Scoliosis surgery a boon

Scoliosis surgery a boon
Without proper treatment, the condition will worsen - and not just aesthetically - as the child grows older. It can become life-threatening if the curved spine starts to press against the lungs and heart.

I applaud Dennis Chan's decision to let his elder daughter undergo scoliosis surgery (The Day I Shed Tears Over My Daughter, SundayLife!, Jan 4).

I am 34 years old and had scoliosis surgery when I was 12. The condition was discovered when I was in Primary 1 after an annual health check. The curve was not serious at first and I was advised to swim regularly and avoid carrying heavy backpacks. However, my classmates began commenting that my posture looked weird. They kept asking why I was not standing straight as one shoulder was always higher than the other. The condition worsened and I was referred to a specialist.

The curve of my spine then was about 45 degrees and surgery was the only solution. Two metal rods would be placed to align the spine properly. My mother was reluctant to agree to the surgery.

I cannot remember what made her give in, but I am glad she did. Yes, she shed tears, too, before and during the surgery. The operation was done in July 1992, one month before my PSLE preliminary exams.

Any delay would probably have increased the risks of surgery. When the doctor showed us the photographs of my back (pre- and post-operation), I could see the big difference and was glad I finally had a nice, normal posture.

The metal rods are still in my body and there aren't any side effects after so many years, especially with regular exercise and a proper posture.

Samantha Lim

I am 31 years old and underwent corrective surgery for scoliosis in 1999.

My classmates in secondary school had commented that my right shoulder was noticeably higher than my left and encouraged me to get it checked.

That was when I learnt I had scoliosis. At that time, my curvature was about 40 degrees. Though surgery was recommended, my parents did not like the idea and opted for non-evasive treatments initially. They did not work.

I underwent surgeryand did not suffer any complications or side effects. The surgery has not prevented me from enjoying rock climbing, roller-coaster rides, horse riding and skiing.

Charlotte Ying


This article was first published on Jan 10, 2015.
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