Our 12-year-old daughter was diagnosed with Scoliosis in September 2021, at age 11. We had not noticed any signs as we were just coming out of an Australian winter but were amazed that she herself noticed a change in her posture and some asymmetry in her back, thankfully she let us know straight away! Our GP sent us for x-rays and encouraged us to see a physiotherapist with the results. It was in our local physiotherapy office that we were told she has scoliosis, and we should seek further specialist advice. At this point I will mention that we live in a remote town in Western Australia, which is a 4–5-hour car trip to Perth where any such specialist help can be found.
I immediately contacted the Perth Scoliosis Clinic after being recommended by our physiotherapist. This was the hardest but the most important call I made; the ball was rolling now! We were accommodated quickly, and after making the long trip to Perth with a cloud of uncertainty hanging over us, we met two amazing Scoliosis Physiotherapists, Lisa Zorzi and Rene Hamilton. It was a huge emotional day of appointments and IOS scanning after which we found out in fact that her curve was complex: Cobb R) Thx 45 degrees (T4-T11); L) Lx 34 degrees (T12-L4). All I could think was she would need surgery!
Things moved very quickly from here, and after reassurance, the decision was made to brace as soon as possible. Thankfully Lisa could provide us with the opportunity to be measured and fitted into a WCR brace in Perth. WCR braces are relatively new in Western Australia, Boston braces and versions of are predominantly used here. Our measurements were sent off to the Align Clinic in the USA and we waited for the brace to be made. Our daughter was given specialist postural correction exercises to do, which she did adhere to whilst waiting for fitting of her brace. She also loves sports, did gymnastics when younger, and keeps active and strong doing these extra activities. Scoliosis has not impacted her love of basketball, netball and swimming.
Our daughter was fitted with her own WCR brace in November 2021. Lisa was able to make slight adjustments/fine tuning at the time of the brace fitting. Now our journey began in earnest. She adapted amazingly well to wearing the brace and wears it 22-23 hours per day. She also completes prescribed exercises as much as she can and still trains and plays her sport. Her curve has reduced in the time she has spent in her brace, even with 7 cm growth in 10 months! Her Risser score is still zero, so more growth is expected! We are feeling hopeful now and are happy we are doing this journey in a WCR brace, especially as we enter the crucial growth period.
Thank you, Align Scoliosis Foundation!