can tell me that I don't feel for the guy. A three time cancer survivor, Jim Calhoun's next major battle is with Spinal Stenosis. After speaking with several orthopedic doctors and spinal specialists, I have a new found respect for him....medically. Spinal stenosis is a narrowing of the spine at the base of the neck or lower back. It causes strain on the spinal nerves as well. From what I have read in the article on Jim Calhoun's medical leave from the team and what I have heard, he is in CONSIDERABLE pain. If any of you have ever had back pain, you can multiply that by 1000 and that may be close to what he is feeling right now. If a coach who hasn't missed more than 20 games in his lengthy career cannot even get out of bed, then spinal stenosis is no joking matter. Regardless of his legacy, and being mindful that this particular blog entry is about a spinal condition and not scoliosis, say a few positive thoughts for a speedy recovery. Any person going through something similar to scoliosis needs the support. See the full story here.
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Friday, January 20, 2012

Scoliosis medical device startup spun out of ABIA

From the Akron-Beacon Journal 1.12.12 Full Article Here

The Austen BioInnovation Institute in Akron (ABIA) has created its first company: a firm that’s developing a noninvasive spinal fixation system for children with scoliosis.

APTO Orthopaedics’ device is designed to eliminate the need for repetitive, painful and costly surgeries for children with scoliosis, who can require up to two surgeries per year to adjust implants for their growing spines, according to a statement from the ABIA.

“This technology would allow surgeons to lengthen the spinal implants in an incision-less manner that would enable reduction in the expense, trauma and risk that accompany current procedures,” said Dr. Todd Ritzman, cofounder of the company and a physician at Akron Children’s Hospital.

APTO’s key next steps involve continuing work to develop a prototype of the device, and after that, beginning to test the device on animals, an ABIA official said.

The U.S. spinal implants market is valued at $6.8 billion annually, according to the statement.
The ABIA was formed in 2008 as a result of the collaboration among several Akron institutions: Akron Children’s Hospital, Akron General Health System, Northeast Ohio Medical University, Summa Health System, The University of Akron and the John S. and James L. Knight Foundation.

Within a decade, the ABIA wants to create 2,400 new jobs and attract at least $50 million worth of investments annually in area healthcare companies.

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Monday, December 5, 2011

Saving Julie From Scoliosis

Published Thursday, December 01, 2011 3:01 AM at The Eagle

Saving Julie from Scoliosis
The following information was provided by a third party, and was not prepared or edited for accuracy by The Eagle.
LOS ANGELES ( Ivanhoe Newswire) -- Look in the mirror ,do you see a slight curve on your back? 3% of us have scoliosis.  It's a minor problem for most people, but for some children it's severe and requires treatment.
At 39, Julie Flores enjoys the little things in life but it wasn't too long ago Julie's routine was a lot different.
"I just felt like it was painful, it was no fun," Julie told Ivanhoe.
It started with a head tilt at the age of five. By the time Julie turned eight, her upper body was bent almost in half. She was diagnosed with dystonia, a movement disorder that causes involuntary muscle spasms. By then severe scoliosis had set in too.
"I'll never forget one comment someone made of a high school boy who saw her and said 'oh look at that giraffe'," Lidia Flores, Julie's mother, told Ivanhoe.
By the time Julie hit 30, even house work caused unimaginable pain.  Then, her mom found Dr. Frank Acosta.
"Hers was an extreme case where her spine was essentially shaped like an s," Frank Acosta, M.D., Director of Spinal Deformaty at Cedars-Sinai Medical Center, explained.
"This is a pretty severe case, yeah, one of the worst i have ever seen," Dr. Acosta stated.
After two operations doctor Acosta placed screws down Julie's spine with help from computer navigation. The goal was to take some pressure off her lung, organs and nerves and realign her spine. After 9 weeks at the hospital and 4 months of physical therapy the operation was a success.
"I sat next to her and Julia was I think two inches taller than me," Lidia said.
"When I got up and I sat up, I was like wow," Julie said.
Julie can now stand up straight for the first time in 31 years.
"I feel like God gave me this whole brand new life again," Julie said.
Eventually bone will grow up and down Julie's spine over the rods that were surgically implanted. The years of compression caused some damage to her lungs but Julie is now almost pain-free.

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Monday, November 21, 2011

I said it once, and I will say it again...

Its amazing to me how resilient and confident children are nowadays. As Amber and I prepared for Aiden's surgery today, we felt the gambit of emotions ranging from anxiety to despair. All the while, the person going through the surgery, Aiden, is calm, cool, and collected. His spine is being operated on and we are the ones exhibiting these emotions. Aiden, once again, showed us a very valuable lesson. His calm demeanor is evidence that those afflicted with trauma, pain, or a medical condition can still touch those around them. As well as set an example for how to deal with adversity!

Thank you to everyone for their positive thoughts. They truly work!

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