Global Spine Outreach

Transforming Children with Complex Spinal Deformities Around the World!

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Meet Monica U.

Meet Monica

The Global Spine Outreach volunteers first met Monica in Chihuahua, Mexico on our first mission there in May 2015. Monica has a rare disorder that makes it difficult for her to move her joints, called arthrogryposis. She had three previous spinal surgeries to correct her kyphoscoliosis before meeting the GSO team, but those surgeries failed her. In December 2015, Drs. Rinella and Mundis and the GSO team performed her surgery to correct her kyphoscoliosis. Monica’s kyphosis was the most severe and the biggest concern for the team as it had progressed to 140°. The surgery GSO Drs. Rinella and Mundis along with our Mexico surgeon partner, Dr. Enrique Rosales performed was a Posterior Spinal Fusion from thoracic levels 1 to 12 and they also performed a vertebral column resection (VCR) at T5. This surgery corrected a good amount of her kyphosis (which could be seen from the bump in her back) and should keep her kyphoscoliosis from progressing. We look forward to seeing Monica and getting her latest update on how she is doing when the team sees her next in Chihuahua in August 2016.

A Letter from Monica

Letter from Monica

Gracias:

Por ser la persona mas especial que he conocido en mi vida. Gracias por darme esperanza y gran amor. Te quiero aunque no te conozca mucho y aprecio mucho su ayuda. Siempre estara en mi corozón.

“El Amor y compasion son necesidades, no lujos sifal taran la humanidad no podria existir."
-Dalai Lama

Thank you:

For the most special people I’ve ever met in my life. Thank you for giving me hope and great love. I love you even though I do not know you well and I appreciate your help. You will always be in my heart.

“Love and compassion are necessities, not luxuries. Without them, humanity cannot survive.”
-Dalai Lama

Pre-Op

Pre-Op
Pre-Op
Pre-Op
Pre-Op
Pre-Op
Pre-Op
Monica with Drs. Rinella and Mundis prior to surgery
Monica with Drs. Rinella and Mundis prior to surgery
Family love in clinic prior to surgery
Family love in clinic prior to surgery
Dr. Greg Mundis and Monica one day after surgery
Dr. Greg Mundis and Monica one day after surgery
Monica walking for the first time after surgery
Monica walking for the first time after surgery
Monica post-op with Dr. Enrique Rosales
Monica post-op with Dr. Enrique Rosales
Monica with Dr. Tony Rinella, Mrs. TBD, Dr. Greg Mundis, and Dr. Pedro Leal
Monica with Dr. Tony Rinella, Bertha Gomez de Duarte, Dr. Greg Mundis, and Dr. Pedro Leal

Post-Op

Post-Op
Post-Op
Post-Op

Key Terms

Kyphoscoliosis

is a deformity of the spine characterized by abnormal curvature of the vertebral column in two planes (coronal and sagittal). It is a combination of kyphosis and scoliosis.

Arthrogryposis

or multiplex congenita (AMC), or simply arthrogryposis, describes congenital joint contractures in two or more areas of the body. It derives its name from Greek, literally meaning "curving of joints" (arthron, "joint"; grȳpōsis, late Latin form of late Greek grūpōsis, "hooking").

Vertebral Column Resection (VCR)

refers to completely resecting 1 or more vertebral segments. At a minimum, this means the posterior elements, pedicles, and the entire vertebral body with the discs above and below. Closure usually does not imply bone-on-bone throughout. Reconstruction of both the posterior and frequently the anterior column is usually necessary with a VCR.