Dr. Lawrence Lenke performs patient's 18th scoliosis surgery, says patient was 'bending by the hour'

Mackenzie Garrity -   Print  |

John Sarcona was diagnosed with scoliosis and kyphosis at the age of 5, according to CNN. By the age of 16, Mr. Sarcona had already undergone 16 spine surgeries to treat his disease.

One morning, Mr. Sarcona's mother noticed the rods in his spine were protruding from his back. Mr. Sarcona was rushed to the hospital to have the rods removed in his 17th surgery.

However, Mr. Sarcona's spine continued to bend. His surgeon recommended he visit Lawrence Lenke, MD, a spine surgeon and surgeon-in-chief at NewYork-Presbyterian in New York City. An expert surgeon, Dr. Lenke is a former president of the Scoliosis Research Society.

Dr. Lawrence told CNN Mr. Sarcona's spine was, "bending by the hour." His planned to perform a vertebral column resection. Mr. Sarcona's spine bent forward more than 120 degrees, leaving him with only 22 percent of his lung capacity.

The 13-hour surgery was successful. Mr. Sarcona is now seven inches taller.

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