Scoliosis is a spinal condition affecting over seven million in the United States alone. It affects many children in those seven million people. Oftentimes, scoliosis athletes don’t want to give up their physical activities.
In some cases of scoliosis in children, experts recommend surgery to correct the spine. Surgeons tell these adolescents of the reality of their situation. This reality is that they will likely not be able to continue practicing in their sports and acrobatics. These young gymnasts are often devastated that they may not be able to do the things they enjoy so much.
Despite the challenges involved with the condition, scoliosis doesn’t hold determined young gymnasts back. In fact, some young girls have beaten the odds and overcame their diagnosis. Read on to learn more about scoliosis and these inspiring stories of gymnasts who did not give up because of scoliosis.
What Is Scoliosis?
Scoliosis is a medical condition in which the spine grows with curvatures in the thoracic and/or lumbar regions. The result is an “S” figure in the spine. The medical condition does not always cause the patient pain, but it can sometimes be painful. For children, surgery is sometimes recommended for the correction of the spine because children are still growing.
Scoliosis treatment often depends on the severity of the condition. There are different scoliosis treatment options available:
- Back Brace
- Physical Exercise
- Bone Grafting
- Spinal Fusion Surgery
If you are looking for a non-surgical option for scoliosis athletes or other patients with the condition, physiotherapy is a great treatment option. There are some physiotherapists in Singapore that can offer treatment to scoliosis athletes.
Gymnastics is a popular activity for children to take part in. However, some of these children have had more problems in performing gymnastics than just improving their flexibility.
Alexandra “Love” Wahl
Alexandra Love Wahl was an exceptional gymnast. She had even qualified for the Washington State Championships by the age of 13. However, Love’s life was about to change drastically.
Spinal Fusion Surgery was the next step since meeting with two doctors. At the Seattle Children’s Hospital, Love saw Dr. Krengel. Love’s spinal curvatures worsened after two months from her initial visit with him and finishing the season and the State competition. Dr. Krengel performed the spinal fusion on Love on April 23, 2012.
Of course, recovery was definitely not easy. Love had to learn how to do many simple tasks all over again. She did not let her condition get the better of her. She was determined to get better and get back to the gym. Love persevered through the challenges. She had begun cheerleading, running, and easing back into gymnastics; all only one year after surgery.
A Blessing in Disguise
After the surgery she shocked people by miraculously getting back into her acrobatic activities. Love is grateful to have been able to help inspire others with scoliosis. She has been quoted saying, “2 rods, 16 screws, 1 new me.” This is the phrase she has said to herself over and over throughout her recovery and the time since the surgery. She considers the whole experience to be “A blessing in disguise.” To read Love’s whole story, click here.
Another young girl with an uplifting story to tell is Lindsay from the desert in California, USA. Lindsay started with gymnastics but went on to do much more after receiving treatment for her condition.
Throughout grade school, Lindsay enjoyed physically challenging herself with acrobatics. Lindsay did also learn that something was wrong from her coach, just like love did. However, she did not learn that she had scoliosis until seeing a doctor.
She was diagnosed with scoliosis. She did not have any pain, and her curvatures were not as serious, so she was to wear a back brace. Performing gymnastics was out of the question. Being embarrassed from having to wear the hot and uncomfortable brace, Lindsay always tried to hide it from her schoolmates. Eventually, wearing the brace became a normal part of her life.
She had to get x-rays every six months. Disappointment and dread came during each doctor’s appointment. The brace wasn’t working, and her curvatures were worsening. The doctors then recommended surgery.
Spinal Fusion Surgery
Her surgery was scheduled and she was so scared. Lindsay and her family decided to find an experienced surgeon.
The orthopedic surgeon had spent time during the early visits to reassure Lindsay that the surgery would help her and not prevent her from living an active life. She had the surgery, which took several hours and she recovered within a short amount of time.
In a couple of months, Lindsay was able to start back up with school. She was determined to get better so she could return to dancing. Finally, Lindsay did realize that her fears were wrong. She was not physically limited from the spinal fusion surgery. She was actually stronger both in body and in spirit.
Lindsay’s goals changed after receiving an offer for a modeling position. Having accepted the opportunity, she moved to Paris, France. Since then she has had a successful career in fashion. She was even able to achieve her new dreams of walking on a Victoria’s Secret runway and was able to carry some of the heaviest wings in the show.
Even though life has given Lindsay some challenges with scoliosis, she is proud to have endured through it all. She has gone further than just modeling, and recently launched a new line of cosmetic products. Lindsay has a truly remarkable story of overcoming scoliosis to achieve many accomplishments and live an incredible life! To read Lindsay’s full story, click here!
These two girls have done miraculous things, despite having scoliosis. They have additionally inspired many people facing medical challenges to not give up on their dreams, and live happy fulfilling lives!