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When someone has scoliosis, the spine (also called the backbone) isn’t a straight line. Instead, it’s curved, usually in an “S” or “C” shape. Although scoliosis can affect people of all ages, it’s most commonly found in older children (ages 10 to 12) and teenagers.

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When someone has scoliosis, the spine (also called the backbone) isn’t a straight line. Instead, it’s curved, usually in an “S” or “C” shape. Although scoliosis can affect people of all ages, it’s most commonly found in older children (ages 10 to 12) and teenagers.

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Octavio's Story

Octavio Medina didn’t see it coming. At 12 neither he nor his family had the knowledge or information to understand what was happening to him—but they knew something was happening and fast.

An active soccer player and the linchpin of his family’s small farm in Jalisco, Mexico, pain and immobility were not options for Octavio, but he was quickly realizing that he didn’t have a choice. Octavio was beginning to notice that his back hurt and every day it seemed like his spine had curved even more, preventing him from standing up straight, and limiting his strength and movement.

As the situation progressed, Octavio and his parents visited several hospitals in Mexico but to no avail. So Rafael and Octavio tried hospitals in the U.S, but the Medinas did not qualify for MediCal and Rafael earned just enough money to be outside the federal poverty level, which would have allowed him to seek assistance.

But all was not lost. One of the physicians the Medinas visited could tell the family was losing hope. He was also well acquainted with the Orthopedic Institute for Children (OIC) and was confident that a referral would allow the Medinas to get Octavio the treatment he needed.

Once the referral took place, things moved quickly. Octavio was diagnosed with severe scoliosis, which required surgery as soon as possible. Dr. Anthony Scaduto, OIC’s President and CEO, personally took on Octavio’s treatment. 

After three surgeries, things improved considerably for Octavio, who is now 17. His last X-ray showed that his bones had not moved and he can even push and pull without a problem.

“I am so happy with OIC’s services,” Rafael Medina said at a recent visit. “My son is healed. We had no hope, and OIC gave us more than we could have ever asked for.”