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Bio 168 Critical Thinking AssignmentEllen’s ChoiceBackgroundEllen was diagnosed with scoliosis as a

Bio 168 Critical Thinking Assignment

Ellen’s Choice

Background

Ellen was diagnosed with scoliosis as a teenager. The curvature in her spine was severe enough to cause her discomfort and affect her stance and gate. After she was diagnosed, Ellen underwent surgery to correct the exaggerated curvature in her spine. The surgery consisted of a spinal fusion and the insertion of a device called a Harrington Rod.

The surgery was successful and Ellen seemed to be slowly improving. However, after a few weeks, she developed a severe infection. This led to a second surgery to remove the Harrington Rod. Even though the rod had to be removed prematurely, her doctor felt that it was in place long enough to allow for some spinal fusion and slight correction of her curvature. He anticipated this would last into her adult years.

Ellen is now 47-years old and her discomfort has returned. Her doctors found that the abnormal curvature had returned and her spine was starting to show some degeneration. They suggested trying exercise and another surgery to improve her condition. She was not enthusiastic about surgery because of her past experiences, so she decided to try yoga instead to see if that would help.

After a year of yoga, Ellen felt as if she has seen some improvement with pain and mobility. However, her family and doctors were still pushing her to have surgery. In her yoga class, she had heard classmates talk about various forms of alternative treatments such as chiropractic medicine, massage, acupuncture, t’ai chi, reiki, and pilates. Would one of these methods help?

Case copyright held by the National Center for Case Study Teaching in Science, University at Buffalo, State University of New York. Originally published April 3, 2001.

“Ellen’s Choice” by Elizabeth Harper

Assignment

You must help Ellen decide whether to try an alternative treatment or have another surgery. To do so, answer the following questions:

1) List the five vertebral regions found in the human spine. For each vertebral region, identify 1-2 distinguishing features of that type of vertebrae. (20pts)

2) Discuss the normal curvature in each region of the adult human spine. Identify the physical advantage to the human body these curves provide. (5pts)

3) Identify the three most common deviations of this spinal curvature. For each type, describe and identify regions of possible internal organ dysfunction. (15 pts)

4) Discuss one type of alternative treatment in detail (i.e. chiropractic medicine, massage, acupuncture, etc.). How might this treatment benefit Ellen and her scoliosis? Find and use two sources to answer this question. Include in-text citations and list your references. Your sources need to be current (published within the past 5 years) and from a reliable source – i.e. journal article, newspaper, reputable magazine, reputable organizational website, etc. (20 pts)

5) List and discuss some misconceptions, assumptions, and/or opinions regarding the alternative treatment that you chose. Are there any facts that support these? (5pts)

6) If you were Ellen, would you choose to try the alternative treatment you discussed in question 4 or would you choose having another surgery? In your answer, discuss pros and cons of each option. Be sure to include any other sources that you used and didn’t list above. (10pts)

This assignment is worth a total of 75 points. Your grade will be calculated as a percentage: (# total points earned/75) x 100 = grade.

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