Now 18-year-old Becky Greulich was diagnosed with scoliosis in 2011 when she was just 10 years old. Initially, she was treated with bracing in hopes that as she grew, her curve would not get worse. However, even with treatment, Becky found some difficulty in leading a normal life as a child.
Scoliosis is a sideways curvature of the spine. Most cases are mild; however, as some children develop or adults age, spinal deformities can continue to get more severe.
“Scoliosis stopped me from being able to take swimming in school and participate in gym class because the brace prevented me from being able to do stretches,” said Becky.
After about four years of bracing, her scoliosis continued to worsen, and she found out she would need to have spine surgery after all.
Based on a recommendation from a friend, Becky’s parents, Mike and Linda Greulich made an appointment with Dr. David Schwartz, a spine surgeon at OrthoIndy.
Scoliosis treatment plan
“As a parent, my husband Mike and I didn’t know what to expect. The years of bracing were hard on us all, with all the adjustments that had to be made, both with the brace and how it affected our lives,” said Linda. “It was difficult to see Becky give up swimming and other things she loved that made her a normal kid because of her scoliosis.”
Upon meeting Becky and her parents and analyzing Becky’s X-rays, Dr. Schwartz confirmed she would need surgery.
“The months before surgery were difficult, as we didn’t want our daughter to have to go through major back surgery. We put our trust in God and Dr. Schwartz and knew everything would be fine. We are so thankful to have found Dr. Schwartz and his staff who were very helpful, knowledgeable and professional. They calmed our fears about the surgery.”
Before long, Becky was headed into surgery where Dr. Schwartz performed a posterior spinal fusion to correct Becky’s scoliosis.
Life after scoliosis surgery
After a long recovery process and a lot of hard work, Becky is feeling pain-free again and doesn’t let anything hold her back from being active. She will graduate from high school in the spring and plans to enter the workforce immediately.
“My experience with OrthoIndy and Dr. Schwartz was a great one,” said Becky. “Dr. Schwartz was very helpful and answered all of our questions. All of the nurses were very friendly and helpful as well.”
In fact, Becky decided to write a book about her experience titled, “My Scoliosis Story: One Girl’s Journey from Diagnosis to Spinal Fusion Surgery.” She wrote about her journey with scoliosis so other kids growing up with the condition could feel less alone and understand what to expect during their treatment process. Her 40-page book is available in paperback and e-book on amazon.com and other retail book outlets.
Becky hopes that other adolescents with scoliosis read her story and stay confident in themselves and work hard through their treatment and recovery process.
“Becky is an inspiring young woman with unlimited potential,” said Dr. Schwartz. “The fact that she has used her experience to help other young girls really says something about her.”
To schedule an appointment with Dr. Schwartz, please call 317.802.2883 or learn more about back pain treatment at OrthoIndy.
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