'Miraculous' surgery for kyphoscoliosis sufferer

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by DEBBIE DENMON

WFAA

Posted on October 13, 2010 at 5:00 PM

Updated Wednesday, Oct 13 at 5:45 PM

FORT WORTH - A woman who has spent that last 20 years in pain calls her recent surgery in Fort Worth nothing short of a miracle.

Tiffany Russell said she has been through too many surgeries to count. Kyphoscoliosis had Russell stooped over, unable to walk or even stand up.

"I had lots of back pain," she said. "It got to where I would go to take a step and it was a shooting pain." 

The 35-year-old mother of two was practically bedridden for nearly six months.

"Now, you can see it's straightened," said Dr. Fernando Silva, with Texas Harris Methodist Fort Worth, while looking at after-surgery X-rays of Russell's spine. "It's great we were able to help."

Russell was able to walk within three days of a 14-hour reconstruction spinal surgery. Now, it's been three whole months of freedom.

"When I got to stop walking with the walker, holy cow that was the coolest thing," she said.

Silva said he has never seen a patient in her predicament heal so quickly. She no longer needs pain pills. 

The only thing Russell does wear now is a brace as her spine continues to heal. This all comes after several failed spinal fusion operations. It would seem the tenth time was a charm.

"[Silva] told me the chances were I could be paralyzed, it could not work, that I could die - and we still did it," Russell said.

It was a big step forward to have a better quality of life.

"The fact that I've healed this fast and been able to stand up right, I would call it miraculous," she said.

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