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Teen Recovers After Surgery to Correct Severe Scoliosis

SPRINGFIELD, Mo. -- Many medical conditions appear without any pain or problems, but it's hard to believe a teenager from Springfield never knew how bad her scoliois was until she took a look at an x-ray.
SPRINGFIELD, Mo. -- Many medical conditions appear without any pain or problems, but it's hard to believe a teenager from Springfield never knew how bad her scoliois was until she took a look at an x-ray.

While Brooke Frazier can keep her color guard moves straight now, she had no control over the way her body wanted to bend.  "It was pretty scary to find out," she says.

"This is one of those things that always happens to somebody else, it's someone else's kid," says Brooke's dad, Mark Frazier.

A severe case of scoliois that'll send chills down your spine.
"Whenever I saw the x-ray I was pretty shocked because I couldn't really tell from how I felt that that's what it looked like," Brooke insists.

Without any major pain or problems, Brooke wore a brace at first to try to correct what started as a simple "S" curve.  "It was pretty drastic."

But after just a few months, her back began to curve out of control, leaving surgery as the only solution.
"Everytime she'd have a growth spurt, she'd twist up some more," Mark Frazier recalls.

"Scoliosis in and of itself is not a painful condition," explains Dr. Todd Harbach, an orthopedic spine surgeon at Mercy Hospital.  Harbach says scoliosis is caused by several factors and tends to run in families.

 Girls are ten times as likely to require surgery to correct their spines.
"The reason that we worry about it, is left unchecked, it will progress enough that you will die of premature death," Harbach notes.

Brooke's body took the brunt of scoliosis, bringing even more bad news to her and her family.
"The ribcage was all twisted and it was taking one of the lungs and stretching it out and it was compressing the other one."

 After six hours of surgery, two metal roads and more than a dozen screws, Brooke is now on the straight and narrow path.
"So you don't have any pain at all?" a reporter asks.  "No, not really," she says.
And with the exception of a few scheduled check-ups, she's back to  doing what she loves.  "Life will be normal again."


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