Ryan, our wonderful surprise baby, was born just 11 months after his bother. I had no complications during my pregnancy and Ryan was born to term. Ryan was always laid back and happy. Other than some reflux, he was very healthy. We did notice some differences between Ryan and his older brother. Ryan learned to sit up later than his brother and when he did, he had bad posture. He slouched, and he would plop down and lean back on his little Mickey Sofa. Sometimes he would just stop playing suddenly and lay down. I used to joke and say he was being lazy. Shortly after his 1st Birthday, I noticed the ribs on the right side of his back were sticking out. It looked like he had more muscle on that side of his back. I showed my husband and we both knew something was wrong.
I got him in to see his pediatrician’s associate. He didn’t seem too concerned, but after I mentioned that Ryan’s older sister had to have surgery for her severe scoliosis at age 12, he told us to have x-rays taken. My husband took him to get his x-rays the next day at a local lab. My husband said that when they took the x-rays, Ryan was laying down; my husband held Ryan’s legs straight, while the tech pulled his arms above his head. This first x-Ray, measured Ryan’s curve at 17 degrees. That night my husband showed me the x-ray and told me that it Ryan has what’s called Infantile or Early Onset Scoliosis. I immediately started searching the internet for information. Luckily, I came across the Infantile Scoliosis Outreach program. I read all about Mehta casting and saw the success stories. I joined the Early Onset & Mehta Casting Facebook group and read through every post I could. All of the parents were so helpful. I learned that Ryan’s curve would be worse than 17 degrees since he was lying down and pulled straight for the first x-ray. I learned that he needed a Mehta as soon as possible. He was already 13 months and the best window of time to cast is between 1 and 2 years old. I had also read that parents in our area were taking their children to the Texas Scottish Rite Hospital for Children in Dallas. By the next morning, I was on the phone with Heather Hyatt Montoya. She confirmed that Ryan needed to go to the Texas Scottish Rite Hospital soon. Our pediatrician referred us to the hospital but we were told we would need to wait for 3 months until out initial appointment. With Heather’s guidance, I put together a packet and sent it to the hospital. I was thrilled when we got a call within the week and got an appointment the next month.
At Ryan’s first appointment, proper standing x-rays were taken. The standing x-ray revealed Ryan’s curve was actually 34 degrees and his RVAD was measured at 29. An RVAD over 20 generally means it will progress. We set up a casting date for October 24, 2013. I was nervous for the first casting but I knew my little guys needed this treatment. The best news was hearing that the doctor was able to get great Ryan’s curve down to 11 degrees in cast number 1. Eight months later and Ryan is now in cast #4. His curve is measuring at 8 degrees in cast. He will get his last cast on July 11, 2014.
Ryan is thriving in his cast. He can do everything another toddler his age can do except get wet. He loves playing with his brother, jumping on his trampoline, and going on walks. He is happy, healthy and his spine is growing straight. We are so blessed to have found Heather and ISOP when we did. We are sharing Ryan’s story to show that Mehta’s EDF casting works! There are still so many pediatricians who don’t screen for infantile scoliosis and so many specialists that don’t recommend casting. I have heard from countless families who were told to “wait and see” which lead to these children missing their window for early treatment. Mehta Casting should be the first option for children like Ryan.