Handsprings of Hope

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Madison Rambowski is a beautiful, bright, and talented high school freshman.  You would never know that last year, this champion athlete almost lost her ability to be on her cheerleading team because of Scoliosis- curvature of the spine.

“I was diagnosed in November of 2013,” Rambowki explained, “Um… I had really severe back pain while cheerleading and just doing normal everyday things that shouldn’t hurt.”

Madison, however, is extremely lucky.  She was able to have a new scoliosis surgery, which took away her pain and gave her dreams back.

“Towards the end I was very self-conscious because you could start see it through my clothes. You could tell that I was crooked. One shoulders down and my sleeves would always fall off,” Rambowski stated.  

Traditional treatment consists of having a painful back surgery, but there’s an extremely new procedure to treat Scoliosis. It's called vertebral body tethering, a procedure that fuses together the spine without metal rods. 

Dr. Darryl Antonacci is one of the seven surgeons in the world doing this procedure.

He says there is a large difference in using the technique versus a metal rod, explaining "this surgery specifically allows for fusion, but with mobility."

There is also a major difference in recovery time.

Six weeks after Madison underwent the surgery, she was back to doing backflips.

If she had had the traditional surgery, Dr Antonacci says that recovery would have taken six months.

3 million Scoliosis cases are diagnosed each year.