View Full Version : Ballet Dancer just diagnosed

04-09-2004, 11:45 AM
My daughter studies ballet at the International Ballet School. She is very serious and studies 3-4 hours every evening and on Saturday. She is very tall. 5'9" now. Our last xray showed that she went from a 35 degree curve to a 41 degree curve, and grew 1 inch over a six month period. Her curve is in the lower part of her spine. I am 5'10", so she may still be growing. Also, due to her extreme physical exercise she is late to start her period. She is 14....alsmost 15. She has no pain, but her back is amazingly flexible and strong from all her dance training. This doctor told us she needed surgery. She was crushed. She told me she would rather be crippled in her later life than stop dancing now. To complicate this further, I own a dancing school myself, but her studies just got so serious she went to a professional ballet training school. Anyway, if she had surgery, her dream would be gone. We are going to get more than one opinion of course, but is there a professional ballet dancer out there with this level of curve (or more) in the lower spine who danced through her 20's and can advise?

04-10-2004, 07:12 PM
I wish your daughter the best of luck. Is there anyway she can be braced to stop the curvature right now until she is finished growing? My curve started at 32 degrees when I was in jr high shcool and remained stable until I stopped growing and got out of my brace. It gradually got worse over the years and was able to wait until now to have surgery (I am now 35 yrs old). They say that surgery for scoliosis is not an emergency, so if she isn't haven't any pain I'd probably want to wait to be sure it continues to progress.

I live in Grand Junction, but had my surgery in Denver. What dr does she see?

Good luck!


04-14-2004, 11:04 AM
Thank you for your response. I am looking into bracing for her, but as of yet we have not had that conversation with a Dr. I am unsure about it because with her dancing she couldn't wear it 23 hrs. per day, which is what seems to be necessary. But then again, I feel like we have nothing to loose to try any alternative that we can. The only Dr. we have seen is Dr. Jamrich. He is with the Rocky Mountain Spine Clinic. Did you like your doctor, and do you mind telling me who he/she is, especially if he/she is in Denver. Thank you so much!;)

04-15-2004, 11:59 PM
My doctor is Dr. Donaldson with Panaoma Orthopedic. I think very highly of him. My 56 degree curvature was corrected to 15 degrees. It is amazing. He was highly recommneded to my by both my local drs and my previous drs that I saw in Chicago. His office is actually in Golden, but I had my surgery in Denver at Lutheran Hospital. Feel free to email me and I'd be glad to get you his phone number. My email is apiechota@bresnan.net.

Good luck!

04-16-2004, 12:43 PM
Did you have a hump before surgery? If so, is it gone after surgery? Was your scoli a thoracic one?


04-20-2004, 12:39 AM
Hello my name is Kristina. I wore a brace up until I was 16 years old. I did not wear it 23 hours a day. It did help me out but I am 20 now and getting surgery. The doctors said I was done growing at the age of 16 which I still do not think it was true but I think you should try the bracing. As long as she wears it as many hours a day as she can I believe it will help. Once I was in high school my curve started to get worse but then I started wearing my brace for about 19 hours a day and it got better by the time I stopped wearing it. A 41 degree curve is bad but my doctors said they would not consider surgery until it got to the 50's. Well I wish you good luck and if you need anything email me kristinamarie04@hotmail.com

04-21-2004, 04:51 PM
I read in the Denver Post about 2 months ago of a girl who is very serious ballet dancer with scoliosis. She wears a brace to correct her curve also. She still dances and teaches small children ballet in the family home also. So it is probable that bracing would help her too!

My doctor for scoliosis/hyphosis was Dr Tomas Lowe who has his offices at Lutheran Medical Center in Wheatridge. He has done a great deal of research and work with scoliosis. Her curve may not be critical enough for surgry! My curves progressed so very rapidly that we had no choice but to do surgery, I was already close to non operatable. But that is not a situation that occurs commonly. Seek other medical advice!

04-22-2004, 04:39 PM

My name is Mollie, and I am also a dancer who was diagnosed with scoliosis when I was 14. I needed a brace and was required to wear it 23 hours a day. Please tell your daughter to wear it as much as possible when she is not dancing. If I had not had the brace I would have over a seventy degree curve today, with the bracing I got down to 18 degrees. Unfortunately my curve went back to where it was and it is now at forty degrees again. This is becaue my growth plates were not completely closed like we thought. If she has any questions about the brace at all please tell her to email me and I can answer questions that way or she can call me. I just know that she can still dance with it, but it will take some time to adjust to the brace. Right now I am a student and dance minor at the University of Wyoming, and hope that this helps you out some!