As June is National Scoliosis Awareness Month, I thought it would be a good time to post my “Back in the Game” story. I was diagnosed with scoliosis at age 15 and I subsequently wore a brace for two years, which held my moderate “S” curvature at bay until I stopped growing. Fast forward to age 50, my 3 times a week yoga practice had to stop due to pain, as well as bike riding, hiking, long walks and even standing in the kitchen to cook—my quality of life was deteriorating.
X-rays showed my curvature had dramatically worsened and my bone density was low for my age. I saw a local orthopedic surgeon, who said there was nothing he could do and he sent me to Pain Management, where I underwent numerous steroid injections and nerve ablations, which helped temporarily at first, but the pain kept coming back.
After extensive reading and research online, I was so fortunate to find HSS and Dr. Han Jo Kim. Upon my visit to his office, Dr. Kim accessed my situation and suggested a plan for spinal fusion surgery, as well as a plan to address my low bone density. He was helpful in answering all of my husband’s and my questions and concerns, explaining the procedure extensively, what to expect post-op and how to best prepare my body for the surgery. We felt very confident in HSS and Dr. Kim, as we scheduled my surgery with his very knowledgeable and helpful staff.
I am now one year post-op and my fusion is healed. I am doing yoga again, as well as being able to go for 3-4 mile walks and stand for long periods, all without pain. The surgery and post-op process were difficult, but Dr. Kim had set realistic expectations and specific guidelines for me to follow post-op. I was a patient at HSS for 5 days post-op and can’t say enough regarding the kind and professional staff at the hospital.
As I continue to grow stronger every day, I am regaining my active quality of life back. I am so grateful to have found Dr. Kim and HSS. My husband and I will always be thankful for the excellent care and surgery which enabled me regain my quality of life.