Madeline Bell was just ten years old when her pediatrician first expressed some minor concerns about her slight spine curvature. After keeping close watch on it for a few years during her annual check-ups and finding that it had worsened to a 22-24 degree curve, she and her family decided that they wanted to be proactive in correcting it. When she was thirteen, Madeline was referred to an orthopedist who immediately suggested the National Scoliosis Center.
While Madeline was understandably not thrilled at the prospect of wearing a brace, she found Luke and the rest of the staff to be warm and encouraging. She says she never felt uncomfortable and that they involved her in the process of making her brace, being sure to make as many adjustments as needed for her comfort. Her biggest worry at the time was finding clothes that would cover it, but in time she was able to adjust her wardrobe to fit over her brace easily. As a soccer player, Madeline was happy to find that the ease with which she could put on and take off her brace to participate in practices and games was a real bonus.
Now sixteen years old, after wearing her brace for two and half years, Madeline’s curve has decreased to 19 degrees and she has been out of her brace since the summer of 2018. While she understands that newly diagnosed patients might be worried, she says, “There’s really nothing to be scared of. It’s definitely inconvenient, but the people [at the National Scoliosis Center] are super nice and friendly. My experience there was great.”