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New Surgical Approach Shows Promise in Treatment of Scoliosis
Date:12/1/2008

Experimental minimally invasive spinal surgery at University of Michigan is helping many people with severe scoliosis

ANN ARBOR, Mich., Dec. 1 /PRNewswire-USNewswire/ -- Since the time Tricia Ann Vinson was first diagnosed with scoliosis in sixth grade, the condition had become increasingly painful and debilitating.

Vinson -- now 23 -- started with pain in her right shoulder blade, then pain in her lower back, and then constant back pain that began when she was pregnant. The pain continued after her son was born, forcing her to limit how much time she played with him and picked him up.

She decided to try an experimental surgery at the University of Michigan Health System, in which the curvature of the spine is corrected with a minimally invasive procedure. Initially, she was still in pain and had limited mobility after the surgery. But now, six months later, Vinson is a success story.

The surgery "has made a huge difference in my life," Vinson says. "Now I'm able to lift my son up to take him outside, to run around after him and not have the pain. It's helped me in so many ways, both physically and mentally."

While minimal access spinal surgery for scoliosis is still experimental and offered in a small number of medical centers, it eventually could revolutionize the way in which severe scoliosis is treated, says Frank La Marca, M.D. (http://www2.med.umich.edu/healthcenters/provider_profile.cfm?individual_id=107686&hc_id=&building_name=&city=&clin_d), director of the Section of Spine Surgery in the U-M Department of Neurosurgery (http://www.med.umich.edu/neurosurgery/'/>"/>

SOURCE University of Michigan Health System
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