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Joanne Hoover

Metuchen, NJ
  • Joanne Hoover in the photo 1
  • Joanne Hoover in the photo 2
  • Joanne Hoover in the photo 3
  • Joanne Hoover in the photo 4

I was born with scoliosis. It was so severe, my mom noticed my curvature at age 2 while taking a bath! From ages 6-12, I wore a Milwaukee brace to help me grow straight. Unfortunately, as we know now, those braces don't help! As I went through puberty, I had one hip sticking out more than the other, one shoulder higher than the other and I generally looked out of alignment. Fortunately, I didn't have any pain from the curvature. I ended up getting a Harrington rod inserted when I was in 8th grade. It was a successful surgery. It straightened out my body and gave me self-confidence.

Unfortunately, 30 years and three kids later, the lumbar section of my back continued to curve. I became more and more uncomfortable as my body deformed. In a short time, I was in constant pain as my back muscles could no longer hold up my deformed torso.

A friend in my town, who also has a Harrington rod, told me about Dr. Oheneba Boachie-Adjei. I called Hospital for Special Surgery to make an appointment, but he was no longer taking patients. Fortunately, I was recommended to Dr. Han Jo Kim and my life changed! Dr. Kim is a confident, capable, amazing Orthopedist. He assured me I could be fixed, reduce my pain, and live an active life. I was overwhelmed, excited and nervous. After thinking about it for a few months, I realized the quality of my life was not where it should be. I could not work full time. I could barely make it through the day. I had to lay down frequently. I couldn't stand or sit for for any length of time comfortably. All my pants no longer fit as my waist had expanded with the curvature. I needed to be fixed.

On July 9, 2014 I had Scoliosis Revision Surgery. My old rod was removed and a series of rods and screws were fused to my lower back right into my pelvis. After a week in the hospital, I went home to begin the long recovery. As much as it was tough in the beginning, I can say it was completely worth it! After 1 month I was driving. After 3 months I was walking at the gym. After 6 months, when the restrictions were lifted and my bones were completely fused, I got my old life back.

I can lift, I can stand as long as I want, I can sit for long periods! I no longer need breaks.

I can play softball with my kids and go 40 floors on the stair master. I can honestly say I am a true success story for spinal fusion. I fit in clothes again and I feel and look so much better.