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Spine Procedure Helps Patient Get Back Into the Swing of Things

For many unknown reasons, scoliosis predominantly affects teenage girls, but many teenage boys are also diagnosed with the condition each year. Like many others, Seth’s family sought help through a family friend, who is a chiropractor, when he received his diagnosis. Seth’s curve was at about 25 degrees when he started going to the chiropractor, and had progressed to 40 degrees when they realized the treatments were not working a couple of months later.

Seth’s chiropractor suggested that he consider surgery and directed his family to a Facebook Group, where they learned about Shriners Hospitals for Children — Philadelphia and its special vertebral body tethering (VBT) procedure as an alternative to spinal fusion.

Seth had his initial appointment with Joshua Pahys, M.D., in January 2017, and was scheduled for surgery in March. By this time, Seth’s curve had progressed to 58 degrees.

“Seth and his family were incredibly tough and resilient through the entire process,” said Dr. Pahys. “It is certainly not easy for many families to comprehend surgery on an otherwise healthy and active teenager. Seth’s hard work and positive attitude helped him bounce back speedily to playing golf. He has far exceeded our expectations, and hope he continues to progress in his golfing career.”

Seth was nervous that having surgery would affect his ability to play golf, and is happy that having surgery did not change too many things for him, “I was worried that my stroke would be slower and perhaps not as strong,” said Seth. “But really, I am right about where I was and able to compete with others in my age group.”

Today, Seth plays on his high school golf team and competes in several tournaments throughout the year. He is hoping to get a golf scholarship to college, where he plans to study finance.

“I want to be a finance professional, but I would also love to be a professional golfer, too,” said Seth. “Thanks to Shriners Hospitals, anything can be possible now.”


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