View Full Version : Just wondering why some people get better correction that others

07-09-2010, 06:03 AM

I had my 4 week post-op visit yesterday with Dr. Boachie. Everything went really well. He took x-rays of my neck since the past 2 weeks I couldn't hold it up straight and it basically just rests on my chin. The x-rays looked fine, no fractures or anything. He prescribed me a neck brace and PT to work on my neck. He said it was an extreme case about what was going on with my neck. It usually doesn't happen after surgery. I have had EXTREME spasms going into my left shoulder and left side of my neck ever since a week post-op, so he thinks what is going on with the neck is related to the spasms. The neck brace feels soooo good when it's on (even though it looks so ugly). My 3 year old looks at me and she asks me to take it off. The brace even scares her!

Anyway, Dr. Boachie gave me my spinal corrections, which I thought would have been a little lower in curvature. My thoracic spine pre surgery was 55 degrees and was brought down to 25 degrees, and my lumbar curve was 58 degrees pre surgery and was brought down to 27 degrees. I was just looking at other people's corrections on the forum and wondering why there curvatures were alot higher than mine before surgery and are now lower than mine post surgery. I mean I saw someone who had a 70 degree curve go down to 12 degrees! I am only 31 years old, had great bone density results, and had good bending x-rays which showed I wasn't too rigid and am very flexible. I'm thinking that the different methods give different type of corrections. I had posterior-only surgery. Do the people that have A/P surgery have better corrections post surgery? I'm not complaining about the correction I got with my spine, just wondering what makes some people have such low corrections after surgery.



07-09-2010, 06:06 AM
like me i'm going to asked Dr Gupta on the 7 of septmeber what my post surgery curves

07-09-2010, 07:02 AM
did he give you an estimate of correction? Both Dr. B and Dr. N told me I'd get 50 to 60% correction, and that's what I got. Dr. N told me that he could have corrected my lower curve much further, but the upper one wouldn't so he couldn't go too far. Look at my numbers below; I believe our percentages are problably the same.

Don't be disappointed, although I know exactly how you feel. I had the same response when I first heard my new numbers. The best part though is that you won't get WORSE.

I'll call you later today from work.

07-09-2010, 07:23 AM
Hi Debbe-

Yes, Dr. B did give me an estimate prior to surgery. Like your doctor, he told me 50-60% reduction in the curve. I swear one of the residents in the hospital told me he thought my curves were corrected to the low 20's so when I found out yesterday 25 and 27 degrees I guess I was a little disappointed.


07-09-2010, 08:42 AM
I was told that in my circumstance A/P was going to give me a better correction. He also told me that he would only be able to get my 90* curve down to about a 35*, but surprisingly it is now at 26*.

07-09-2010, 08:56 AM
As time goes on can it correct more or is this 4week as good as it gets? My son hasnt had surgery yet but is supposed to Im just trying to figure out all this stuff...You sound like you are feeling pretty good for 4 wk that is great! :)

07-09-2010, 09:15 AM
I havent had the surgery yet but my DR told me I'd have about an 80% correction linear and 50% rotational.

07-09-2010, 11:19 AM
If you look at my signature, you'll see that my post-op curves are degrees that some people have before surgery. However, my curves were so severe that I am thrilled with my results and the bottom line is I feel so much better. I am past the stage of being too concerned with cosmetic aspect and am far more focused on long-term health and quality of life. My Dr. was very realistic about my expected correction given my age, severity of curves and limited flexibility on bending x-rays. He had orginally planned to remove 2 vertebrae (which would have actually made me shorter:() that may have provided a more dramatic correction, but surgical complications prevented him from doing that. Am just as glad to have gained height instead of losing it for a straighter correction. Anyway, I think it's just depends on your perspective. When I look around and see some of the health problems others are dealing with, I feel very blessed.

07-09-2010, 11:33 AM
Your correction is almost the exact same as mine. I went down from 70 degrees on top to 25 degrees. And 55 degrees at the bottom to 24 degrees.

07-09-2010, 12:00 PM
Jen I had the same issue. When I went to see the PA for pain issues he showed me my post op X Ray and estimated 30 degrees. Mine was 72 but I too was told I was very flexible. My 6 week post op is in2 weeks so I am hoping to hear something a little better form my DR's standing XRays. I too thought I would at least be in the 20's.

07-09-2010, 01:52 PM
Yes, I got a fantastic correction with A/P surgeries but as even Dr. B said, I "paid a price" for it. It was a very rough recovery for me and although I'm now doing very well, I have had to make peace with the fact that I have a bit less lung power than I used to, due to the fact that the breathing muscles on my right side were cut. I haven't gotten a pulmonary function test because frankly I don't want to know the numbers, but I know it's less. Since I work a lucrative sideline as a professional singer, this has been a huge deal for me.

From what I've observed on this forum, there is no such thing as a perfect outcome with this surgery (except, perhaps, for teenagers). It's a tradeoff, but the value of that tradeoff is you're probably avoiding more pain and deformity down the line.

07-09-2010, 03:10 PM
Hi JenM...

The amount of reduction a patient gets is a function of several things, but mostly stiffness of the curves. There is also the need to worry about the patient being balanced after surgery. (For example, he might have been able to get better correction on your thoracic curve, but doing so might have meant that you'd end up with one shoulder noticably higher than the other.) Since Dr. Boachie knows what he's doing, I would assume that he felt that he couldn't get more correction without some risk.


07-09-2010, 04:28 PM
I was told I'd get a 60% reduction in both my curve and my hump. I was happy with that. In the end I got better. Thoracic curve down from 68 degrees to 22 and my hump has gone. I regained almost 2 inches in height.

I would have been happy with less since the cosmetic side of it was not my main concern. I wanted a pain-free old age.

07-09-2010, 10:31 PM
Singer, I think you said it best:
"From what I've observed on this forum, there is no such thing as a perfect outcome with this surgery (except, perhaps, for teenagers). It's a tradeoff, but the value of that tradeoff is you're probably avoiding more pain and deformity down the line."