By Stephanie Stahl

PHILADELPHIA (CBS) — New advances are helping teenagers with a curvature of the spine– an often hidden condition called scoliosis.

Lindsay Gordon, 19,  does planks every night. The Penn freshman has scoliosis and this is how she keeps her core and back strong.

After being diagnosed when she was 12, Lindsay wore a brace for 4 years, 20 hours a day.

Dr. John Flynn, the chief of orthopedics at Children’s Hospital of Philadelphia, says Lindsay was able to avoid surgery because it was caught early.

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“Most kids don’t know they have it at all,” said Flynn. “That’s the problem with scoliosis, it’s kind of silent, you don’t know you have it and you can have tremendous deformity on x-ray.”

“The brace is the only thing known to man that will halt the progression of curve scoliosis in a rapidly growing kid,” Flynn added.

Dr. Flynn says braces have become more sophisticated and even have sensors to make sure they’re being worn enough.

And the other innovation is with low dose x-rays.

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“We can still see the spine with the same detail to make precise measurements of the curvature and yet the radiation dose to the patient is dramatically lower,” said Flynn.

Lindsay is fine now and excited about all the innovations to treat scoliosis

“ I think it’s amazing to see that development because they didn’t have those technologies when I was first starting out,” said Gordon.

 

Stephanie Stahl