I was diagnosed with scoliosis in middle school, and immediately surgery was scheduled to fuse my vertebra, reducing my thoracic curve from over 60 degrees to around 25 degrees, according to the surgeon. After further reflection, and as a very active athlete, I decided with my parents to postpone my surgery to a later stage in life, when it wouldn't interrupt my lifestyle as much. Over the years the surgery seemed less and less likely, as I continued to function normally without many complications. However, in my mid-twenties, when I was sitting at a desk most of the day instead of running around on the soccer field or basketball court, the slight discomfort transformed into near-debilitating pain.
I finally decided the time had come for spinal fusion surgery when I realized I couldn't stand for more than 10 minutes without agonizing pain in my lumbar area. I scheduled appointments with doctors around the east coast, and decided on Hospital for Special Surgery, and Dr. Lebl specifically, because of the reputation of the hospital and the emphasis on motion preservation, and focus on quality of life.
The spinal fusion surgery and recovery was one of the most challenging and rough experiences of my life, but the hospital staff at HSS were very professional, and took great care of me. Despite how slowly it felt I was improving, in retrospect I recognize that I bounced back from massive spinal surgery very quickly! I was walking the day after surgery, and I was back on my snowboard only 6 months after surgery! I am back on the soccer field, ski mountain, road bike, and hiking trail, and I can stand for far more than 10 minutes with no lumbar pain!