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Spiking Scoliosis for Good at Texas Health Plano
06/10/2013

PLANO, Texas — Alexis McCants — Lexi, to her friends and family — is every mother’s dream: smart, talented and kind. But for Lexi’s mom, Angela, the dream quickly turned to something more like a nightmare last year when she discovered her daughter had inherited not only some of her best characteristics, but also one of her worst: scoliosis.

Alexis McCants
Alexis McCants

“There is a 25 percent chance of mother to daughter transmission of scoliosis,” said Dr. Isador Lieberman, an orthopedic and spinal surgeon on the medical staff and medical director of the Spine Tumor & Scoliosis Center at Texas Health Presbyterian Hospital Plano. Scoliosis involves curves and rotations of the spine which can cause back pain, muscle tightness and fatigue. A variety of treatment options exist from monitoring the angle of the curve to surgery to correct more serious curvature.

Lexi, a 15-year-old multi-talented sophomore from Frisco who dreams of expanding her track and volleyball repertoire, was diagnosed with scoliosis after tagging along with her mom to an appointment and getting an X-ray of her back that showed severe curves.

“Volleyball workouts had always been tough on her,” said Angela. “She often couldn’t move the day after – literally could not get out of bed. Everything made sense when I saw that curve.”

Lexi and her family followed up with the Scoliosis & Spine Tumor Center at Texas Health Plano, which is recognized both regionally and internationally for the care provided. Using minimally invasive techniques, professionals at the center develop individualized plans for each patient, ensuring that they include both the emotional and physical aspects of treatment for conditions like scoliosis.

Despite all the accolades, skill and technology, Lieberman, who is fellowship trained, understands the importance of emotional support for all of his patients. He speaks directly to his patients, regardless of their age.

Many times for his teen and young adult patients, having scoliosis surgery is the first major life decision they make, Lieberman said. “Alexis’ expectations of her post-surgery healing and flexibility are high — she is an athlete — and we want to do everything possible to provide the best outcome we can for Alexis and for every patient we have the honor of treating.”

At Texas Health Plano's Scoliosis & Spine Tumor Center, experienced surgeons on the medical staff perform surgery using the most appropriate, innovative and least invasive spine surgery techniques. Less invasive surgery generally offers more cosmetically acceptable scars, a shorter hospital stay and a faster recovery. Lieberman is internationally recognized for advancing the use of minimally invasive spinal surgery techniques to treat scoliosis. Surgeons at Texas Health Plano are supported by a specialized operating room team, part of the hospital’s Magnet Recognition Program Award, a designation from the American Nurses Credentialing Center.

Lieberman uses the Renaissance® surgical robot, the only surgical robot designed specifically to operate on the spine. It enables surgeons to plan the optimal surgery ahead of time using a computed tomography (CT)-based 3D simulation of the patient's spine. Surgery for scoliosis involves correcting and balancing the curve and fusing the bones in the curve together.

Just a few months after her surgery, Lexi is already planning for volleyball team tryouts at Centennial High School and has high hopes for playing the sport without worrying about pain or limitations on her ability. “After I’m recovered, I don’t think I will have to be as cautious; I will be able to play the game and just have fun, rather than worry,” she said.

“She turns everything into a positive,” laughs mom Angela. “It’s one of her best traits.”

About Texas Health Presbyterian Hospital Plano
Texas Health Presbyterian Hospital Plano is a 366-bed acute care hospital and recognized clinical program leader, providing technologically advanced care to Plano and surrounding areas since 1991. The hospital’s services include orthopedics, cardiovascular services, oncology, pediatrics and women’s services. An affiliate of the faith-based, nonprofit Texas Health Resources system, Texas Health Plano has more than 1,600 employees and 1,200 physicians on the medical staff. For more information, call 1-877-THR-WELL or visit TexasHealth.org/Plano.

About Texas Health Resources
Texas Health Resources is one of the largest faith-based, nonprofit health systems in the United States. The health system includes 24 acute care and short-stay hospitals that are owned, operated, joint-ventured or affiliated with Texas Health Resources. It includes the Texas Health Presbyterian, Texas Health Arlington Memorial and Texas Health Harris Methodist hospitals, a large physician group, outpatient facilities, and home health, preventive and fitness services, and an organization for medical research and education.

For more information about Texas Health Resources, call 1-877-THR-WELL, or visit TexasHealth.org.

Doctors on the medical staff practice independently and are not employees or agents of the hospital.

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