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Rachel Ahrenhold McConnell

New York, NY

Scoliosis has always been a part of my life. At age 5, I started wearing a brace through lower and middle school. The big, old, bulky plaster ones that were so embarrassing, limiting, and uncomfortable, especially as a young kid. After years and years of being a competitive swimmer through college and building up my core, my scoliosis pain subsided and the curves improved a bit. It wasn't very noticeable, except for the aesthetics of how I looked (with a constant lean to one side and was obviously over developed on one side of my back). In 2015, about 8 years post-college/post-swimming, the pain came back and the degrees of my curves worsened. I initially saw Dr. Kim for a consultation but I wasn't ready to pull the trigger on surgery. Fast forward to 2017 (10 years post college/post swimming) and I knew I couldn't live my life like this - my posture was getting worse, I was self-conscious about how my back looked, and I couldn't stand, walk, sleep, or sneeze without being in pain. I saw Dr. Kim again and knew I was ready to make the change for the better. In Spring 2017, I had a spinal fusion from my T3-L3 and I have never looked back (no pun intended)! This past Spring 2019 I got married with my scar proudly on display in the type of dress that had a back I would have never dreamed of wearing before. I can walk, ski, golf, workout, run, sleep, and live my life pain-free. I am in constant awe of and have deep gratitude for Dr. Kim and his team at HSS for being the absolute best there is. They are a flawless group of professionals who are kind, patient, confident, and honest- not to mention the most talented individuals you can possibly find. I still look forward to my follow up appointments years later to visit HSS and Dr. Kim. Thank you for all you have done for me!