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Charlotte's scoliosis treatment

Charlotte patient story

Charlotte’s life would be very different if she hadn’t received treatment quickly for scoliosis. Read the story of her surgery and recovery.

Charlotte patient story

Charlottes scoliosis treatment

Mr Lam was fabulous with Charlotte – he spoke to Charlotte the whole time and if she had any questions, he always referred to her directly.
Sadye
Charlotte was at the end of a growth spurt when she started complaining to her parents that her hips and ribs felt uneven. ‘My husband Andy, who is a sports massage therapist, had a look at her and noticed that when she sat down, one of her legs was slightly longer than the other,’ says her mum, Sadye. ‘When Charlotte bent over, you could trace the line of her spine which was in a complete "S" shape.’ They took 12-year-old Charlotte to their local GP, who referred them to The Portland Hospital. She was diagnosed with severe scoliosis, a condition where a sideways curve of the spine develops as a result of rotation of the spinal column. They saw Consultant Orthopaedic Surgeon Mr Khai Lam, who showed them an X-ray of Charlotte’s spine. It had a 55-degree curve at the top and bottom. It clearly showed Charlotte needed treatment. ‘She had around 18 months left of growing and Mr Lam had said by the age of 16, she would be bent over double,’ Sadye says. Mr Lam says Charlotte was treated quite early on to prevent her scoliosis from getting worse. ‘When she was diagnosed, it was a moderate case but would have got worse over time. We prefer to wait until teenagers have stopped growing when we operate, unless a curve is quite severe,’ he says. The operation took six hours and Charlotte had to spend a day in the Intensive Care Unit (ICU) before recovering in her private room. The staff at The Portland helped her to start slowly moving around the hospital. She was able to walk short distances by the time she left to finish her recovery at home. Three months later, Charlotte was back to her usual routine. And now, at 13, she's dancing in a show with her friends and living a happy normal life. ‘The Portland Hospital were amazing for our family and I couldn’t have asked for better care. Charlotte said she felt like she was “the only person in the hospital” because she was looked after so well by the incredible staff.’
This content is intended for general information only and does not replace the need for personal advice from a qualified health professional.

Charlotte's support team

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