Diagnosed with severe scoliosis and kyphosis when he was five years old, John Sarcona underwent over a dozen surgeries throughout his life, mostly for fairly conventional approaches such as implanting metal rods to guide the development of his spine. As a teenager, the condition worsened. Metal rods were no longer a viable corrective. He was “bending by the hour,” one physician recalled. Sarcona’s body was so contorted that it was severely impacting his life. His lung capacity was down to 22 percent.
Surgeons at New York – Presbyterian Hospital recommended a rare and risky procedure: a vertebral column resection.
CNN provides the details of Sarcona’s medical journey in the following report.