Page 1 of 2 12 LastLast
Results 1 to 15 of 16

Thread: Essay Contest

  1. #1
    Join Date
    Jan 2008
    Posts
    73

    Essay Contest

    So, I'm bored and I just decided to post about this.
    I recently wrote a 5 page essay for school on Scoliosis and Genetics, and it turns out that my teacher thought it was so good, that he sent it into some contest thing, and I won! The letter I got in the mail doesn't say if I got 3rd, 2nd, or 1st place, but I'm really excited. There's like a banquet thing next month, and so my dad is going with me. I can't wait!!
    So, if anyone needs any information on scoliosis for a report, I found a bunch of info on the genetics!
    braceyourself.

  2. #2
    Join Date
    Dec 2007
    Location
    bucks county PA
    Posts
    156
    WOW! That is so cool! Congrats on doing a great job. This might also be a good way about getting info out to more people about scoliosis.
    2 60* curves, DDD, left trunk shift, some rotation, rib and lumbar humps, annular tear at L5-S1
    surgery 5/08 planning fusion T3 or T4 to sacrum with iliac fixation
    Dr. Anderson at Rothman Institute
    5/16/08 ALIF L1-L5
    5/23/08 fused T2-sacrum w/fixation and I'm all Titanium
    6/4/08 open all back up to clean out for Staph infection
    (left open with just clear dressing)
    6/6/08 recleaned and closed
    3/30/2012 revision planned, broken rod and removal of iliac bolts

  3. #3
    Join Date
    Jan 2008
    Posts
    73
    thanks! that was part of my goal. we had to do a class presentation, and a lot of my friends had no idea what it really was. i brought in an x-ray and i put it on an overhead projector, and everyone was all like, whoa. it was really a good thing, so now, maybe people will be more educated if they find out that they have it too.
    braceyourself.

  4. #4
    Join Date
    Jan 2008
    Location
    NC
    Posts
    8,901
    Congratulations! That's so great!

    Isn't science interesting? Do you think you might have a career in science?

    Science is so fascinating. My twin daughters (13 yo) are both very interested in science. One wants to be a veterinarian and the other wants to be either a paleontologist (studies fossils) or an astronomer (studies the universe, planets, solar systems, galaxies, etc.).

    I'm a geochemist, someone who studies the environment and pollution and such from the perspective of both geology and chemistry. I was always interested in science as a child and my parents encouraged my curiosity. I think that's why I became a scientist when I grew up.

    Anyway, enough about me and my daughters, congratulations again!

    sharon

    ps. I would love to read your paper. Can you post it?
    Last edited by Pooka1; 04-26-2008 at 08:26 PM.

  5. #5
    Join Date
    Jan 2008
    Posts
    59
    Wow, that's great!! Congrats! Sooo many people have no clue as to what scoliosis is! And a lot of those who do know about it just think it's caused by having bad posture, which annoys me so much ugh!

    I'm taking an anatomy/physiology class next year and there's this one huge project where you have to research some kind of disorder, illness, etc. and I already know I want to do mine on scoliosis. I just want to get the right information out there and make people more aware of it, like you did. Plus I think it'd be interesting to bring in my xrays haha.
    Nicole//18 years old, college sophomore//50 degree thoracolumbar curve//Posterior Spinal Fusion in 2008, Fused T5 to L3

  6. #6
    Join Date
    Mar 2006
    Location
    DFW, TX
    Posts
    159

    Terrific!

    I am glad to hear that you did that and were recognized by your teacher. It is great for your peers and others to learn and understand scoliosis. I hope others will do so. The more people that learn about it, the better.
    Shirley
    Mom to Amanda, 18, Scoliosis T58, previous Spinecor bracing for 9 months before diagnosed with Chiari I CM, and Syringomyelia (Syrinx) SM. CM/SM decompression surgery 12/4/06, Spinal fusion surgery with titanium rods and hardware and full correction 8/1/07 at Texas Scottish Rite Hospital for Children.

    Also mom to Megan, 14, with diagnosis PDD-NOS on the autism spectrum

  7. #7
    Join Date
    Jan 2008
    Posts
    73
    Quote Originally Posted by Pooka1
    Congratulations! That's so great!
    Thanks! I deeply thank you and everybody else who also posted in this thread for their support.

    Quote Originally Posted by Pooka1
    Do you think you might have a career in science?
    I do not plan on going into any scientific fields. I am not the best at it, and I don't have as much an interest for it as other subjects.

    Quote Originally Posted by Pooka1
    ps. I would love to read your paper. Can you post it?
    Sure! The next post will be my paper. Thank you for your interest!
    braceyourself.

  8. #8
    Join Date
    Jan 2008
    Posts
    73

    Scoliosis: Get The Facts (And Your Spine) Straight.

    -Introduction-
    Imagine life in a plastic tube. Imagine having to answer 20 questions a day about your condition. Imagine people staring at the shape of your body. Imagine having scoliosis. As a scoliotic patient, I donít have to imagine these things. I know what they are like; It is a very personal topic that I can easily talk about for hours. This topic was at the top of my list because I want people to know about it. Itís an important thing that someone may have - and never know until itís too late.
    -Getting Familiar With Scoliosis-
    The scientific definition of scoliosis is when a personís spine is curved side to side, or front to back, and could also be rotated. An individualís spine as shown on an x-ray would appear to be more so an ďSĒ or a ďCĒ rather than a straight line. There are a few different classifications: Congenital (caused by vertebral anomalities present at birth), idiopathic (sub-
    classified as infantile, juvenile, adolescent, or adult according to when onset occurred), neuromuscular (when the spine curves to the side due to weakness of the spinal muscles or neurologic problems), and degenerative (scoliosis forms later in life, as joints in the spine degenerate and create a bend in the back). Scoliosis can also be a secondary symptom from
    another condition, such as cerebral palsy and spinal muscular atrophy. I have congenital scoliosis. Symptoms of scoliosis include rib humps, prominent shoulder blades, uneven hip and shoulder levels, and slow nerve action.
    Scoliosis is more commonly found in females. Scoliotic curves that are greater than 10 degrees affect 2-3% of the United States. Curves that are greater than 20 degrees are found in about 1 in 2500 people. Convexities to the right are more common than those to the left, and ďCĒ curves are slightly more frequent than ďSĒ curves. There are more infantile or juvenile scoliosis cases in males, but there is a higher amount of adolescent cases in females. People known to have scoliosis include Elizabeth Taylor, Kurt Cobain, America Ferrara and Rebecca Romijn.

    -Treating Scoliotic Patients-
    The treatment of scoliosis is determined by the severity of the curve and is complex. If progression is shown, the options are in order as follows: Observation, Bracing, and Surgery. Bracing is only done when there is still bone growth occurring, and is used to help prevent the need for surgery in the patientís future. The most commonly used brace is the TLSO, or Boston
    Brace. TLSO stands for thoracolumbosacral orthosis. It is a corset-like appliance that usually covers the whole torso section and is custom made from plastic. Depending on the case, braces are not typically effective enough to eliminate the possibility of surgery, but it gives the patient time to grow before performing surgery.
    The surgery aspect of scoliosis comes in for curves that have a high chance of progression causing pain, cosmetic changes, changes in sitting and care, and affects in functions such as breathing. Spinal fusion is the most widely performed surgical procedure for scoliosis. Bone is grafted (replaces missing bone with material from the patient's own body, an artificial,
    synthetic, or natural substitute) to the vertabrae so that when it heals, it forms one solid bone mass and the vertabral column becomes rigid. The procedure prevents worsening the curve. Spinal fusions were originally done with metal implants, with a cast applied after surgery to hold the curve as straight as possible until the fusion was done. There was a high risk of
    pseudarthrosis (fusion failure) and the correction was not always completed. In 1962, Paul Harrington came out with a metal spinal system which helped to straighten the spine, as well as hold it while fusion occurred. The Harrington Rod worked with a ratchet system, held by hooks at the top and bottom of the curve that when cranked would straighten it. One problem with the system was that the skull and the pelvis wouldnít align, which wouldnít help to fix rotation. Because of this, the unfused parts of the spine would compensate for the effort to stand straight. When aging occurred, there would be problems such as early arthritis, disc degeneration,
    muscular stiffness and pain with eventual feeding on painkillers, further surgery, inability to work full-time and disability. The newer versions of fusion include screws, rods, hooks and wires correcting the spine and are safer and better than the Harrington Rod. They have a much better outcome and there are very few errors in correction. Patients who have undergone this surgery generally lead normal lives. The highest restriction is that surgical patients of scoliosis are illegible for military services.

    -What Causes Scoliosis?-
    There has been a extremely large amount of scientific research, but the causes of some types of scoliosis remain unknown. Adolescent idiopathic scoliosis may be a disease that is inherited as a genetic trait, much like some other diseases, such as sickle cell anemia. The gene that causes scoliosis has still not been discovered, but scientists are trying to find this gene using new techniques for looking into genetic inheritance. Tons of universities around the world have focused on figuring out the genetic role in scoliosis.
    Lots of evidence point to the possibility of an abnormal gene being partially responsible for some types of scoliosis. It is possible that genetic factors may have a part in some aspects of scoliosis, such as the pattern of curvature (left versus right curves), the shape of the curve, and the risk of progression. Also, the fact that it appears in relatives, such as my father and I, suggests that scoliosis may be inherited. Several studies have shown that the coincidence of scoliosis in first degree relatives such as parents, siblings, and children ranges from 7-11%. On the other side of the fact, the cases in second-degree relatives decreases to less than 4 %. The exact pattern of inheritance is unknown, and the gene that is responsible for scoliosis has yet to be identified. There is one important lead that was just recently discovered by scientists at Washington University School of Medicine in St. Louis, working in collaboration with investigators at the University of Texas Southwestern Medical Center and Texas Scottish Rite
    Hospital for Children, both in Dallas, Rutgers State University of New Jersey and the University of Iowa. Known as CDH7, researchers have found a defect in this gene that may lead to idiopathic scoliosis. The gene is thought to play a huge role in many basic functions of the cell. Researchers found that patients with scoliosis frequently had a defect in the gene's non-coding
    region, meaning that the mistake did not affect production of the CHD7 protein. The researchers think that this particular mutation alters the binding of a molecule that controls whether the gene is turned on. In this case, they think the gene is turned off more often than it should be, which reduces the amount of CHD7 protein produced. Scientists will continue to study families with the condition to further the amount of evidence.






    Sources
    News-Medical. 4 February 2008. <http://www.news-medical.net>
    Wikipedia. 4 February 2008. <http://en.wikipedia.org>.


    That was part one. The file was too big to post, so I have to split it into two parts.
    braceyourself.

  9. #9
    Join Date
    Jan 2008
    Posts
    73

    Part Two

    -My Story-
    I am a patient of congenital scoliosis. There is one other case of scoliosis in my family. My father was not carefully watched as a child. He was taken to a doctor, but was never treated as a child until it was too late. In his early 30s, with a curve in the 60 degree range, he had a 12 hour surgery. It has been many years, and he is doing well with the rods and discs in his back. But when I was 3 years old, my mother noticed a rounded shoulder blade. At one of his appointments after the surgical procedure, the doctor looked at my back and decided to keep watch on me as I grew. It did not turn into anything until mid 2000. At that time, I was thought to have an idiopathic case, with a 6 degree to 7 degree rotation.

    Note: This is where a lot of my history was, but I took it out.

    My last appointment was actually in February. The curve is stable, and I am starting to wear my brace part time for 16 hours. At my next appointment, if I the curve is held, I will not have to wear my brace during the day, and only at night.
    I am frequently questioned about my scoliosis. It gets a little bit annoying after awhile, but I am not afraid to share my personal experience. It is hard for people to relate to me, and sometimes I feel like I am the only one who goes through this. I recently joined a support forum online [that's this site!!], so I can talk to other people who deal with the same thing. It really helps me feel like Iím not so different. Iím used to my brace, and Iíve learned to deal with it. Of course, there are the hard times when I go on trips to the beach, or when itís really hot outside, and Iím
    sweating bullets through the thick foam and plastic, but I know how to dodge it. Having scoliosis makes things harder than they really should be, but itís not a big deal to me anymore. As long as my brace is effective, I think things are going to turn out just fine. Iím in very good hands; Kudos to Dr. B. My advice to people who are beginning the process of scoliosis treatment it to keep your head up high - having scoliosis is not a bad thing. I always think of how non-scoliotic patients donít have to deal with anything. It sounds negative, but when you really think about it, they donít get to learn anything valuable from the experience and they also donít grow to be a stronger person because of it. They also donít get to wear a colored piece of plastic around proudly.
    -Conclusion-
    Scientists have gone a long way in discovering the gene that causes scoliosis. We may never know the true cause. All we really have is each other. We can only grow during this experience, and maybe if they do find the real cause, we can help to prevent us from passing it on to our children, or our grandchildren, or our great-grandchildren. I want people to find a cure. An effective cure that will end the gene, because nobody should have to go through it. Iím glad that school screenings are manditory in the US. People need to be more aware of what is happening in their body, because if itís there and you donít know it, it can only get worse. They could end up at age 30, lying in a hospital bed because it was never caught, like my father, or you can do something about it now, like me. Help yourself, and help others. Put an end to scoliosis.

    Hope you liked it!
    braceyourself.

  10. #10
    Join Date
    Jan 2008
    Location
    NC
    Posts
    8,901
    I LOVED it!

    Thanks so much for posting it.

    By the way, you were right to remove a lot of the personal information. And I wouldn't have asked you to post the report if I knew it had any personal information. Always be careful on online, even in a forum like this.

    Great job. I love your approach to this subject and how you are dealing with it.

  11. #11
    Join Date
    Jan 2008
    Posts
    73
    Quote Originally Posted by Pooka1
    I LOVED it!

    Thanks so much for posting it.

    By the way, you were right to remove a lot of the personal information. And I wouldn't have asked you to post the report if I knew it had any personal information. Always be careful on online, even in a forum like this.

    Great job. I love your approach to this subject and how you are dealing with it.
    Thank you so much! I'm glad you liked it.

    I was hoping by taking out my name, age, and all of my other personal history I'd be safer - I was very hesitant on posting my report anyway, so I figured that would probably be the safest thing to do.

    Thank you very much again.
    braceyourself.

  12. #12
    Join Date
    Oct 2007
    Location
    Indiana
    Posts
    1,974

    Thumbs up Hooray for you!

    Dear spine'[chicka]--
    Just finished reading this thread-- and want to say how proud I am of you! Congratulations on the award-- and for working so hard to inform others of scoliiosis. Your parents must be really happy about your efforts too. I think it was really clever of you to include your x-ray when you did your presentation in class. With scoli, the x-ray says so much to those who don't understand. Like "YIKES!"

    Let us know how the banquet is. Again, congrats on a great job!
    66 and still heartbroken...
    2007 52į w/ severe lumbar stenosis & L2L3 lateral listhesis (side shift)
    5/4/07 posterior spinal fusion T2-L4 w/ laminectomies and osteotomies @L2L3, L3L4
    Dr. Kim Hammerberg, Rush Univ. Medical Center in Chicago

    Corrected to 15į
    2014 DXd w/CMT (type 2)

    Click to view my pics: pics of scoli x-rays digital x-rays, and pics of me

  13. #13
    Join Date
    Jan 2008
    Location
    NC
    Posts
    8,901
    Quote Originally Posted by spine'[chicka]
    Thank you so much! I'm glad you liked it.

    I was hoping by taking out my name, age, and all of my other personal history I'd be safer - I was very hesitant on posting my report anyway, so I figured that would probably be the safest thing to do.

    Thank you very much again.
    Once again, I never would have asked you to post the report i I knew you spoke of yourself. I just assumed it was a more usual scientific report on the subject of scoliosis that wouldn't normally include anything about the author. I understand why you included the personal information, though, in your report for school.

    Smart girl to never post your name, location, age, etc. online no matter who asks you to do so, even if it is another kid (or someone you think is another kid).

    Enjoy the banquet.

    sharon

  14. #14
    Join Date
    Jan 2008
    Location
    NC
    Posts
    8,901
    Quote Originally Posted by spine'[chicka]
    I was very hesitant on posting my report anyway, so I figured that would probably be the safest thing to do.
    Not to beat a dead horse but I wanted to say that you had a good instinct here because the report had personal information. If you are hestitant about something like this again, don't do whatever the person asks. Don't worry about making them mad or sad.

    Trust your instincts.

    sharon

  15. #15
    Join Date
    Jan 2008
    Posts
    73
    Quote Originally Posted by Susie*Bee
    Dear spine'[chicka]--
    Just finished reading this thread-- and want to say how proud I am of you! Congratulations on the award-- and for working so hard to inform others of scoliiosis. Your parents must be really happy about your efforts too. I think it was really clever of you to include your x-ray when you did your presentation in class. With scoli, the x-ray says so much to those who don't understand. Like "YIKES!"

    Let us know how the banquet is. Again, congrats on a great job!
    Thanks a bunch! My parents are actually very supportive and very proud of me, too.
    braceyourself.

Posting Permissions

  • You may not post new threads
  • You may not post replies
  • You may not post attachments
  • You may not edit your posts
  •