Gresham Wagner was an avid go-kart rider, winning races and spending his free time working on his cars. Early in his teen years while getting a standard check-up he was told that he had scoliosis. Scoliosis is an abnormal sideways curve of the spine. Gresham actually had two curves in his spine, making it nearly impossible for him to walk, let alone ride his go-karts.
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After doing some research, Gresham’s father, Kevin, found the Spine Center at UVA. Gresham had corrective surgery during the summer and was able to rehabilitate in time to return to school in the fall. Gresham hasn’t given up on his racing dreams. He has stopped racing go-karts and has moved into cars.
Scoliosis in children has been extensively studied. Typically, the curve in the spine appears during the growth spurt prior to puberty. Sometimes, scoliosis can be a side effect of muscular dystrophy, cerebral palsy or other neuromuscular conditions. A spinal curve is typically less than 20 degrees and does not require treatment. However, in cases like Gresham’s, the curve can be much more severe and require corrective surgery.