tween boy and adult standing in hallway

Jun 23, 2022 / Scoliosis & Spine

Share Your Story: Standing Tall

Meet Finn, a patient who is seen by our scoliosis and spine experts. Learn more about his journey below.

Blog written by Finn.  

I was diagnosed with scoliosis years ago. My curve was minor, and I would go to Scottish Rite for Children every six months for checkups. When I was about 10 years old, the curve started to worsen. Scottish Rite made me a back brace, which I would wear when sleeping, to try and prevent the curve from getting worse. 

My back didn’t cooperate with the brace. I think it’s because the scoliosis suddenly started curving my spine really fast. In less than a year, my curve grew about 20 degrees worse. I knew something wasn’t right. Breathing was getting harder, and I was easily tired. At my next checkup my fears were right, I found out I needed surgery to fix the curve. 

I also have a condition called osteogenesis imperfecta (OI), which causes me to have brittle bones. Because of this, everything felt extra scary. Would my bones be strong enough? Would I be able to do the things I love doing? So many questions. I think I was in shock. 

On the day I found out that I was going to need surgery, Dr. Brooks spent lots of time talking with my family. And then a psychologist. And then child life. Several more team members came to meet us after that. Honestly, it was a fog by the time we left, but my high fear level was much better. The team members were all so positive and that made it easier to wrap my head around what was next. 

Because of the OI, we needed to make my bones as strong as possible before surgery, so I had an infusion to help with that.

My back continued to curve at a very fast rate, so my original surgery date was moved up. I was scared, but I really wanted the surgery to be over with. And sure enough, less than three months after finding out that I needed surgery, it was done. Looking back, the waiting was hard, but everything went really fast. I had lots of appointments to get ready for surgery, making sure everything was planned out. 

For me, making sure my true identity was understood, was another very important part. I am a transgender 13-year-old boy. I have a really hard time when I am misgendered. Getting my preferred gender and name to be used has been a battle at other places. Making sure my identity was honored was a priority for me and was a priority for the team at Scottish Rite. It’s hard enough being in the hospital without being misgendered.

The entire team was focused on making me as comfortable as possible, in every way possible.  

Dr. Brooks told me I would be up and walking the day of my surgery or the very next morning. And I was! He also told me I would most likely stay for three nights, but I was able to go home after only two nights. Before my surgery, I went to sleep shorter than my mom and I woke up from surgery taller than her! 

Dr. Brooks told me I would be mostly recovered in three months and totally recovered in six months. I’m four months post surgery and almost completely recovered! Pretty soon I will be able to do everything I did before surgery. I’m already taller than I had been, and my lungs feel free to breathe. I also no longer have a scoliosis curve!



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