Scoliosis: A sideways curvature of the spine that occurs most often during the growth spurt just before puberty. The cause of most scoliosis is unknown. Most cases are mild, but severe cases can reduce the amount of space within the chest, making it difficult for the lungs to function properly.
Spinal Fusion: A surgery to permanently connect two or more vertebrae in the spine, eliminating motion between them. Metal plates, screws and rods may be used to hold the vertebrae together, so they can heal into one solid unit.
Two titanium rods, 18 screws and a few hooks makes a 16-year-old far from spineless.
"So, it feels like... when you jump into a pool and you land on your back or something... it's just kinda sore. That's what it feels like. It doesn't really feel like you just had drills in your back... which is a good thing."
Thank you to Shriners Children's Hospital in Greenville, SC.