Owen Kahler

First post: May 10, 2021 Latest post: Jul 23, 2021
In November of 2020, Owen went to his routine health check and his doctor found him to have a visible scoliosis. Because he was not having any pain we were instructed to monitor this. Over the next several months we noticed some changes: intermittent pain, more significant curve, his posture changing and more prominent “chicken wings”. Owen’s primary doctor sent us to Dr. Eckrich, where it was discovered that his curve was 29 degrees, significant for a 7 year old. A custom brace was ordered as well as an MRI of his entire spine. As his doctor explained, “abnormalities of the spine are rare but because his curve is so severe for his age it’s better to rule out those rarities.”

The MRI was performed a couple weeks later, and it was found that Owen has a rare brain malformation called Chiari Type I. He also has a syringomyelia (syrinx), which is basically a cyst in his spinal cord extending from his neck to mid back, caused by the Chiari. This is what is believed to be causing the significant changes to his scoliosis. We were referred to South Dakota’s only board certified pediatric neurosurgeon in Sioux Falls to discuss correction.

This website was created to keep all informed on Owen’s journey, as well as a comforting tool for us as his parents as well as Owen (encouraging comments are welcome for him!).