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Patient Success Stories
Back to making music after corrective scoliosis surgery
Christian enjoys playing the guitar and is the lead vocalist in “The Ri”, a band of four New Braunfels sophomores. The band has been known to set up on the bank of the Comal River and crank out classical and modern rock favorites.
The slight curve in Christian’s spine became more noticeable in recent years. “We live in the New Braunfels area and the kids stay cool in the summer months by swimming in the Comal River,” Christian’s mom, Becky, remembers. “In the summer heat, Christian would often have his shirt off and the unevenness in his shoulder blades was becoming more evident. His right shoulder blade would sometimes pop out also,” she reflects.
Becky scheduled an appointment with an orthopedic physician in San Antonio. The doctor examined Christian and ordered x-rays. It was determined that he had adolescent scoliosis and the doctor prescribed conservative treatments to help stop the progression of the curve. Christian began wearing a back brace. Bracing is not designed to reverse the curvature, but rather to prevent the spine from increasing the angle of the curve. Unfortunately, the back brace didn’t stop Christian’s spinal curve from progressing. He also attended physical therapy and went for chiropractic care to help improve the flexibility of the spine and relieve pain. The treatments would offer some temporary relief but the pain would soon return. Follow-up x-rays showed that Christian’s curve was worsening. By age 15, his spinal curve was at 48 degrees and he was constantly sore. The activities he loves, like playing the guitar, were becoming more difficult. Sleeping was a challenge because he was unable to lay flat.
Becky began looking into scoliosis specialists. After doing some research on the web, she learned of Dr. Matthew Geck, a spine and scoliosis surgeon in Austin. Dr. Geck is fellowship-trained in pediatric and adult spine surgery. Christian was examined by Dr. Geck, he viewed Christian’s x-rays and noticed the progression of his spinal curve. Dr. Geck ordered an MRI in order to rule out intracanal abnormalities. He explained in detail to Becky and Christian the surgical option needed to correct the 48 degree curve. Dr. Geck put both of them at ease, answered all of the questions they had about the surgery and explained to Christian and Becky what to expect in recovery. Christian wanted to get back to his active lifestyle and they decided to move forward with surgery. Dr. Geck performed the necessary scoliosis surgery on July 27, 2009.
“Christian grew an inch after surgery,” Becky states. The recovery ahead was not easy for Christian, but soon he was up and walking around the hospital and then back home. He was limited in activity at first, no bending, squatting or heavy lifting for the first six weeks, and then no running or jumping for six months after surgery.
The best news for Christian was that, only six weeks after surgery, he was able to join his band for a Labor Day gig on the river. Today, he continues to increase his activity level and is still rocking with “The Ri”.
Click here or select the image above to download a PDF of Christian's experience with Dr. Matthew Geck.
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