Ava, at 13 years, was dx’d with Scoliosis at the end of Oct.2018. Her curve was already 47 degrees. We never noticed until she bent forward in front of her mom. Her mom shared those images and I immediately had Ava see a doctor. At the time I did not know, but Ava’s cousin from her mom’s side has Scoliosis too and had to wear a brace for 2 years. We were fully prepared and accepted that this would be our life for the next few years. We had already prepared that her spine may have to be fused with Harrington rods in the future. It was not until Jan.3rd when we meet Dr. Stampe at the Stollery who offered a new type of Scoliosis treatment. This new treatment is called Vertebral Body Tethering (aka. VBT). In Canada, only 3 doctors perform this unique surgery, one in Montreal, Vancouver and luckily now Edmonton. Ava qualified and was the second patient in Edmonton to have VBT done. VBT uses screws and a band to apply compression force over the convex side of the spine to permit the concave side of the spine to relatively grow more and create a straighter spine. Ava had surgery on January 30th and her curve went from 47 degrees to 25 degrees!! Ava also gained an inch in height after surgery too. Recovery was quick and activity was limited for 3 months. After 4 months from surgery and then 5 weeks from being told to resume full activity…on June 9th, Ava competed and finished a triathlon in St. Albert. We are very proud of Ava and meets the definition of a Scoliosis warrior. Her latest visit with Dr. Stampe only a few days ago, shows her curve is now at 21 degrees.
Shared with permission from Ava and her family. Written by her dad. Thanks so much Ava for sharing your story with us! We are excited to see what else you will do!
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