Sheryl Miller

I was diagnosed as a young teen with scoliosis for which I was referred to an orthopedic surgeon who took an x-ray. I remember my spine looking like a spiral staircase, and I was referred to a top scoliosis doctor in Manhattan. Surgery was an option, but I would miss a year of high school and have to wear a full body cast so instead, I wore a brace throughout high school. Fast forward to the future and two children later, my curve went from 56 degrees to 70 degrees.

Throughout my adult life, I sought the advice of many spine specialists. Then 11 years ago, my husband came down with stage 4 lung cancer that spread to the brain and spine and he could no longer walk or move. Trying to move him over those 10 years really affected my spine and my curve progressed to just about 100 degrees, with tremendous pain. I tried all non-invasive treatments that I could find. Between my extremely sick husband, intense pain, and concern over what my future would be like post-surgery, I was overwhelmed and apprehensive. I was 64 years old, and my health was changing. On top of that, I was diagnosed with high blood pressure and osteopenia. I knew my spine would not hold up for much longer. The ribs and pelvis were so close, and I was told that once they touch, you cannot get through a day without pain. I knew I was running out of time.

I finally contacted a spine specialist who is considered a world renowned expert in scoliosis deformity correction. From the moment I met him, I knew he was the doctor for me! From his wealth of knowledge, explanations of the surgical procedure, and his preparation a month prior to my surgery, I had complete confidence that he would be the most prepared physician I could find. While I had been in denial for years, I finally realized that based on my age and the possibility of the situation getting worse over time, I had a small window of opportunity. so I had the surgery in December of 2022.

The surgery itself was an arduous undertaking. It was a 9-hour surgery, performing a Posterior spinal fusion with instrumentation from T2 to sacrum, with multiple degenerative changes in the thoracic and lumbar area, with severe lumbar stenosis. Other doctors wanted to do multiple surgeries! I am truly amazed at the exceptional results my doctor achieved, considering the complexity and severity of my condition. The positive transformation in my body, and overall quality of life is beyond what I could have imagined. Everyone I meet has horror stories about someone they know that had a much smaller spine surgery and is not doing as well as I am. I have more mobility than I ever expected! I live independently and am thrilled every day at how well I am doing! 

New Jersey | Scoliosis, lumbar stenosis, osteopenia | Posterior Spinal Fusion T2-Sacrum