A teenager who has danced since she could crawl has had surgery to correct her spine after being diagnosed with scoliosis.

Teegan Chilton, 15, has had a spinal fusion operation to correct the curves in her back after having been in pain since she was 7 years old.

She suffered several years of pain before finally getting a diagnosis and eventually having corrective surgery.

She said: "I first got really bad pain at the age of 7, whilst out Christmas shopping. The pain became continuous by the age of 10.

“I went for an unrelated appointment at the hospital and we told them about my back and the doctor said that I had kinks in my spine but not to worry and if it kept bothering me then to get it checked.

“We got it checked and I had an x-ray and it was confirmed that I had scoliosis.”

Upon being referred to a doctor, Teegan’s spine curvatures were at 36 degrees – 11 degrees over what would have allowed her to have a corrective brace meaning she had to wait for the situation to get worse before being able to have corrective surgery.

Lancashire Telegraph:

Teegan's spine before (L) and after (R) surgery

She was monitored by doctors until her curvatures were between 60 degrees and 70 degrees when she had surgery which has left her with curvature of less than 10 degrees.

Teegan, who lives in Barley, added: “The impact scoliosis has had on my life has been quite significant.

“I didn't like the way my body looked or how uncomfortable it felt sitting on hard chairs.

“I was in pain every day for 4 years, so this caused me to have a lot of time off school meaning I got behind and people noticed I was different.

“But I think it will have a positive impact on my future, it has made me a more resilient person and I am a lot more confident in my body now."

Following her surgery and as a dancer, Teegan has decided to fundraise for Accrington based charity DanceSyndrome's "We like to Move It Move It" campaign.

Teegan took part in dance classes since she was able to crawl and has competed as a solo performer.

To raise money for the charity, Teegan will be doing a one mile walk, two mile bike ride and small swim less than three months after her surgery.

Lancashire Telegraph:

Speaking about the fundraising, Teegan said: “This is a big achievement for me because I am doing all this less than three months after my operation.

“I lost a lot of muscle mass and it has been hard to get that back but fundraising is something I've done for a long time and I enjoy helping other people."

DanceSyndrome delivers inclusive dance workshops and dance leadership training, as well as inspiring performances that demonstrate a focus on ability rather than disability.

Managing Director Dawn Vickers said: "Teegan is an incredible person and we have been so proud to have her on our fundraising team.

“Her strength and determination is a reflection of what we often see in our Dance Leaders so we were thrilled that she chose DanceSyndrome to benefit from her fundraiser.”

If you would like to support Teegan, please visit www.justgiving.com and search for DanceSyndrome.

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