Scoliosis Research Society
SRS: Scoliosis Research Society

Scoliosis Research Society

Dedicated to the optimal care of patients with spinal deformity

Cody's Story: Neuromuscular Scoliosis

Cody's Story

Cody met his scoliosis surgeon when he was 13 years old. He had severe kyphoscoliosis, myotonic dystrophy, and encephalopathy. His spinal curvature was getting worse and he was having difficulty walking long distances and playing sports. When his family would go places, he would have to ride in a wheelchair where he used to be able to walk on most outings. He was having trouble keeping his head up to look ahead of him. Often his head would droop and he would be looking at the ground.

Cody required a long, complex treatment for his spine. In the first part of his care, a "halo" ring attached to his skull. Weight was gradually added to a pulley set-up that pulled up on his head and spine through his halo ring. After a couple of months in traction his curve had straightened out considerably so he was ready to have surgery.

When he completed the preoperative traction, he underwent two surgeries to straighten and fuse his back. The first surgery involved multiple Ponte osteotomies at various levels of his spine. This was to make it even looser so the surgeons could get his spine even straighter. He stayed in traction for 3 more weeks and then had rods and screws placed into his back. Bone graft was used to help the vertebrae fused together.

That was nine months ago. Cody has made a great recovery. He has no difficulty looking straight ahead. He is standing up straight. He has returned to playing sports and is able to walk greater distances than before surgery.

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