Patient Stories

Sofia Ma

When I was 6 years old, they detected the 30-degree curve, we started to treat it with swimming and kinesiology, since it was not surgical. In the first years, the results were incredibly good. But then it started to get worse again, so they put me in a corset and did the same process.  It got better, then it got worse, and then came what I feared most, surgery. By the time I was 12 years old, I already had 60 degrees of curvature, I had no pain or symptoms, but in the future, it was a danger. So, I took strength and did it, obviously afraid but optimistic that it would be the best thing.

The operation was a success, the recovery too. Everything was fine, until two years later I had a fistula. They decided to do a surgical bath to see what would happen. The fistula closed, we all thought it was already there, but 15 days later it came out again. I was about to celebrate my 15th birthday, they let me in, enjoy that night. Joining forces and then continuing with the antibiotics to see if it would go away. The visit to an infectious disease specialist determined that the material had to be removed, as my body could not tolerate it. I wondered what would happen now, if we removed the prosthesis, would the curvature return? What was the purpose of all this effort?

We were about to perform the third surgery. When a prosthesis is placed, bone grafts are placed; that would be my salvation when removing it, that would prevent the scoliosis from advancing again. That is how it was, but it only lasted two years. At 18 years of age, the curve was 80º and again it was a surgical plan. Again those harsh words “I HAVE TO OPERATE”, but I thought the same thing would not happen to me, I thought I had already been through it, I know how it feels, I can? But all my strength failed when they told us that it was not just the prosthesis anymore, it was 2 operations and that I needed a 12-day treatment with a Halo Cephalic. Scared, I could not define how I felt!  But again, my future was at stake, because even though I still had no symptoms other than aesthetics, it was dangerous in the long run. There was no longer any talk of 60°, it was 80° of curvature and it was increasing.

Luckily I said yes again, I think it was the first best decision I made when I was older (18 years old).
The treatment of Halo cephalic was bearable, the two surgeries were 9 hours each, I was hospitalized for a month and the results were SPECTACULAR!

Every scoliosis case is different, this was mine! It is a part of my life, something that taught me a lot. I proudly show my scar at the beach, at dance shows and with low-cut shirts behind. I lead a normal life, without pain and without restrictions.

Two months after the operation I competed in swimming, the previous times I did it without prosthesis I came out first and this time with the recent operation, my body adapting to the new life, I came out second. My hobby has always been Arab dancing and with the prosthesis I have no problem doing it. Currently, I am a nurse and a future doctor.

I decided to dedicate myself to helping those who live the same.  I have my own help pages on Facebook and Instagram I wrote the first book on scoliosis for patients and their families, mixing my part as a patient and as a health care professional.

This year I also presented a project for a “Sofia Law” in the Argentine Congress, which seeks to have implants covered 100%, since when imported material is requested, social works do not cover it and the patient has to pay for it. This generates that 50% cannot be operated, 40% waits in a public hospital and 10% pays with bank credit.


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