Saturday, June 12, 2010

Can your adolescent athlete return to competitive sports after scoliosis surgery?

I got a chance to see this young man and his mom back for follow-up on Friday.
He had a huge adolescent idiopathic scoliosis curve that we fixed last year.
He was able to go back to very competitive soccer rapidly, and plays without restrictions.
His mom was kind enough to email me several pictures from his his soccer games, and said it was ok to share them via the Blog!

With newer surgical techniques and stronger hardware constructs with thoracic pedicle screws, cobalt chrome rods, and other advances, most athletes can return to sports as soon as they feel able.

About 5 and a half years ago, after I had been using the new stronger thoracic pedicle screw constructs for a while, I was caring for a 15 yo young lady with a fairly severe right thoracic scoliosis who was a VERY competitive swimmer. Her mom brought her in for a second opinion since they were told that she needed surgery, but the surgeon had told her that swimming would be out of the question for a full year until fusion was completely healed. The idea of giving up swimming even for a few weeks was heart breaking for this young lady and her family. I was able to use the newer surgical techniques, and we got her back in the pool within 2 weeks of surgery, actually diving and doing kick turns and several laps! That started a whole new wave of competitive athletes who were able to get straightened up but rapidly back to sports. Other patients have gone back to cheer leading practice within 2 weeks of surgery, without a brace or significant restriction. Basketball, tennis, golf, and baseball are other sports where we have been able to advance up our kyphosis and scoliosis patients rapidly and get them back in the game!

Dr. Lloyd Hey
Hey Clinic for Scoliosis and Spine Surgery

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