Quick Action Leads to Successful Outcome After Alyssa’s Scoliosis Diagnosis
When Alyssa went in for a routine scoliosis screening at her school, she never dreamed she would need treatment.
But, after following up with her doctor, she and her family were told she had severe scoliosis and needed to undergo surgery as soon as possible. The choice of where to seek help was easy for them. Her family quickly made an appointment and were soon sent to the Shreveport Shriners Childen's hospital to undergo the procedure.
Alyssa’s dad is a Ben-Hur Shriner in Austin, Texas, and has been involved with the fraternity for years. Because of this, he knew that Shriners Children's would be his trusted choice for Alyssa’s scoliosis surgery.
“When you first get that diagnosis, especially your parents, it hits them really hard,” Alyssa said. “They need to know they have someone they can turn to if they need that help.”
Dr. William Phillips, chief of orthopedics at Shriners Children’s Texas, said, “Scoliosis is most commonly discovered during or before puberty in most children. It is more common in girls than in boys, and about 3% of the population have some curvature to their spine. Some scoliosis cases do not require surgery and others do.”
Alyssa said she and her family were tense and worried about her surgery, but were instantly put at ease by the calm and welcoming atmosphere in Shreveport. Alyssa entered the hospital with a 60-degree curve on the top of her spine, and a 28-degree curve on the bottom. After her surgery, her spine was corrected to an 11-degree curve on the top, and a 12-degree curve on the bottom.
When you first get that diagnosis, especially your parents, it hits them really hard. They need to know they have someone they can turn to if they need that help.
“It was a little scary at first when they told me I would probably need surgery. I had never had surgery before so it was a little bit jarring,” Alyssa said. After her successful surgery, Alyssa was up and walking independently within 48 hours.
Since, Alyssa has become a patient ambassador for Shriners Children’s Texas. Recently, she traveled to the Shriners Children's College Classic as University of Texas’s honorary captain and was invited to throw out the first pitch for the University of California, Los Angeles vs. University of Texas game.