An alternative to healing children's scoliosis

February 2, 2013 12:00:00 AM PST
A potentially deadly spine curvature in children is usually treated with surgeries and metal rods.

Now doctors believe something simple could cure it in some kids. Weeks after her son Cole was born, Jennifer Leggett feared something was wrong.

Jennifer Leggett said, "We got the x-rays and before we even got home, we had a phone call that we had a big problem."

Cole was born with a severe form of scoliosis. His spine curved 45 degrees. Doctors said surgery could help but he'd be disabled.

"It was probably the scariest moments of my life," Leggett said. They soon found Doctor Jim Sanders.

MD of Pediatric Orthopedics James sanders said, "They kind of threw the baby out with the bathwater almost literally here since it's really the babies who benefit from this."

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.

"Every day, I had to wear it and every week!" Leggett said.

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," Leggett said.

The doctor says the casting has helped cure about 25 percent of kids with scoliosis and significantly delayed surgery in about 70 percent.


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