How we helped a woman with tricuspid atresia to manage her spinal curve

Katrina

Congenital heart disease (CHD) can manifest itself in a number of different ways. For example, people born with tricuspid atresia - an absence of the heart's tricuspid valve - frequently experience fatigue, shortness of breath, and cyanosis (where the skin assumes a bluish tinge due to poor circulation).

Pertinently for us here at the Scoliosis SOS Clinic, tricuspid atresia can also be accompanied by curvature of the spine. Some years ago (when our clinic was still located in Suffolk), we treated a woman named Katrina - pictured above - who suffered from both tricuspid atresia and scoliosis. Katrina, who was in her twenties at the time, had undergone spinal fusion surgery as a teenager in the hope that this would correct her spinal curve; however, she received no further treatment or physiotherapy after the operation, and her curve subsequently began to progress once again. By 2007, she was experiencing constant pain and difficulty walking. Her scoliosis was even affecting her lung capacity - particularly problematic when you've already got a heart condition.

Katrina had all but abandoned hope of overcoming her scoliosis, but our ScolioGold treatment programme proved to be an effective solution, succeeding where spinal fusion surgery had failed her. Our exercise-based course helped Katrina to manage her spinal condition and dramatically improve her quality of life - here's what she herself said in an article for GUCH News (issue 58, published spring 2009):

"The course taught me how to manage my condition and to maintain my corrected posture without the help of a therapist...I now visit the clinic every 12 weeks for a refresher and to learn new exercises. I am able to speak to the therapists at any time if I need advice or have any problems.

"I am very lucky to have the clinic so close to me, however I advise anyone who has scoliosis and may be looking for further advice to ring the clinic and see what they can offer you...if you live far enough away they can provide self-catering accommodation nearby."
- Katrina Clarke, 'My Experience at the Scoliosis SOS Clinic'

Scoliosis can be caused by any number of different factors; in fact, very often, the cause is not even clear (this is known as idiopathic scoliosis). Scoliosis sufferers with congenital heart defects are just one subset of our diverse patient base, and we are capable of providing effective non-surgical treatment for a wide variety of different spinal conditions at any time of life.

To learn more about our ScolioGold treatment courses and book an initial consultation with Scoliosis SOS, please contact us today.