Madison’s scoliosis patient story.
My name is Madison Woods. I had scoliosis surgery on August 7, 2020. The recovery time was 3 months and seemed to go by very fast. Thankfully, I feel great! In my free time, I like to go shopping with my friends and enjoy making tik toks. One of my favorite hobbies is dancing. I have been dancing since I was 3 years old and I am currently on the competition team at my dance studio. I take 5 classes, ballet, jazz, hip hop, lyrical and contemporary.
The scary diagnosis
I first learned that I had scoliosis in 2017 when I was 13 years old. I went for my yearly physical and my doctor noticed my spine had a slight curve. They told us to keep an eye on it and to see an orthopedic doctor. At the time, my family did not have an orthopedic doctor and thought “we have time.” The year came and went. The following year when I was 14, I went for another physical and the curve in my back had become increasingly worse. My family and I couldn’t believe how much the curve had changed.
After seeing an orthopedic doctor, I was fitted for a daytime and nighttime brace. I wore both braces for 2 1⁄2 years and did Schroth therapy on a weekly basis.
I needed a second opinion
Unfortunately, my curvature did not decrease. After seeing no improvement, two years later when I was 16, we decided to get a second opinion. At that time, I was told that I needed surgery. HSS has an excellent reputation and came highly recommended to us. A friend told us about Dr. Gerardi. After reading reviews and speaking with him, we felt confident that he was the perfect doctor to do my surgery.
Having scoliosis surgery was the scariest thing I have ever had to go through. As scared as I was, I have to say that being at HSS was a great experience. I was there for 5 days and I couldn’t ask for better care, everyone was amazing! From day one, the office staff was always friendly and patient with our questions. They were very reassuring that everything would be ok. The hospital staff was top notch. At all hours of the night, they came in with smiles on their faces and were very compassionate. Some were very comical as well! Saving the best for last, Dr. Girardi is amazing! I feel very fortunate that I had such a gifted doctor. He, too, was very patient with our questions and explaining things. He told me that I would have no restrictions but I have to admit, I was still doubtful. Dr. Girardi was absolutely correct.
My recovery plan was 3 months where I was not permitted to bend, lift or twist. After this time, I received 12 weeks of physical therapy. Four months after surgery, I was back dancing. He changed my curvature from 53 degrees down to 3 degrees. I am so thankful for all he did to help me and will be forever grateful. For anyone who has scoliosis and is in need of surgery, I would say do not procrastinate, get it done. As scary as it is, you will feel so much better and live a healthier life.