Man Man suffered from Noonan Syndrome, a genetic disorder that causes a wide range of problems such as growth delay and heart abnormalities. She developed a thoracic scoliosis that could not be controlled by bracing.
The curvature of her spine, as measured by Cobb’s angle, deteriorated beyond 50°. It was concentrated in the thoracic spine, the area of spine in the midback. The bones in the middle of the spine start to curve to either side, which also tends to push the ribcage out of position. If the curvature is allowed to progress, the bones can deform and the patient can develop postural problems, difficulty breathing, and other complications. Besides the deformity, Man Man also suffered from a complex congenital heart condition and had been monitored carefully by the cardiologists.
Surgery for scoliosis involves correction of the curve and fusion of some portion of the spine. The medical team and the parent chose the correction be obtained through the insertion of an internal rod. The magnetic growing rod implantation could control the curve while she was still growing. The surgery was completed on 12 Dec 2011. Her spine curvature improved from 50° to 31.5° until July 2012. Man Man’s doctor decided that she could go for the next phase in June 2014 at the age of 17 after the growing rod was extracted to 28.84mm.