View Full Version : finallly considering surgery

Jenee' Garner
11-19-2004, 02:16 PM
Well. when I count how many GOOD days I have, rather than how many Bad days, I guess it is time to seriously consider surgery. I started at age 15 with a 45 degree lumbar and 35 degree thoracic curve. I wore a back brace until I stopped growing at 18 1/2. I was virtually pain free until my mid thirties. I am now 42 and the degrees are progressing, currently
60 lumbar, 45 thoracic. I have been on NSAIDS for 8 years and have seen three doctors. The first two wanted to do surgery while I was a teen. The third one was a very kind man at the University of California back in the '80's. He suggested that I wait until symptoms actually occured and not to do anything so drastic until necessary.
I now live in Bend, Oregon, and have a doctor whom I am very comfortable with. She is very much into non-invasive treatment for as long as possible. I have had epidural injections for three years now. For anyone who is afraid to do it (like I was) I want you to know that it made a huge difference in my everyday life. If you are at wit's end and want to postpone surgery, it was well worth it. Unfortunately, it is no longer helping my nerve pain. I am back to numbness and tingling down my leg all the way to my foot. I was also taking vioxx for several months and it really helped. Since that is no longer an option, the injections are not working, and the curve is worsening, I have an appointment December 14 to discuss other options.
I have a lot of confidence in my doctor, but was still wondering if anyone out there has been a patient of hers or has success stories from her to share. Her name is Dr. Kathleen Moore, and she was in the Minneapolis area at one time before coming here to Bend.
Also, I haven't seen much on how people cope with the financial part of going through surgery. I have vacation and sick pay, but I am sure it won't be enough time. Like most Americans, I have lots of obligations that I am worried about meeting. I do NOT want to have to file bankruptcy after 25 years of near perfect credit. What are people doing?
This is my first message, so I hope I get it right. Thanks to everyone for sharing your stories. This place is a gold mine! I'll be back a lot during the next few months, especially if we decide to schedule surgery. I'll have lots of questions.


11-23-2004, 04:14 PM
I have recently made the decision for surgery too! It finally came down to ..."to breathe or not to breathe"! Got to have a sense of humor. I go through periods of severe pain, but right now it has eased with a new set of yoga for scoliosis, if I don't drive or sit too long. I have done just about every kind of alternative work out there since the 70s and more intently through the 90s. All have been helpful I know. My scoliosis was identified at 7yr old and traced back to 3yr old through xrays. I was braced too and really pain was not an issue until the 90s and the respiratory problems began then too!.
I have been open with my employer and plan to have the surgery June of 05, financial reasons are forcing me to wait. My employer said 2-3weeks before the surgery I could get the doctor to file for disability. The disability should kick in when I am in the hospital. The disability will cover probably almost half of my salary and then my employer will add whatever sick leave, vacation, comp-time to make it a full paycheck. This should stretch things out for at least 4-5months before I have to worry about 1/2 income disability check. I was very relieved to hear this. Check in to doing it this way. Another woman at my work did it for her,
Good Luck!
t- 57
l- 32
with thoracic lordosis

Jenee' Garner
11-24-2004, 12:29 PM
Thanks for the info. It sounds similar to what I can do. I just hope I don't run into complications that may pospone being able to return to work.
I'll keep my eyes open for your surgery results. I hope all goes well for you and it relieves most or all of your pain. I am in management in retail, so if I can fit my surgery in as soon as possible right after the new year, that would be the best time to take off since it will be slow then. I'll let everyone know. I'm thankful to have everyones posts to read-I'm not one to sit still, so I'm afraid of being bored!

Jenny Spencer
11-25-2004, 01:45 PM

What is the yoga for scoliosis programme that you are finding so helpful?



11-29-2004, 02:45 PM
I have been utilizing a program by Elise Browning Miller which teaches how to work with the various curves and what to focus on. She also teaches the use of supports during the exercise to avoid injury. Her web site is www.ebmyoga.com and email address is elisebmyoga.com


Jenny Spencer
11-29-2004, 03:43 PM

Thanks for the info.I shall put it on my Christmas list!!


12-07-2004, 10:41 PM
Wow, I didn't think surgery was an option for someone as old as me- 47. This is giving me hope. I was just informed tonight that I have a compressed disc due to my scoliosis. I, too, am having pain down my leg. I have always had back pain but this is worse than I have ever experienced. I have also had tingling in my hands and arms for years and it is getting worse, too. I was told that my curve can't get worse and that if it was it had to be due to osteoporosis. I wish you the best and I'm anxious to hear how your treatment progresses.