Dancer who braved major spine operation back to winning ways
Isla Robertson, 16, was devastated when she was told she might never dance again.
A determined Highland dancer who braved a major spine operation is back to winning ways - less than a year after her life-changing surgery.
Isla Robertson, 16, was devastated when she was told she might never dance again after she developed a curve in her back from Scheuermann's Kyphosis.
But the schoolgirl is back competing just 12 months after an intensive seven-hour operation to straighten her back - which left her with 15 bolts in her spine.
The tenacious teenager is now going to five Highland and tap dancing classes a week and said she is "grateful" to be back in her kilt.
The teen said: "There was never any guarantee I would get back to that stage so to get back there I'm so grateful - it's really amazing.
"It's completely different, even after surgery it was a different type of pain.
"It was like a healing pain and it went away - I'm feeling a lot better now.
"I wasn't doing anything, it was rubbish, but everything started happening again and I'm able to live as a teenager again."
Isla, from Greenock, Inverclyde, has been dancing since she was six-years-old.
But her spine condition, which she was diagnosed with in 2017, left her in agonising pain and she was unable to even sit up straight in bed.
The illness causes the front sections of the spine to grow more slowly than the back sections during childhood and left her with deformed vertebrae and a curved spine.
It's believed that the condition can develop during a growth spurt between the ages of ten and 16.
Facing the prospect of never doing what she loved again, Isla made the bold decision to undergo the back op on November 8 last year at the Royal Hospital for Sick Children in Edinburgh
Surgeons inserted two titanium rods and 15 bolts into her back to help straighten it.
She recently competed in the Renfrewshire Annual Competition in Gourock, Inverclyde, on November 3 - winning two second places, two thirds, a fourth and a sixth place.
Reflecting on her six-strong medal haul, she added: "It was so good, I didn't expect to place at all and I placed in every dance I was in.
"I just wanted to dance and didn't care if I placed or not.
"The feeling of being back out there was amazing."
By Paul Rodger