Friday, May 16, 2008
Medical Reports: Scoliosis
Three to five kids out of every thousand are diagnosed each year with scoliosis, a curvature of the spine that can have serious consequences if the curve gets worse, but in tonight's Healthcast, Seven's Christine Cruz shows us how a new, less painful method may be able to treat and prevent it.
WSVN -- At age 14, Matthew Barmore is already six-foot-one with some tall hopes for his number one passion, basketball.
Those dreams were put on hold when, a few months ago, Matthew's doctor found a nearly 50-degree curvature in his spine. The diagnosis, scoliosis.
Rebecca Barmore: "Before surgery, the lump on his back caused by the spine curvature was about the span of both my hands together."
Dr. Mark Flood, Orthopedic Surgeon: "If the curve progresses, it can have profound effects on heart and lung function."
Surgery to correct scoliosis used to mean cutting a large piece of bone from the pelvis and fusing it to the spine to keep the curve from getting worse.
Dr. Mark Flood, Orthopedic Surgeon: "The problem with taking bone from the iliac crest is it's a significant source of pain, sometimes even permanent pain. It requires another incision, potential risk of infection, and that bone is gone forever."
But Matthew was chosen to take part in a brand new therapy, which repairs the spine using stem cells harvested from the patient's own bone marrow.
Dr. Mark Flood, Orthopedic Surgeon: "That's your concentrated stem cells."
Matthew's stem cells would essentially spur the growth of new bone along the spine and work with permanent screws and rods to fuse it into the correct position. It seems the surgery is proving to be a success, it reduced Matthew's curvature from nearly 50 degrees to just 15 degrees.
And just three months after surgery, Matthew's already playing one-on-one with his twin brother Jordan and is getting stronger every day.
Matthew Barmore: "I'm able to shoot, dribble, run, jump. If this is any indication of what's going to happen, I think it will just get better."
And now, Matthew's dreaming of a very big future.
Matthew Barmore: "What else, the NBA."
Christine Cruz: "Scoliosis is much more common in girls than boys, and signs usually start becoming visible after the age of 10. Only some cases require surgery."
FOR MORE INFORMATION:
Center for Spinal Disorders and Pediatric Orthopedics