"It went better than I expected. It met my expectations and beyond." This is how Kaylee's Mom, Kelly described the outcome of her daughter surgery to correct Scoliosis – a curvature of the spine that occurs most often just before puberty. Kaylee had surgery June 6, 2011; about two months before her 13th birthday. Now, an active pep squad member at Byrd High School, Kaylee says she is happy with the results. "I'm doing good. I haven't had any pain for a very long time. I'm very active. I play soft ball, gymnastics and tennis. I can do what I want to do."
Kaylee was diagnosed around age 10, after her mother – a nurse practitioner at a family practice clinic – noticed the curve in Kaylee's spine. "My friends said something about it. And, it was very noticeable to my Mom." Her Mother took her to Dr. Pierce Nunley, medical director and spine surgeon at the Spine Institute of Louisiana. "He was nice. My mother really liked him. He's a good doctor."
Kelly says she chose Dr. Nunley, because of the positive feedback she received from patients that had been referred to Dr. Nunley from the family practice clinic where she works. "We've had patients that we referred to him, and the patients said they liked him."
With the possibility of surgery a head for her daughter, Kelly investigated her options. "You want to be sure that surgery is absolutely necessary." There are a number of treatments for scoliosis. The type chosen depends upon the extent of the patient's curvature, age, and progression of the condition. Scoliosis surgery reduces the severity of the spinal curve and prevents it from getting worse.
After consulting with Dr. Nunley, Kelly chose the surgical option for Kaylee. "I'm very thankful that we did it when we did." During surgery, Kaylee says two rods were placed in her back, along with 14 screws. "They are fused to my spine to strengthen my spine. Before surgery, my back was 52-degrees, and after surgery it got down to 18. It made me two inches taller."
In addition to his surgical expertise, Kelly is grateful for the medical innovations used by Dr. Nunley. "He used a bone stimulator, which helps you recover quicker and heals the spine faster. Kaylee wore it for two months after surgery. It helped fuse the spine. She never had to wear a brace after words." Kelly also liked the idea that Dr. Nunley was concerned about her daughter's long terms results, such as having range of motion and flexibility of the spine.
"There's nothing that she did before that she can't do now."
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