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Ryan Viano is 10 years old and has spinal muscular atrophy, an inherited neurological disorder where the nerves are unable to control muscle function. As a result of the SMA, Ryan also has severe scoliosis.
Children with severe cases of scoliosis typically have rods implanted into their torso to control the curvature of their spines and prop up their chests. As they grow, the rods need to grow with them. Every six months, surgery is required in which doctors manually extend the rods.
In an attempt to lengthen Ryan's spine without continued surgeries, Ryan and family turned to Dr. Sumeet Garg, a spine specialist and orthopedic surgeon at Children's Hospital Colorado to bracket magnetically-controlled growth rods to Ryan's spine. The life-changing procedure was the first to be done at Children's Colorado, and offers a great promise for those with severe scoliosis.