Scoliosis Early Detection & Diagnosis is Critical: Kay Jenkins Story

Scoliosis Case Study of Kay Jenkins, a 27 year old woman seen as a young teenage girl but not properly diagnosed and treated until finally contacting Houston Spine Surgeon Dr. Richard Francis, Founder of Spine Associates. After a thorough examination, Dr. Francis found that Jenkins had a loss of the natural curve of the spine and her scoliosis had progressed to the point she had a 39 degree curve from T10 to L3.

Scoliosis, or abnormal curving of the spine, affects about 3% of people. Approximately 2% to 3% of Americans at age 16 have scoliosis and girls are more likely to be affected than boys. It is not uncommon for people who have scoliosis to either not see a doctor right away or in some cases, not see a doctor who is experienced in the treatment of scoliosis.

In one case, that of Kay Jenkins, a 27 year old woman recently diagnosed with a 39 degree curve in the spine between T10 of the lower Thoracic Spine and L3, in the middle of the Lumbar Spine. Although Jenkins was seen as a young girl and suspected of having an irregular curve of the spine, it was almost 15 years before she met with Houston Spine Surgeon, Dr. Richard Francis. Dr. Francis thoroughly diagnosed Jenkins and was able to begin an appropriate treatment to hopefully stop further curving of the spine and help her to deal with the ongoing pain and discomfort she had experienced for many years.

Jenkins was diagnosed with scoliosis in middle school with a then typical check up by a school nurse where children would bend and touch their toes with their shirt lifted up. Although this process can be an awkward situation for anyone, it is especially so as a young girl. When the nurse suspected Jenkins had scoliosis, she contacted Jenkin’s parents and instructed them to take their child to a doctor. Unfortunately, Jenkin’s parents took her to see a chiropractor. Chiropractic care can be helpful in many situations but with scoliosis, it is important the patient see a qualified specialist trained in the proper diagnosis and treatment of scoliosis. Throughout the years Jenkins saw chiropractors frequently, her most recent visit was while she was still in high school. Jenkins recollects her scoliosis had caused approximately a 20 degree curve of the spine at that point in her life.

Jenkins, now 27 years old has been experiencing increasing levels of back pain for over 5 years and for the last three years has also suffered from multiple migraines weekly. It’s quite common when visiting a doctor that patients are asked about their level of pain on a 1 to 10 scale. Jenkins’ level of pain is usually a minimum of 4 on the scale of 1 to 10 although it’s not uncommon for her to go all day practically living on a heating pad due to intense discomfort she experiences.

Jenkins decided to make an appointment with Dr. Richard Francis at the beginning of December after having a friend highly recommended him. Dr. Francis was very thorough and made her feel quite comfortable by answering her long list of questions. Dr. Francis discovered that Jenkins had a loss of the natural curve in her cervical spine and sent her in to have an MRI to make sure there was nothing causing additional problems with her spinal cord. After suspecting that Jenkins had occipital neuralgia, Dr. Francis referred her to another specialist who then confirmed that her scoliosis had progressed to a 39-degree curve from her T10-L3 vertebrae.

If Jenkins were properly diagnosed and treated by a more appropriately trained specialist when she was still a young girl, it most likely would have been discovered that the curve of her spine was progressing. In that case she could have worn a brace and probably wouldn’t be in the situation she is in now, not to mention, she certainly would not have had to live with so much pain for so long.

At 27 years old, Jenkins finds her current health issues to be very scary, but is so thankful for Dr. Francis calming her fears, answering all her questions, and educating her on the proper treatment of scoliosis. She doesn’t know if her spinal curve will continue to progress, but she does know that when she has children of her own, her experience will make her much more aware of how to watch over their health and spine. Most importantly, she has learned that she does not have to live in constant pain. Jenkins is now going through physical therapy and will continue with follow-up treatment from Dr. Francis in the following years to get her spinal curve re-measured.

Paraphrased from Jenkin’s own words; “After years of pain and discomfort, she now knows that she does not have to live in pain and with the help of Spine Associates she is working towards a pain free life. She would gladly reccommend Dr. Francis to anyone who is suffering from any kind of ongoing back pain.”

For further information on Scoliosis or to contact Dr. Richard Francis of Spine Associates, please Call 1-888-977-4625, Email to or Visit the Website at

Contact Info:
Name: Keith Robinson
Phone: 713-416-3529
Organization: Spine Associates

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Release ID: 104971