KUSA – A new treatment for scoliosis is helping young girl who’s battled a rare genetic disorder since birth.
Skylar Slavik has Soto Syndrome. Soto Syndrome is characterized by distinct facial features and overgrowth in childhood.
According to the U.S. National Library of Medicine, only 1 in about 10,000 babies are born with the condition.
Some symptoms include seizures and hearing loss.
Those that aren’t born with a straight spine develop a curve in the spine.
Rapid growth can cause the scoliosis to get a lot worse at a quick rate which can turn into a dangerous situation.
When the curve in Skylar’s back soon measured 59 degrees doctor’s knew they had to perform surgery.
Dr. Jaren Riley from Rocky Mountain Pediatric Orthopedics presented Skylar’s mother with a new treatment using magnetic rods. Skylar was the first to do this treatment that is so different than the rest.
“It’s been a game changer truthfully we’ve been able to have several other patients now who went through the same surgery,” Doctor Riley said.
After surgery, the rods help to lengthen the spine. It’s driven by a magnet that is controlled by an external magnet the external causes the internal magnet to turn and push the inner rod out and lengthen.
There’s no anesthesia, no incision, and no pain.
Skylar’s mom says she was up and about within a couple days after the surgery and got her full mobility back within four weeks. Skylar had the surgery in 2015.
Since then, she has had five lengthenings, which has allowed her spine to grow 2 cm. Each lengthening is measured by ultrasound, reducing the Skylar’s exposure to radiation.
She is now back in gymnastics and other activities that a 5-year-old enjoys.
“We went from a kid that was crooked with a 70 to 80 degree curve, to her walking out of that surgery almost an inch taller and almost completely straight with less than a 10-percent curve,” Skylar’s mom said.