There are probably a couple of questions that spring to mind when you are reading this :
a) What is Scoliosis ??
b) Why is Dan writing about it ??
Well the short answers are that Scoliosis is a condition that is curvature of the spine and secondly I (Dan) have/suffer from it (suffer is not really true as to be fair, it doesnt bother me that much, thanks to surgery).
What is Scoliosis
So Scoliosis is curvature of the spine and about 3 in 100 people suffer from some form of the condition. Basically the condition means that over time as the spine develops, it grows with a curvature.
Scoliosis is abnormal curvature of the spine in the coronal (lateral) plane. Scoliosis of between 10° and 20° is called mild. Less than 10° is postural variation
I was lucky to be diagnosed at the age of 12/13 and had the operation during the summer (conveniently meaning I missed absolutely no school – clever parents hey !!!). I remember the diagnosis and to be fair had a pretty awesome surgeon by the name of Brad Williamson, who put me at ease that everything would be fine.
The operation was something in the region of 6 hours and involved the removal of 6 discs from my back, then the spine being fused along with the ‘installation’ of 2 titanium rods in my back.
I had 12 months where I wasn’t meant to play sport, which for anyone who knew me at that time will know how much torture that was for me (and my parents). I distinctly remember being out on the driveway doing free-throws on our basketball net a few weeks after the operation as clearly i knew best 🙂
Anyway, i ‘recovered’ and continued my athletics ‘career’ qualifying for various regional championships and posting some pretty decent performances whilst competing for Stockport Harriers and Middlesbrough & Cleveland.
I have gone on to do 2 bouts of fundraising to date, running the Nottingham half marathon in 2007 and more recently in 2012 completing the Hell Runner with Nichola Stott down in Hampshire, raising just under £3000 in total.
Its always interesting to see people’s reactions when you tell them about the fact your spine is fused and they wonder how you do certain things, but its amazing how many times that you forget about it.
International Scoliosis Awareness Day
If you come across this post and have any questions, feel free to get in contact as more than happy to share my experiences !!