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Princess Eugenie’s Wedding Dress Purposefully Showed Off Her Scoliosis Surgery Scar

Women's Health logo Women's Health 10/12/2018 Korin Miller
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(video courtesy US Weekly)
  • Princess Eugenie married Jack Brooksbank-and bared her back surgery scars from scoliosis in her wedding dress.
  • Eugenie was diagnosed in 2002 with scoliosis, and had corrective surgery that same year, at just 12 years old.
  • Scoliosis is a condition where the spine curves sideways, and treatment ranges from corrective braces to spinal surgery.

Cagatay Ulusoy et al. standing in front of a building: Princess Eugenie married Jack Brooksbank on Friday-and bared her scoliosis scar from a back surgery she had in 2002. Here's what you need to know about Princess Eugenie's condition, and scoliosis in general. © Pool/Samir Hussein - Getty Images Princess Eugenie married Jack Brooksbank on Friday-and bared her scoliosis scar from a back surgery she had in 2002. Here's what you need to know about Princess Eugenie's condition, and scoliosis in general. Princess Eugenie just married Jack Brooksbank at Windsor Castle (you might remember that place from when Meghan Markle and Prince Harry wed)-but the biggest news wasn't the royal wedding, but the dress Eugenie wore, which showed off her large back scar from scoliosis surgery.

That was on purpose, Eugenie told British network ITV ahead of her wedding. "[It's] a lovely way to honor the people who looked after me and a way of standing up for young people who also go through this," Eugenie said. "I think you can change the way beauty is, and you can show people your scars and I think it's really special to stand up for that."

a close up of a man in a white shirt: Princess Eugenie's Wedding Dress Showed Off Scar © Getty Images Princess Eugenie's Wedding Dress Showed Off Scar

Eugenie's been an advocate for scoliosis awareness for a long time. The princess was diagnosed with scoliosis in 2002 when she was just 12 years old-she had corrective surgery shortly after.

"During my operation, which took eight hours, my surgeons inserted eight-inch titanium rods into each side of my spine and a one-and-a-half inch screws at the top of my neck," Eugenie wrote in an essay for The Royal National Orthopaedic Hospital (RNOH), where she had her surgery. "After three days in intensive care, I spent a week on a ward an six days in a wheelchair, but I was walking again after that."

In July, Eugenie also shared an X-ray on Instagram from her scoliosis surgery when she was a child. “I also want to honour the incredible staff at The Royal National Orthopaedic Hospital who work tirelessly to save lives and make people better. They made me better,” she wrote in the caption.

View this post on Instagram

A post shared by Princess Eugenie (@princesseugenie) on Jun 30, 2018 at 8:53am PDT

Remind me: What is scoliosis?

Scoliosis is, essentially, a sideways curvature of a person’s spine, according to the National Institute of Arthritis and Musculoskeletal and Skin Diseases (NIAMS)-typically in a C- or S-shape.

In most cases of scoliosis, the cause isn't known-this type of scoliosis is known as idiopathic scoliosis and typically occurs in children ages 10 to 12. Symptoms of scoliosis usually include uneven shoulders, a head that’s not centered, sides of the body that aren’t level with each other, and having one side of the rib cage be higher than the other when someone bends over, the NIAMS says.

Treatment varies depending on how severe a person’s scoliosis is. Many just need careful monitoring, while others may need to wear a brace to keep the curve from getting worse or corrective surgery, per the NIAMS.

In Eugenie's case, surgery was necessary. "Without the care I received at the RNOH I wouldn't look the way I do now; my back would be hunched over," she wrote in her essay for the hospital. "I wouldn't be able to talk about scoliosis the way I now do, and help other children who come to me with the same problem." Eugenie is now a patron of The Royal National Orthopaedic Hospital’s Redevelopment Appeal and one of its facilities, The Princess Eugenie House, is named after her.

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