Ivon Khondowe has idiopathic scoliosis. Scoliois is an abnormal sideways curving of the spine. Idiopathic means there is no definite cause. Idiopathic scoliosis tends to run in families and it affects girls 8 times as often as it affects boys.
Ivon first realised that her back was twisting when she was about 7, but because it was mild, it was easy to ignore it. However, by the time Ivon was 16, the deformity was much more severe and noticeable and it was causing her significant pain when she sat or stood for long. That was when Ivon’s parents decided to bring her to KCH and the orthopaedic surgeon diagnosed her condition. The surgeons also realised that Ivon was holding her body in an unnatural (and uncomfortable) way to try to imitate a normal posture and advised immediately that 500 miles fabricate a thoracic lumbar corset to halt the progression of the deformity.
After we fitted Ivon with her corset, we realised that she was still trying to compensate for the curvature, even when wearing the brace so we taught her some exercises to improve her posture and advised regular physiotherapy. The results were very positive and her posture has improved. At 16 and doing well in Form 3, Ivon is healthy, but she needs to be able to sit in class all day to secure her future.
Ivon’s treatment at 500 miles was paid for through One Smile.