The diagnosis of scoliosis can strike fear in the hearts of patients and parents alike. Scoliosis that is found in an 11-year-old automatically creates an uncertain future for her. How big will the curve grow? Will a brace be recommended? Or, God forbid, surgery?
A young teen or tween who is diagnosed with scoliosis suddenly is faced with a condition that requires maturity beyond their years to handle. Many of these kids inspire and motivate us as we watch them bravely step up to the plate. This isn’t easy, because they hear the uncertainty and fear in their parents’ voices as the options are hashed through. You are usually told to ”watch and wait” if your curve is less than 25°. This is terrifying, and takes the power out of your hands. As your curve progresses to more than 25°, it is almost certain that you will be prescribed a brace, in spite of the studies that show that bracing increases your risk for surgery. And for a curve over 40°, it is standard medical practice to fervently recommend surgery, in spite of the studies that show that it causes disability in the majority of patients after 15 years post-surgery. That means an 11-year-old who has surgery for scoliosis has more than a one in two chance of being permanently disabled by the age of 26. I myself don’t like these odds.
If you decide to try an alternative or conservative treatment, you may have to withstand comments of relatives and friends who criticize you for that decision. You may try one of these conservative treatments, work hard and bring your curve down 25 or 50%, and have the orthopedic surgeon tell you that it got smaller spontaneously. Parents worry that they are causing damage to their child by not following their medical doctor’s advice. No matter what decision is made, it is usually accompanied by doubts about whether it is the right decision.
The “R.H.I.N.O.” in Rhino Scoliosis Reduction™ stands for Reduction, Hope, Innovation, and NO Bracing or Surgery. Hope is a very important component of what we do here at Rhino Scoliosis Center, and we work with the whole family because the diagnosis of scoliosis can cripple an entire family with anxiety. Other children are “doing fine,” so their needs often go by the wayside. Parents’ relationships suffer, and some divorce. The kid with scoliosis usually feels guilty that they caused all the trouble in their family.
When a child comes to Rhino Scoliosis Center, we talk about these issues directly, and work with the family to come up with solutions that everyone can live with. On the Monday of a Rhino Sprint™, parents are relieved to know that, by Friday, they will see if Rhino Scoliosis Reduction™ is working for their child. If you aren’t happy with the results, or if your child won’t cooperate with home exercises, bracing and surgery are always there as backups.
Yes, scoliosis requires bravery. Going your own way in opposition to commonly recommended medical treatments requires bravery. Committing yourself to daily scoliosis exercises, potentially for many years, requires bravery. Show me, how big is your brave?
Dr. Jane Leavell, DC
RHINO is . . .
NO Bracing or Surgery