Orthopedics Advance


Pediatric Spinal Surgery: Spine Specialist Corrects Severe Scoliosis

Dr. MoultonKelly Smith, a 12-year-old from Sarasota, Fla., was born with idiopathic scoliosis, which showed as a curvature of her spine, a tilt in her torso and low back pain. Her doctor said Kelly was having a “growth spurt” and would grow out of the curvature, her father Drew says.

The doctor suggested she wear a brace, one treatment option for adolescents with scoliosis. However, when the family switched to a new pediatrician, he introduced Kelly and her parents to Andrew Moulton, MD, an orthopedic surgeon at Lakewood Ranch Medical Center and Sarasota Orthopedic Associates.

“Kelly had a severe curve which was progressively worsening based on X-rays taken over two years,” Dr. Moulton says. “Without surgery, the curves would progress to severe deformities.”

Correcting the spine: an intensive procedure in March, Kelly underwent 10 hours of spine surgery, there Dr. Moulton placed screws into 14 of her vertebra, connecting them to rods to straighten her spine. Kelly had some trepidation about the surgery, her father says. “However, from the start, Dr. Moulton was honest and optimistic about Kelly’s prospects for a full recovery, and his bedside manner was second-to-none.”

“I take every patient’s condition personally,” Dr. Moulton says. “The most important part of counseling before surgery is to explain everything, using models and their X-rays, and discussing their prognosis.” Kelly returned to school six weeks later and two weeks before her 13th birthday. “The doctors, nurses and staff were amazed at her recovery,” Drew says. Likewise, Dr. Moulton is excited about her progress. “She has more self-esteem and confidence now,” he says. “She’s no longer tilted and her back pain is gone.”

Giving Hope to Children with Spinal Deformities

In many parts of the world, children are born with spine deformities that their local medical facilities are unable to treat, and whose families do not have the financial resources to correct.

That’s why Andrew Moulton, MD, and his wife, Geraldine Collado, created The Butterfly Foundation. The nonprofit foundation organizes volunteers who travel to places such as the Dominican Republic, Malawi and Vietnam, to deliver surgical expertise to treat children suffering from scoliosis and other spine deformities. The teams perform corrective procedures, and train local doctors on how to treat these debilitating conditions. For more information visit www.butterflyfoundation.com.

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The Orthopaedic Spine and Joint Center at Lakewood Ranch Medical Center

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