Ava's Story: Embrace the Brace | Scoliosis Research Society
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Ava's Story: Embrace the Brace

Multiple images of Ava wearing a brace and x-rays of a spine

Ava smiling in a winter coat on a benchMy scoliosis journey began in 2019 when I was 14 years old. When I went for an annual checkup my pediatrician told me I had scoliosis after he had me do the forward bend test. I went for an x-ray and that evening the doctor called my parents to tell them that my scoliosis was worse than he thought. My curve was 36 degrees. When my parents asked how we did not know this, the pedestrian shared that he may have noticed it during the prior year’s exam but did not say anything since he thought the curve was mild. We were so surprised, especially because I never had any scoliosis related pain.

My pediatrician referred us to a pediatric orthopedic clinic. The outlook did not look too good. My parents did a lot of research and decided to get care from a scoliosis clinic whose program focused on a non-invasive treatment approach to reduce the curve. We hoped we could avoid surgery.

Bracing for Success

Ava laying on an exercise machineI started with a 2 week intensive. It was a lot of hard work and a lot of pain and discomfort for the first few weeks. I learned exercises, had equipment customized for my curve and a brace was made. I had a rigid exercise program and wore my brace 23 for hours a day to stop the progression of the curve.

This journey has not been an easy one but definitely worth it! I am 17 years old and have worn my brace for 3.5 years. I am beginning the weaning process as my cure is now 17 degrees. I wear my brace for 10 hours a day and will continue for another 9-12 months. I am so happy I no longer have to wear my brace to school ;)

Documenting My Journey

Headshot of Ava on a purple background next to text - Scoliosis True or False?During my scoliosis journey, I felt alone and sometimes scared. I have created a series of videos with the hopes of helping others with scoliosis with some practical tips and tricks as they learn what to expect when wearing a scoliosis brace. I am not providing medical advice, I am not a doctor…. just a teen with scoliosis :) I created this channel to help other kids and teens know they are not alone. I wish to provide comfort in knowing there’s another teen with scoliosis out there for you!

My videos can be seen at https://youtube.com/@embracethebracewithava

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