ROCHESTER, N.Y. (Ivanhoe Newswire) -- Scoliosis is a potentially fatal condition for children. The spine curvature can be improved with surgeries and metal rods, but now doctors believe something simple could cure it in some kids.
Weeks after her son Cole was born, Jennifer Leggett feared something was wrong.
“We got the X-rays and before we even got home, we had a phone call that we had a big problem,” Jennifer Leggett told Ivanhoe.
Cole had a severe form of scoliosis. His spine curved 45 degrees. Experts said surgery could help, but he’d be disabled.
“It was probably the scariest moments of my life,” Jennifer said.
They soon found Doctor Jim Sanders.
He’s using an old technique cast aside by expert’s decades earlier.
“They kind of threw the baby out with the bathwater; almost literally here since it’s really the babies who benefit from this,” Jim Sanders, MD, Chief of Pediatric Orthopedics University of Rochester Medical Center, told Ivanhoe.
These plaster body casts use pressure to reshape the spine. Kids get a new cast every two months. It keeps some kids from ever needing surgery. For others, it delays surgery until they’re older.
Here is Cole before and after. No surgery required. He remembers the cast well.
“Every day, I had to wear it and every week!” Cole Leggett told Ivanhoe.
Now, he’s fully mobile and he’s got big plans.
“I’m gonna go to space. Also, I’m gonna be a karate master,” Cole said.
Dr. Sanders says he’s been actively training surgeons in the casting technique and it is now available in many sites across the country. He tells us the casting has helped cure about 25-percent of kids with scoliosis and significantly delayed surgery in about 70-percent. MORE
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