The Doctors: What Is Pectus Excavatum?
The Doctors talked to Kyle, a man who was born with a condition called Pectus Excavatum. Basically, he was born with a caved in chest. By the age of 12, it was getting pretty severe and was interfering with his heartbeat and his lungs. He had a procedure to correct it. When he was 16, he had a huge growth spurt that complicated things, so he had to get another another procedure on his chest.
The Doctors: What Is Scoliosis?
Shortly after that, he started noticing an abnormal curve in his spine. So he started going to several doctors and they took x-rays. It turns out that what Kyle had was scoliosis. The doctors recommended he do a spine fusion. But he felt like he wasn’t ready for that. He saw another doctor, Dr. Hooman Melamed, who took an MRI instead of just an x-ray and found out he had an additional condition.
The Doctors: What Is A Tethered Spinal Cord?
Dr. Melamed discovered that what Kyle had was a condition called a tethered spinal cord, where the spinal cord had not migrated up to where it is supposed to be in the spinal column. If Kyle had done the spine fusion procedure before fixing the tethered spinal cord, he would’ve been paralyzed for the rest of his life. Kyle needed a procedure to correct the tethered spinal cord first, then he needed the spinal fusion.
So they did the surgery and following it, Kyle’s scoliosis regressed at an alarming rate. He had to wear braces for 18 to 20 hours a day and do two to three hourse of physical therapy a day. Dr. Melamed said that when you do a procedure to correct the tethered spinal cord, sometimes it reverses the scoliosis. Unfortunately, sometimes it also causes the condition to regress further.
The Doctors: Post-Spinal Fusion Surgery
Following the spinal fusion surgery, however, Kyle was a new man. The surgery had caused him to grow three inches. He walked out proudly onto The Doctors’ stage to show off his new back. Kyle said that it’s a huge difference for him now. He used to live in constant pain, but now he’s much better.