“This is a short period in your life that’s going to be awkward and uncomfortable, but it’s not permanent.”
This is an important message Leanne Flanagan has for parents whose children have to wear back braces in order to prevent the progression of the curve in their spines as a result of scoliosis. Her daughters, 14-year-old Meghan and 12-year-old Lauren, have both been diagnosed with scoliosis and currently wear braces.
“I have always said, ‘This will make you stronger, because you will know what it’s like to deal with something that most people never have to deal with, and this is going to go away and you’ll move on,’” added Leanne.
Diagnosed with scoliosis herself as a child and living with it still today, Leanne has always paid close attention to her daughters’ spines, making sure doctors were aware of any possible scoliosis. But it wasn’t until Meghan was starting seventh grade that a physical therapist noticed a curve in her spine.
“Meghan has adolescent scoliosis, which is a condition that begins in childhood,” Dr. Flanagan said. “Just as a 60-year-old with a hip condition is best served by a doctor who treats adults, a middle school child is best served by a pediatric-trained orthopedic surgeon. Not only do we have more knowledge, experience and specific training with the condition, but we work well with families and generate good rapport and trust, which are equally as important for clinical success.”