TEEN ESSAY: Casa Grande teen doesn't shy from scoliosis surgery

  • Tina Lee

When you have it done in middle school, it really does not seem like much.

You stand with your arms outstretched and do certain stretches while the nurse watches your shoulders and spine. You finish and you probably don't think of it again. However, Tina Lee, who recently completed her junior year at Casa Grande High School, this simple test revealed that she was part of the 1 percent of people who have scoliosis.

"Scoliosis is a curvature of the spine, and doctors don't know why people get it," Lee said. "I figured out in fifth grade in one of those physical checks at school. It wasn't a big deal, so I kind of ignored it.

"In junior high, I got it checked again, and they said it was getting bad. There was 30 degrees of curvature at the top, but we didn't do anything except regular checkups."

(Zero degrees of curvature is normal.) Unfortunately for Lee, her condition continued to worsen. At a 50-degree curvature, her doctor recommended surgery, but her parents wanted to try alternatives.

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