Olivia Demaine's scoliosis was progressing so rapidly that major spinal surgery was her only treatment option.
"In just over six months, her curve progressed from what was initially 49-degree to a 99-degree curve," her mother Juliette Demaine said.
"Olivia was managing quite well … mum and dad, not so well.
"It was a fast path and very stressful."
Olivia is a keen netballer from Roxby Downs in outback South Australia who competed in the SA Country Netball Championships held in Adelaide this weekend.
But 18 months ago the 13-year-old was bed-ridden, and only just beginning her long post-operation recovery.
"By the time we got to see a spine specialist, we were told fairly quickly that surgery [was needed] for Olivia, and that bracing would not hold her curve nor correct it," Ms Demaine said.
Olivia described the weeks she spent in hospital as "very scary".
"I had to have a halo for two weeks because it was so bad, and I couldn't do anything … I was just lying in a bed," she said.
"After my surgery, I started walking around more and … it was worth it … [because] now I've forgotten that it's in my back.
'Rods and screws' around Olivia's spine
Olivia now has a combination of titanium rods and screws around her spine.
"We put screws and rods in and we straightened the spine in the process," Dr Mike Selby said.
Dr Selby conducted the procedure at Adelaide's Women's and Children's Hospital last March.
"We then put a bone graft in … and that allows the spine to fuse in that position [so] it won't curve again."
This month is National Scoliosis Awareness month.
Dr Selby said the condition affects somewhere between one and five per cent of all children in Australia, and is most common in adolescent girls.
He said while Olivia's case was on the "severe end of the spectrum", awareness and early detection was critical to making sure effective treatment could be offered to all sufferers.
"I think in the last five years it's become apparent that early detection is vital [and] there are certainly mild to moderate conditions that can be treated very effectively with bracing," he said.
"The signs of scoliosis are not necessarily seeing a big curve in the spine — sometimes it's the height of the shoulders, the prominence of the shoulder blades … or sometimes it's some asymmetry in how the hips look.
"Screening is important because if scoliosis is detected early, and appropriate treatment is applied, then surgery can be avoided in many cases."
Mother urges parents to "investigate changes" in children
Ms Demaine said she would encourage other parents to investigate any changes they noticed in their children.
"If you suspect that your son or daughter has scoliosis, or a curve, push them through the system and make sure you get an x-ray done," she said.
"This [recovery] has been fabulous in terms of Livvy starting to be active again with her friends.
"It's good to see her feel like a normal kid again from what has been quite a difficult time."
Olivia said the procedure had been "worth it" and she now felt confident to get back into netball.
"It's been very scary, but very good as well, because now I can get back to all the sports I used to do," she said.
"I love netball because you just get to run around and have fun.
"I usually play goal-keeper and wing-defence, but I don't know where I'll go in the future."