Patient Spotlight on Alexa Toribio
14 years old
At the young age of 12 during a routine visit to her primary care physician, Alexa Toribio and her family were shocked to hear that she had a curvature of the spine and she would have to see a spine specialist. Naturally, her family was concerned and surprised as this was not something that ran in their family. As any 12 year old she loved to play outside with her friends, was very active at school, and had a passion for dance. As to be expected, her family was scared it would affect her way of life.
They were referred to one of the leading scoliosis specialists, Dr. Richard Francis at Spine Associates, who quickly got Alexa in for an appointment and confirmed that she had scoliosis. Her curvature was far enough advanced that she required intervention but because Dr. Francis is conservative, he didn’t want to rush into making a surgical recommendation. He recommended she wear a brace and they continue monitoring the progression and after a few months of wearing the brace, she was relieved the pain in her chest went away.
However, Alexa ended up having to wear her brace for 2 years. Despite wearing her brace for 23 hours a day, her curvature was still progressing and later she stated that the surgery “was the best decision I have ever made”
It was a difficult decision for Alexa and her family to move forward with surgery at the age of 14. Nevertheless, after seeing Dr. Francis for two years they knew he was the right person because of his conservative strategy and because “Dr. Francis always made me feel calm” during the entire process. After her surgery she went to physical therapy and “learned how to live [her] normal life again.”
Alexa and her family are grateful that she is now “Back to Normal”.
Patient Spotlight Gallery