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"My scoliosis surgery gave me some things I lacked before, self-confidence and more-so than that, mental and physical strength." Jazmin M. Equestrian & Animal Science Major

2019 UPDATE FROM JAZMIN: 6 YEARS AFTER SCOLIOSIS SURGERY 

I just graduated with my Bachelor’s of Animal Science in May (2019) from Delaware Valley University and will be attending Oklahoma State University beginning in the Fall for a Master’s of Animal Science with a focus in Animal Nutrition, Ruminant Nutrition and cattle! I am hoping to end up with a PhD and teach University-level at a state university, coordinating with an Agricultural-Extension program. I am till riding horses on a regular basis!

My recovery was impeccably fast. I remember being worried about potentially not riding for a year after my surgery. I was allowed to sit on a horse at 3 months post-op for my birthday! And at 6 months post-op I was cleared for sports including riding. I am forever grateful to Dr. Good and the team at Virginia Spine Institute (VSI). To my surprise I do not believe I ever experienced true fear, unlike my parents. The VSI team had my total trust and I felt comfortable in what was about to happen. I believe when I first wrote my "Spinal Champion" story I said "Being pain-free is definitely possible". And that statement is undoubtably true. My family and I chose to make the change to live a better life, together. I was and am grateful for their support. And I am more than willing to converse with anyone or any family who is questioning treatment. 

I was able to compete under the Intercollegiate Horse Show Association (IHSA) in both Hunt Seat and Western Competition throughout my four years of undergrad, serving as Treasurer for both of those teams at Del-Val. I also served as Student Government Board Treasurer for three years, as well as other committees. My scoliosis surgery gave me some things I lacked before, self-confidence and more-so than that, mental and physical strength. 

It's hard to believe it has been 6 years!


Original Success story: SCOLIOSIS Surgery june 2013
Hear from JAZMIN who UNDERWENT SCOLIOSIS CORRECTION SURGERY at age 15:

I tried not to let my symptoms take too large of a hold on my life. Although I endured stiffness and pain doing things I loved, I carried on through it and did not give it much thought. The first symptoms I felt consisted of pain, starting from my back which continued and caused severe pain in my shoulders and lower neck. I mainly experienced it when standing straight after a very short period of bending over or even just typing on a computer. Unfortunately, the pain would even occur when riding my horse.

For a few years I dealt with the stiffness until finally it came time to see a specialist. The pain I experienced was not the initial reason my family and I chose to seek treatment. For years I had off-set ribs and never realized it until my grandmother pointed it out as I bent over to pick up a t-shirt one night. She showed my mom an area that appeared as a mass, where it was clear something was out of place and causing my body to appear deformed when bent over or viewed from the side.

A friend of the family introduced us to Virginia Spine Institute, after seeing a local doctor in Pennsylvania who did not impress us. My diagnosis was given as scoliosis, both in the thoracic and lumbar region.

Prior to Virginia Spine Institute, I had only gone through physical therapy. After visiting Dr. Good, the first step was trying injections mixed with the physical therapy to take down inflammation in my facet joints.

When therapy and injections did not work, talk began about the possibility of surgery. For me, being an avid horseback rider with a busy student schedule, it was my best option for a long term fix; especially wanting the future occupation of a Veterinarian. I wanted to feel comfortable doing things I loved, spending time with family and friends, and participating in other passions like baking and assisting the athletic trainer in a group of student trainers for our high school’s sports teams.

The final decision was made and rods were aligned on either side of my spine to straighten the thoracic region on June 11th. A chance was taken and it worked. By straightening the top portion by operation, my lumbar region began straightening itself. I am positive that this surgery will prove successful and get me back in the saddle comfortably thanks to Dr. Good. In my everyday life I can comfortably do everything I want and need to accomplish. It is truly amazing. Walking the day after surgery was the best feeling in the world. I didn’t experience near the pain anyone thought I would, even from the surgery itself. My experience at the Virginia Spine Institute has been truly unbelievable. The staff is absolutely phenomenal and they definitely take everything in account for the patient’s sake.

For anyone experiencing back and/or neck pain I would say:

there is no reason to be fearful. Ask anyone around me and they can see a huge difference in my posture and a general way of carrying myself; free of pain! You will never know until you try, as many people say; and being pain free is definitely possible!

- Jazmin M.

Thank you to my team!