August 10, 2017

After scoliosis diagnosis, surgery helps cheerleader tumble again

Neck, Back and Spine | Patient Stories


Imagine getting a scoliosis diagnosis and being told you will never be able to participate in any of your favorite activities once you have surgery.

In January 2014, this was Siara Quinn’s nightmare. At 12 years old, she met with a physician who told her she could no longer participate in cheerleading or tumbling.

Luckily, Siara decided to get a second opinion. Read on to learn how after her scoliosis diagnosis, Siara found OrthoIndy and is now back to participating in the sport she loves.

A second opinion

Cheerleading has always been an important part of Siara’s life. As you can imagine, Siara was devastated when she got her scoliosis diagnosis and was told she wouldn’t be able to participate in sports in the future.

She met with OrthoIndy spine physician Dr. David Schwartz, who assured her it was possible to continue participating in the sports she enjoys after surgery.

“My family and I were so glad to have found Dr. Schwartz because he told us it was possible to continue doing all of the things I enjoy, including cheer,” Siara says.

Dr. Schwartz did present Siara with a scoliosis diagnosis. Typically, if you look at a person’s back, you will see that their spine runs straight down their back. However, scoliosis occurs when a person’s spine curves to the side.

The spine deformity can be present in anyone at any age. The angle of the curve could be small or large. However, the severity of the condition is typically classified according to the patient’s age.

Siara was thankful for how Dr. Schwartz answered all of her questions in great detail. “Dr. Schwartz and OrthoIndy were fantastic through the whole experience,” Siara says. “We did a lot of ‘doctor shopping’ before choosing Dr. Schwartz, he came highly recommended by a family friend who has worked in the medical device industry for 20 years.”

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Scoliosis surgery

Dr. Schwartz used computer-assisted navigation to place titanium screws into Siara’s vertebrae. “These were placed over the area where there is a spinal curve,” Dr. Schwartz says.

“I then used two cobalt chrome rods to strengthen her spine. A bone graft was then placed over the area of correction to allow the spine to heal in the correct position.”

After scoliosis surgery, Siara’s family noticed an increase in Siara’s confidence. “I am proud of my scar and don’t worry about hiding it,” Siara says. “It’s a reminder that I’m tougher than I thought I was.”

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Life after scoliosis diagnosis

Siara feels back to normal now since her scoliosis surgery. She is glad that she had surgery in middle school so she can enjoy her high school years and participate in cheer. Right now, Siara is a varsity cheerleader at her high school.

Siara’s next adventure is to look forward to going to college and possibly cheering at the next level. She would also like to pursue a career in the medical field.

Siara never let her scoliosis diagnosis get her down. With her hard work and dedication, she is now able to excel and grow as an athlete and individual.

“It is the determination and strength of kids like Siara that make what I do as a spine surgeon so rewarding,” Dr. Schwartz says. “My patients like Siara serve as ambassadors to my new patients, letting them know life can be normal even with scoliosis.”

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Whether you’re just beginning to research scoliosis or have already made the decision to have scoliosis back surgery, our comprehensive guide gives you answers to common questions about scoliosis and examples of real patient success stories.

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