Friday, 14 February 2014

Age seen as scoliosis risk factor after chest wall resection of tumors in children

In a study of children who underwent resection of malignant tumors of the chest wall, researchers discovered patients who had at least three ribs resected in the posterior sector had nearly 19 times the risk for developing scoliosis and patients who had resections during rapid-growth periods had nearly 6 times the risk for scoliosis.

Investigators from the United Kingdom and France retrospectively studied 40 children who underwent resection for malignant tumors between 1984 and 2005. The patients had an average age of 9.8 years and a mean follow-up of 8.5 years.

 “Seventeen of the children developed scoliosis, which was convex toward the resection side without vertebral rotation in all of them,” the authors wrote in their study abstract.

The rapid-growth periods in which children underwent tumor resection had an increased risk for later developing scoliosis were younger than 6 years of age, and between the ages of 12 years and 15 years.

Source : Healio , 12th Feb 2014

Treatment keeps Coventry girl's dream afloat

Young swimmer back in pool despite devastating medical diagnosis

                       Coventry swimmer Kelsey Pond

A teenager has opened her heart about a crippling condition which threatened to sink her swimming ambitions.

Kelsey Pond, from Earlsdon, Coventry, suffers a severe spinal curve which turned her world upside down.

She was 13 when she was diagnosed with the condition scoliosis – curvature of the spine – and was told she would need an operation to save her mobility. It was devastating news for the girl who is passionate about swimming.

The diagnosis came after her mother noticed Kelsey’s shoulder blade protruding on one side and Kelsey started experiencing severe shooting pains.

An X-ray of Kelsey Pond's spinal curvature     
      An X-ray of Kelsey Pond's spinal curvature
Kelsey’s mum made an emergency appointment to see the family GP who immediately delivered the shattering news.

Kelsey said: “I had always loved being in the water and I was getting really good, training up to five times a week.

“When I was told that my favourite stroke was putting serious strain on my spine and it was something I should consider giving up, I was devastated.”

Scoliosis affects more than four per cent of the population and, if left untreated, can lead to fatal heart and lung problems.

Current treatment in this country is to wait until the curve becomes so severe, the only option left is to operate in a procedure which involves metal rods being inserted either side of the spine, before the spine is fused solid.

Faced with the prospect of major surgery and swimming professionally being out of the question, Kelsey and her family desperately searched the internet for alternative treatments.

They discovered Scoliosis SOS in central London, the only clinic in the world to offer a combination of renowned non-surgical treatments, and Kelsey was booked onto a four-week treatment course.

Within weeks of being on the course, Kelsey’s condition dramatically improved.

Kelsey’s mum Sam is overwhelmed by the results.

She said: “As soon as she started treatment and met other girls with the same condition, she started to bounce back.

“It’s so exciting to start looking to the future again.”

Kelsey said: “Scoliosis ruined my life when I was first diagnosed but I very quickly learned that it really did not need to be like that and I was in control of my own condition – the treatment course changed everything.” 

Source : Coventry Telegraph , 12th Feb 2014

Wednesday, 12 February 2014

Ground Breaking Innovations for Scoliosis Patients

The (Universitair Medisch Centrum) UMC Utrecht inserted two extendable corrective rods in the back of a child with scoliosis, making repetitive surgery unnecessary. It’s the first time the technique is applied in the Netherlands.

For years the UMC used a similar technique, but with fixed rods, on either side of the spine.


The downside is that with growing children the procedure would have to be repeated about twice a year to replace the rods with longer ones. The extendable rods in this case can be extended with a remote control, so no surgery is required.

The 11-year-old girl who underwent the procedure mid December last year has a severe case of scoliosis. Her spine angled sideways and affected the development of her lungs and heart. She is doing well, according to RenĂ© Castelein, head of the orthopedic department at UMC. ‘ We have already extended the rods several times as an outpatient procedure,’ said Castelein.

The procedure is more common in Britain and Hong Kong. The costs for the rods alone are estimated at 30 to 35,000 euros, but statistics show that in the long run it’s cheaper than the old method, because less surgeries are needed. Castelein hopes the insurances will approve the method for their patients. 

Source : NL Times , 31st January 2014

Dublin model has a new back for the New Year

AN aspiring Southside model has told how she almost endured a 12-hour operation to fuse her spine solid and that it was unlikely she would ever have full flexibility in her back again.

Lizzy Makai (19), from Lucan, had always been very fit and active throughout her life until she started to suffer from severe pain and found sitting at a desk almost unbearable.

It was shortly after the pain started that Lizzy was diagnosed with scoliosis, a severe spinal deformity.

From this point on her life spiralled out of control and she was often left curled up in bed or collapsed in a heap due to the excruciating pain.

Within months, Lizzy went from being a fit and healthy woman with bags of energy, to behaving like an 80-year-old.

She had to give up shopping as she could not walk for long periods and she could not carry heavy bags.

Lizzy had also started to wear huge, baggy jumpers to avoid how distorted she felt her back looked. This was a huge problem as Lizzy had previously spent the majority of her spare time modelling.

Scoliosis causes the spine to excessively curve sideways. The condition affects more than four per cent of the population and if left untreated can lead to fatal heart and lung problems.

Current treatment in this country is to wait until the curve becomes so severe that the only option left is to operate.

The major operation is an incredibly risky procedure which involves metal rods being inserted either side of the spine, before the spine is fused solid. 

Lizzy loved fashion and her image had always been really important to her right up until her health started to seriously deteriorate.

Lizzy found herself very distanced from her social group and she went from never spending any time at home to constantly avoiding contact with friends and relatives.

Her work suffered terribly as she was unable to concentrate and often found herself getting up every few minutes to try and alleviate her pain.

This was until she came across Scoliosis SOS and for the first time in a long time, she saw a glimmer of hope for the future. 

Founded and run by Erika Maude, who has scoliosis herself, the clinic opened seven and half years ago and has since brought relief to hundreds of sufferers.

Located in central London, it is the only clinic in the world to offer treatment following the ScolioGold method, which is the combination of internationally renowned non-surgical treatments, which have been practiced separately in Europe for several decades.

Lizzy decided that this treatment could not do any harm and if it worked it could change her life. She booked onto a four-week treatment course and was overwhelmed by the results she achieved.

Within weeks of being on the course, Lizzy’s condition dramatically improved. She was no longer lying awake at night with pain and her confidence soared.

Lizzy learnt a set of exercises that strengthened the muscles surrounding her spine and meant that her scoliosis stabilised.

She also made huge improvements to her cosmetic appearance and realised that her condition was not going to ruin her life if she kept it under control.

Since completing a course of ScolioGold treatment, Lizzy has returned home and has been able to shop and feel confident in her clothes again for the first time in months.

She has regained all of her passion for life and has bounced back to her normal, fit and sociable self. She is looking to re-start her modelling career and is very excited about what the future holds.

 “I am so happy,” Lizzy said. “It is remarkable how far I have come. I was in constant pain, on a daily basis and my whole world had fallen apart.

“I lost interest in everything and I had no quality of life at all.  I had gone from being really confident in my body to wanting to hide away at every opportunity.

When I found the SOS clinic my life changed. I could see a future with my condition and I was back in control. I wanted to avoid the surgery, but it was an option I would have considered if there was no alternative.

“Being in constant pain and discomfort and being paranoid about what my back looked like was just not an option. I am not yet 20 and I am a very ambitious person. Keeping fit, my appearance and my education all mean everything to me so I was always going to do whatever it took to get my life back on track.

I feel like a new person, with a new back for the New Year.”

For more see www.scoliosisSOS.com

Source : Dublin People , 3rd Feb 2014

Heavy schoolbags harm your child's spine

Experts said that if a schoolbag weighs more than 20% of your child's body weight, it is very likely to severely harm his or her spine, causing scoliosis that will lead to a lifelong torment.

Experts said that if a schoolbag weighs more than 20% of your child's body weight, it is very likely to severely harm his or her spine, causing scoliosis that will lead to a lifelong torment


Spine specialist Dr Su Lin Ming, with 10 years of experience in the field, said that although there is no medical report proving that heavy schoolbags will cause spinal injuries, based on some cases he personally saw, if the schoolbag weighs 20% or more of a child's weight, it could increase the risk of scoliosis.

According to a survey with rampant sampling, reporters found that the schoolbags of students aged between eight to twelve years old averagely weigh 30% of their body weight.

Dr Su reminded that the number of young patients suffering from intervertebral disk rupture and displacement has increased as the majority of patients were over 30 years old in the past but today, there are increasing number of patients below 30.

He pointed out that intervertebral disk rupture could lead to intervertebral disk displacement and sciatica nerve pain.

Humans start to feel unwell and back muscle pain when bearing something weighs 10% more than their body weight, but it would not cause harm. Therefore, he suggested that schoolbags should not weigh more than 20% of body weight.

According to the survey, there are two major factors causing heavy schoolbags, namely students do not clean out their bags and there are too many books to bring. In any case, the schoolbags of students who clean out their bags daily still weigh about 28% of their body weight while the schoolbags of students who do not clean out their bags weigh 30 to 45% of their body weight.

Therefore, according to Dr Su's suggestion, almost all schoolbags have exceeded the weight that students can bear.

"As a doctor, I think schoolbags weighting more than 20% of student's body weight is unhealthy but warning cannot not be issued as there is no authoritative medical reports to prove that heavy schoolbags are harmful. The phenomenon is worrying and I suggest that schools should be wary of it and do something to it," he said.

Dr Su, who is also a father, suggested that parents should ensure that their children clean out their schoolbags and bring only necessary items to school everyday. They can also take photos of their children's body from time to time for recording purposes, so that they can observe the children's physical development, particularly shoulder equilibrium as scoliosis problems could be seen from imbalance shoulders. Once the problem is found, they must seek for medical treatment and rectify it through physical therapy to avoid greater harm.

He also suggested that parents could also prepare another bag for their child to reduce the weight of schoolbag and relieve pressure on the spine.

Kesatuan Kebangsaan Guru-Guru Besar Malaysia (KKGGBM) secretary-general said that heavy schoolbags are indeed a problem and discussions have been held over the years to seek for solutions.
He said that some schools provide lockers for students to keep their books and he encouraged other schools to follow suit.

He thinks that parents should ensure that their children clean out their schoolbags everyday to avoid them from bringing unnecessary items to school, such as magazines and comic books.

He stressed that teachers should not swap lessons without prior notice as it would cause students to bring all books to school everyday instead of bringing books according to the timetable.

He also said that E-book is now a trend and it should be able to solve the heavy schoolbag problem.
Daycare operator Mai Wei Jian said that he has been very concerned about heavy schoolbag problem but so far, the problem has not yet been solved.

He said that his daycare centre is located near a Chinese primary school and about 60 students will study and rest in the centre after school everyday.

Mai said that he helps sending their schoolbags to the centre with a van.

"Although they said that their schoolbags are not heavy, I found many students have bad postures due to their heavy schoolbags," he said.

He also pointed out that although many primary school students are now using rod schoolbags, if the speed is too fast or the weight is too heavy, the momentum could cause children to fall down the stairs when they pull the back down the stairs.

Daycare teacher Wang Miao Li said that she is particularly concerned of the heavy schoolbag problem as she is a scoliosis patient.

She said that until now, her mother will still look at her and say: "If I were to know that it would harm your spine, I would personally send you to school no matter how busy I was." She cried whenever she heard her mother said so.

"I'm now a teacher and I feel worry when I see students carrying heavy bags. I will try to help them carry the bags as I do not want them to suffer the lifelong torment due to negligence," she added.
Experts said that if a schoolbag weighs more than 20% of your child's body weight, it is very likely to severely harm his or her spine, causing scoliosis that will lead to a lifelong torment.

Source : My Sinchew.Com , 5th Feb 2014

I've got half a body - but it will not stop me being a wonderful mother

Wheelchair-bound with a severely twisted spine, Marie Andrews has had more than 200 ­fractures over the years but tries to lead a full life
Marie Andrews: A mum at last
After years pining for a baby, Marie Andrews can hardly ­believe she’s a mum at last.

Cradling her bundle of joy the 31-year-old beamed: “He’s a dream come true. I have to pinch myself.”

Marie is wheelchair-bound with a severely twisted spine and brittle bone disease , which means even a cough can break one of her ribs.

She has had more than 200 ­fractures over the years but tries to lead a full life.

She said: “I have ­always dreamt of a baby even though I have only half a working body.

“Some might say someone as ­­disabled as me shouldn’t be a parent.
"But while I’ll never be able to run around with my son, disability won’t stop me being a wonderful mum.”

She and scientist husband Dan, 32, owe son Mark to a surrogate.

Marie said: “Giving birth could have killed me so we were overjoyed when a mum came forward to have our baby and said my disability didn’t worry her.

"We’re so grateful to her for making us a ­complete family.”

Becoming a mother has ­added ­poignancy for Marie ­because when she was born doctors ­feared she might not ­reach adulthood.

Her mum Ann had lost a son, Mark, to brittle bone disease aged nine.

Marie said: “I have scoliosis – a terribly twisted spine – as well as respiratory and heart problems which make me more prone to infections, so my future looked bleak.”

By the time she was eight she’d broken ­dozens of bones all over her body and was in a wheelchair.

Marie recalled: “I went to a ­mainstream school but I was so ­fragile I needed a full-time carer.

"It was heartbreaking ­seeing friends ­going to discos ­without me.

"I had dreamt of being married and ­having a baby since my early teens. And ­although I did have boyfriends, the relationships didn’t last.”

Marie met Dan in 2002 when she went to work as a school receptionist.

She said: “He was talking to the pupils about his job as a planetary scientist and we got chatting.”

Over the next few weeks the couple clicked.

Dan told the Sunday People: “She had an amazing sense of humour and fun.

  I'll never be able to run around with my son - but I'm going to be a wonderful mum Marie never thought she'd get married let alone have a baby. But despite being so severely disabled with brittle bone disease, which in effect gives her just half a body and confines her to a wheelchair - she is now mum to baby Mark. As Marie is unable to physically carry a baby, she and her husband, used an anonymous surrogate to have their baby for them. Marie. a former school receptionist, now has a full-time carer for her and her baby. When they're out passers-by are stunned to discover Mark is Marie's baby as they usually believe her carer is his mum. Marie even has to be careful holding Mark as she is so fragile, just reaching out to him could break her arm. Just falling off the sofa could kill her. Marie says: "To look at me, many people might think I shouldn't have a baby. But I always longed to be a mum. The arrival of Mark has brought so much joy to our lives and I know I am going to be a fantastic mum. Marie and Dan, a carer who has three degrees and a PhD, have been together for 12 years and wed in June last year
Family: Marie and Dan with baby Mark
“One night we went out and it seemed natural to give her a kiss. And from then on we were inseparable.”

Despite Marie’s disability, they travelled all over Europe.

She also earned a first-class Open University degree in ­educational and social policy.

But one thing was still missing from their lives – a baby.

Marie said: “Being childless wasn’t an option.

“We looked into adoption and I was devastated when social services wouldn’t even consider us because I was too disabled.”

A friend offered to have a baby for them – but was then felled by back trouble and had to withdraw the offer.

"Finally the couple joined an agency that matched surrogates to wannabe parents.

Marie said: “It was hard. We’d go to parties where surrogates would choose who they wanted to have their ­babies for.

“Undoubtedly some were worried how I’d cope.” But after 18 months the phone rang.

She said: “A mum of four had chosen us to be a surrogate for.

“We were over the moon.”

The couple, of Milton Keynes, Bucks, got to know their surrogate in the following weeks.

Marie said: “We hit it off straight away.”

Using Dan’s sperm, the woman was pregnant inside two months.

At 20 weeks a scan revealed they were having a little boy.

Dan said: “Marie and I went out on a little spending spree buying lots of little blue clothes and ­decorating a nursery.”

Last June the couple were married in a packed church, with Marie going up the aisle in her wheelchair.

She said: “The most emotional part was when Dan announced we were having a baby. Until then we’d kept it under wraps.”

Mark was a healthy 8lb when he was born in November.

Marie said: “He was handed straight to me. It was the most wonderful moment of my life.”

A few hours later they took him home.

Since then their lives have been a whirl of feeds and nappies like any other first-time parents.

Marie, who has full-time help when Dan is at work, admits it’s tough.

She said: “I can change nappies and feed him but someone else has to lift Mark and by 18 months he could be as big as me.

“But he’ll grow up accepting me as I am.

“It’s going to be frustrating for me not to be able to run around with him but he’ll have his dad to kick a ball with.”

Meanwhile Marie drives a specially adapted car and says she can get most places in her wheelchair – which also pushes Mark’s buggy.

She added: “Most importantly I can give Mark lots of cuddles.

“I’ll read to him, help him with his homework – all the normal things any loving mum does.”

And they haven’t ruled out another child – one day.

But for now they are enjoying just being a new mum and dad.

Marie, who is expected to live to at least 60, said: “I hope my story encourages other disabled people or anyone with the odds stacked against them to follow their dreams of a normal life.”

Marie is blogging about being a new mum for disability charity Scope at www.scope.org.uk/blog

Source : Mirro News ( U.K ) , 9th Feb 2014

Managing Scoliosis with Osteopathy

A common ailment amongst many of her patients, Kate Smith of Bodhi Osteopathy explains the signs and symptoms of Scoliosis and how to manage it.


What is Scoliosis?

First of all, the word Scoliosis comes from the Greek word meaning ‘crooked’. Scoliosis is when your spine is either in a “S” or “C” shape and can come in 2 forms – Functional or Structural. Structural scoliosis often starts to develop from early teenage years, whereas functional scoliosis can develop as a result of our everyday lives. For example, sitting at your desk, picking up children, carrying heavy bags or simply slouching on your sofa at the end of a long day.

Scoliosis sufferers don’t necessarily experience pain or problems throughout their lives, but for some it can be debilitating and lead to diminishing lung capacity, pressure on the heart and restriction of physical activities.

The signs of Scoliosis can include:

• Uneven musculature on one side of the spine

• A rib prominence or prominent shoulder blade, caused by rotation of the rib cage in Thoracic scoliosis

• Uneven hips, arms or leg lengths

How can Osteopathy help?

Treatment of Scoliosis depends on how severe the curve is, whether it’s likely to get worse and how much it affects your normal function. Osteopathy can help by mobilising the thoracic and lumbar spine, trying to increase the range of movement in both areas. Mobilisation of the pelvis is also be necessary to aid leg length and in turn, help straighten the lower back and further up the spine. Due to the restrictions in the thoracic spine, a ‘hunch’ may occur which could lead to the chest cavity becoming enclosed and therefore shortening the muscles at the front, which could make it difficult to breathe. Stretching these frontal chest muscles will help, as would deep soft tissue massage which is also incorporated into the treatment.

You can also speed up the process by exercising at home! Stretching, as well as strengthening, is very important to help balance everything out. A few exercises which could help with your scoliosis include:

• Standing hamstring stretch

• Cat and camel

• Pelvic tilt

• Partial curl

• Prone hip extension

Despite never being able to correct Scoliosis completely, you can definitely manage it and decrease the level of pain that it may be causing. With Osteopathic help and wanting to help yourself, you can definitely achieve a better existence. Scoliosis doesn’t have to own you… you can own it!

Kate Smith is a registered Osteopath at Lomax Chelsea. For more information and appointment bookings, call 08715 120 770 or email thelomaxway@lomaxpt.com.

Source :  The Lomax Way , 10th Feb 2014