View Full Version : Am I gonna regret this later in life?

03-28-2010, 01:34 AM
Hey ya'll so I'm a 21 year old college student with pretty sever lumbar scoliosis. I was diagnosed around 14 and haven't really seen the doc since.. My question is I'm into a lot of sports that wear my body down like snowboarding, wakeboarding, racing dirt bikes, backpacking (with heavy packs). Anyways I'm starting to notice more and more back pain, should I stop doing my hobbies? Are they going to hurt me in the long run?

Also, off subject if I wanted to have kids someday can I get an epidural with scoliosis?


03-28-2010, 11:44 AM
Hi Murab...

You should probably see an orthopaedist specializing in scoliosis. You can find a listing of them here:


If you feel that your activities are causing the pain, than you should probably stop them until you can figure out exactly what is happening.

Scoliosis can make epidurals more challenging, but will not prohibit you from getting an epidural. If you ever have surgery, than can sometimes prohibit future epidurals.


03-28-2010, 12:11 PM
Welcome to the forum.

Well, I guess the first thing is to find out exactly how bad. Do you know your cobb angles? Have you had x-rays done recently? If you have not, it would be a good idea to have this done. Anyone with scoliosis should be x-rayed with some sort of frequency, Id say at least once a year.

If you do get an x-ray, try to get copies and date them. Its better to have them in your possession, Ive had Doctors retire on me and my records lost. Digital copies burned to disc are best.

I had twin 50s when I was your age. Ive been snow skiing hard my whole life, and I never let scoliosis stop me from doing anything. I was a candidate for a Luque wire procedure in 1974 and turned it down to continue skiing. I controlled my pain with Chiro, massage, and even used to ski in a brace.

If you come out to Tahoe for a hike, or ride, or whatever, I know all the great people out here from experianced chiros, masseuses, scoli surgeons, famous hot springs for a soak, I even have my hardware, arch table, and stretching machine. Reno is not a bad place to have scoliosis!

Epidurals can be done with scoliosis. They use a flouroscope which is a "live x-ray" to see where to put the shot. Its after fusion that this cannot be done.

Gotta go, Im late for skiing!

loves to skate
03-28-2010, 07:52 PM
I don't think they would use a fluoroscope on a pregnant person Ed. A skilled
Anesthesiologist can do an epidural on a curved spine. I had four epidural cortisone injections without a fluoroscope prior to my surgery.

03-28-2010, 07:58 PM
I think if you're talking about an epidural in terms of delivery, they don't typically use a fluoroscope (although they might have to if they're attempting it on someone with a fusion). If a baby is full term, I think the radiation from a fluoroscope wouldn't be any more harmful than it would be for an adult.


03-29-2010, 02:41 AM

That sounds scary. I wonder why they didnt use the flouroscope? Its an added measure of protection that only takes a second for the patient to lay down on.


loves to skate
03-29-2010, 11:26 AM
I don't know Ed. I do know that things are done differently in different parts of the country. A lot of that has to do with the insurance companies, I believe. A fluoroscope was used when I had facet block injections and a nerve block at L4-L5 after I had my fusion.

03-29-2010, 12:31 PM
The doc that has done all my epidural steroid injections for scoliosis has always used a flouroscope. However, when I had my 3 kids, it was not used. With my first child, I had a fairly inexperienced anesthesiologist doing the epidural. He managed to bend 3 needles trying to get around my scoliosis. I wasn't aware of all that at the time after all the Demerol I had been given. My husband told me about it after. When I had my second child, he was C-section because he was breech. Because there were such issues the first time around, I had to check into the hospital early to make sure there was plenty of time to get it done right. That anesthesiologist got it done the first time with absolutely no problems. BUT, because there was so much focus on that, my OB/GYN forgot to do the ultrasound to make sure my son was still breech. Guess what?!?! He had turned so the C-section was not really necessary! He's 17 and still has the nicest shaped head I've ever seen!
Sorry if that was a little off topic but thought it was pretty interesting.

03-29-2010, 04:22 PM
Thanks to everyone who answered! I was just curious if there are any hobbies/sports I should limit so I don't regret anything when I'm older. Thanks for all the info :)

03-29-2010, 10:39 PM
With my first son the epidural did not work, the anaesthesiologist tried putting a second one in, and again it didn't work. Then when I was giving birth to my second child, I made sure to make an appointment with the anaesthesiologist prior to delivery and brought my xrays explaining about my scoliosis and how the epidurals didn't work the first time, so the second birth worked out perfectly.

03-29-2010, 11:16 PM
"Am I going to regret this later" is a tough question.

One of the things that happens with a successful scoliosis surgery when older, is you start to feel the pains in other parts of your body as the back pain subsides.

Yes, my knees hurt! But then again, I would have regretted not participating in all the activities Ive done through the years! Most of us older skiers complain about our knees. I donít regret this.

I have always been active. Just use common sense and listen to your body. If you are having pain, and have not seen a Doctor in a while, it would be a good idea to go and have some x-rays shot. Some of us can be surprised as scoliosis can creep up quickly.....

All scolis need x-rays about once per year every year for the rest of their lives. Its just something we have to do.

The body can handle an incredible amount of abuse. If you choose to abuse your body like I did, at least know your curves. After my scoli diagnosis, I had my Chiro shoot x-rays for me all through the years. I triggered spondys with hard crashes, and they returned to their original position.

If I knew I had a 100 degree lumbar curve, I would have slowed down some. I always "knew" where my curves were at.
With a 100 degree curve, doing that 500 foot bungy jump might not be a good idea.

03-29-2010, 11:29 PM
All scolis need x-rays about once per year every year for the rest of their lives. Its just something we have to do.

Yikes! I sure hope not. That's way too much radiation. Once you're past treatment, every 5 years seems like plenty, unless there's a new symptom.


03-29-2010, 11:36 PM
Your right Linda, that might be excessive. I did do them (1 coronal) every 12-18 months while I was skiing hard.

I didnt crash too often, but when I did, they were doozies. Remember I broke my shoulder right before my surgeries? That was a very hard hit.

I guess you have to use your own judgement depending on your lifestyle.

Ive had 3 cts. That bothers me a little....

04-05-2010, 02:39 PM
I was diagnosed at 16. I am now 41. I have pretty much done the things I wanted to do with my life. I had three beautiful children (but had them very young). I led a very active lifestyle. Hiking, 4 wheeling, boating, water boarding, swimming, etc... I have also suffered pain my whole life. I let the pain be self-limiting. In other words, if it hurts, don't do it. Some days I can do stuff that people without scoliosis can do. Other days I can barely walk to the bathroom, or lift a glass of water.

You pretty much need to see a specialist and find out what is going on with your spine right now. They will be able to give you the best advice. Just because you are young doesn't mean that other conditions of the spine can't develope. You don't want to do something you will really regret, by that I mean put you in a wheelchair or worse.

At this stage in the game for me I feel frustrated that I am "limited". I have been trying to have a baby for the last 6 years and it hasn't happened and likely isn't going to at my age. Is it because of the radiation? Is it because of genetic mutation that caused my problem in the first place? Is it just my age (although I was only 35 when we started trying)? Who knows. I can't blame scoliosis. I DO have beautiful children and now a baby grandson. And at this point I can be glad that I didn't get that miracle, because I have deteriorated to the point that I can barely hold my grandson. Granted he is a 27 pound toddler, but I would be devastated at this point in life to have a baby that I could not hold.

So as far as regrets go, live your life, but do it wisely and know what you are dealing with. Continue to be active, use common sense and PLEASE see a doctor.