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Brooklyn teenager diagnosed with scoliosis given a 2nd chance at dance with new procedure

Six weeks after surgery, McCord was back in the studio. Unfortunately, before she could get back to competing, she was diagnosed with COVID-19.

News 12 Staff

Mar 10, 2021, 3:15 PM

Updated 1,225 days ago

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A relatively new procedure gave a Brooklyn teenager a second chance at dance after being diagnosed with scoliosis. 
Alivia McCord, 15, says doctors told her she had to wear a brace for six months for 20 hours a day. However, she says the brace wasn’t helping long-term. 
Dr. Baron Lonner at Mount Sinai Hospital is one of about a dozen surgeons worldwide who can perform, what was in 2019, a newly approved procedure spinal tethering. 
Right after dancing in nationals that year, McCord had the operation. 
 “A spinal fusion is a biological welding together ... we get an excellent correction, but the spine is stiffened. Some patients will lose flexibility,” said Dr. Baron Lonner. "We place the screws and then we connect them with a flexible cord, it's like a rope. Besides the fact that it provides and maintains flexibility for the patient, the recovery is really quite much faster."
Six weeks after surgery, McCord was back in the studio. Unfortunately, before she could get back to competing, she was diagnosed with COVID-19.
Last September, she was finally able to return to the stage. On Saturday, she’ll kick off 2021 with another competition. McCord is heading to Long Island with her team at Dance House of Brooklyn. 
“I just know to never give up because I was thinking about 'oh, I'm just going to stop dancing after this, it's not going to be anything,' but I did not give up and I am dancing again,” said McCord.


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