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View Full Version : New to the Forum Surgery set for 5/27/11.



CaroleM
05-09-2011, 12:07 PM
Hi everyone. I'm new to posting here; although, I've been reading for a while. I am having surgery on 5/27/11. I'm at 48 thorac and 31 Lumbar, but I'm only having a thorasic correction. So, I'm having a lot of anxiety about the surgery and find myself hoping I'm not making a mistake. i went from a 31 degree curve to 48 in two years time. I wore a Boston brace when I was younger but was told that it would not increase once I stopped growing... In any event, I have a lot of spasiming as a result of the change and am starting to have rib and lung restriction, so I know in my head that I have to have the surgery but I am still really anxious.

Also has anyone here had surgery with Dr. Sharma in NY? If so how did it go and what were your thoughts about him???

Doodles
05-09-2011, 02:19 PM
Carole--
Welcome to the forum. Of course, I'm sure you would rather not have to have a need to come here! I'm afraid I don't know this doctor but I'm sure some of our East Coast people can be of more help. Does he specialize in scoliosis surgery--that's awfully important. Good luck to you with surgery and all. Janet

Pooka1
05-09-2011, 02:29 PM
Do you have the radiographs from two years ago to show the surgeon?

That's a remarkable progression rate (~8.5 degrees per year) for a mature spine. I would make sure you in fact did progress that quickly rather than there being some misunderstanding.

ETA: This is especially jaw-dropping given that 31* at maturity is thought to be protective against further progression to surgical range. Do you have radiographs that show you at a 31* after about 16 or 17 years old and at least several days out of brace?

I don't mean to question you... I am just saying your case seems so far from the paradigm.

Confusedmom
05-09-2011, 08:48 PM
Carole,

I'm sure you know, of course, that degree measurement varies quite a bit from place to place, surgeon to surgeon and time of day. That said, it is possible to progress rapidly. I was 33* when I graduated from college; now 70-80*, depending on who measures (age 39). Not a two-year progression, but a major progression after skeletal maturity.

Good luck sorting through the issues. You've come to the right place!

Evelyn

Pooka1
05-09-2011, 09:03 PM
Yes it is not impossible. There are three cases that I know of, one being Confusedmom, of people in the low 30*s at maturity who nevertheless progressed to surgery territory as young adults or thereabouts. Another is the "collapsing spine" situation in that one Dr. Hey blog post.

Still, we bunnies are given to believe that these are incredibly unusual cases. Maybe they are and maybe they aren't given the number that have popped up just in the last few years on this one forum.

CaroleM
05-09-2011, 09:38 PM
I know it is hard to believe, but I have had rather extensive testing x-rays and cat scans and have been to two different surgeons specializing in scoliosis. The rapid progression is what made both of them say I should have surgery soon rather than wait. I know that it is unusual, both surgeons were quite surprised too at the difference.

Dr. Sharma does specialize in scoliosis and studied under Neuwirth at Beth Isreal he has his own practice now.

buckeye95
05-09-2011, 09:41 PM
I had a similar experience. I had a 20ish degree curve at the age of 18 (I had used a Scolitron, and then wore a brace for several years as an adolescent). Then in my mid and late twenties started having sporadic back pain. When I had my back checked at age 27 my curve was 45 degrees. I had my back rechecked periodically, and it held for a while then it progressed 15 degrees in 3 years, bringing it to a 59-60 degree curve.

I had surgery 3/31/11 my curve went from 60 degrees to 30 degrees. I was hoping for better correction, but I was told my back was very arthritic and the surgeon had a hard time getting the screws in and actually had to use some hooks. I gained about an inch in height.

Surgery was tough, but the pain was managed well. I am struggling more now that I have stopped taking pain meds, and have been trying to do more around the house. (I have two young boys -ages 9 and 5). I have to wear a hard brace for 4 months post-op too...I am not enjoying trying to find summer clothes that fit over it.

Overall, I am glad I had it done.

Pooka1
05-09-2011, 09:46 PM
I am now beginning to wonder if there is any Cobb angle that is protective against reaching surgical range. This may be getting to be somewhat more numerous than the paradigm can tolerate perhaps.

sarahcant
05-10-2011, 09:45 AM
Carol the only thing I would add is that I would get as many opinions as possible. It took me two years to find a surgeon that I was comfortable with and a doctor that worked out of a top rated hospital. I met with Neuwirth and was not impressed that he still does the surgery in two parts. That procedure leads to many complications in some people. What hosp is this doc at? Please take your time in picking a doctor....ask questions and then more questions so that you know exactly whats going to happen and why. Good luck to you and ask me and the forum anything you need to!

LindaRacine
05-10-2011, 12:18 PM
Carol...

Your curve is still considered moderate. Have you tried physical therapy to address the spasm you describe? It's possible that you could avoid surgery, so it seems to me that 8 weeks of physical therapy would be a worthwhile investment.

Although I'd never heard anything about Dr. Sharma that I can remember, it looks like he did a fellowship with Michael Neuwirth, who is a reputable scoliosis surgeon.

Regards,
Linda

jrnyc
05-10-2011, 04:44 PM
i would second the suggestion of getting more opinions...
i have 42 thoracic and 61 degree lumbar curves...my curves are now stable...they have not increased more than 2 degrees in the last 7 years...my discs, listhesis, hypokyphosis, etc, are actually what are getting worse...

i have my spasms treated with botox shots in the thoracic area...that is where the spasms occur for me....the botox works well, as it prevents the muscles from moving...that is why all those TV news anchors have faces that don't move!

my lumbar pain is my worst pain, and i have tried many different kinds of injections for that...so far, only sacroiliac joint injections have helped me...they give me great pain relief, but not for very long....i am hoping the second set i got 3 weeks ago will last longer....

i would suggest trying pain management, PT, and also getting more surgical opinions before going thru with such a serious surgery...but that is just my opinion....

i saw Dr Neuwirth for a consult...he would do my surgery in one day, he said...and i was very impressed with him...there are those on forum who have had surgery with him and have only good things to say about him...
also, i believe your surgeon is in White Plains...? it is the Manhattan surgeons who are best known on forum...

jess

CaroleM
05-10-2011, 08:19 PM
Thanks everyone for the great advice. It's great to hear about everyone's experiences. I am glad there is such a great group out there to share with.

chmesh
05-18-2011, 07:58 PM
Carole, I'm in a very similar situation as you. I've got a slightly bigger curve and am having a longer fusion though.

I have surgery scheduled for June 29. I'm not in an enormous amount of pain but my curve has been progressing since I was braced in elem. school.

I want to do the surgery while I'm younger (30yrs) and before I have kids. I just got married last summer. Congrats to you btw.

I'm so nervous and have been going back and forth about what to do. I've recently decided to go ahead and do it. Unfortunately, my family isn't supportive. They think it's too risky of a surgery when I'm not in dying pain.

My doctor too somewhat left it in my hands. The look of my body is also a driving force in my decision. I just hate how it looks and I know it's only going to get worse.

Anyways, you're not alone! I'll be thinking of you!

-Christina

CaroleM
05-18-2011, 08:37 PM
Carole, I'm in a very similar situation as you. I've got a slightly bigger curve and am having a longer fusion though.

I have surgery scheduled for June 29. I'm not in an enormous amount of pain but my curve has been progressing since I was braced in elem. school.

I want to do the surgery while I'm younger (30yrs) and before I have kids. I just got married last summer. Congrats to you btw.

I'm so nervous and have been going back and forth about what to do. I've recently decided to go ahead and do it. Unfortunately, my family isn't supportive. They think it's too risky of a surgery when I'm not in dying pain.

My doctor too somewhat left it in my hands. The look of my body is also a driving force in my decision. I just hate how it looks and I know it's only going to get worse.

Anyways, you're not alone! I'll be thinking of you!

-Christina

Christina,

I feel for you that your family is not very supportive it's a very hard decision to make, and even harder when you don't have 100%support. I am very lucky that my husband is super supportive and will be taking time off from work to to help me out the first few weeks I am home. I am 33 and do feel that I too should do this now while I'm still relatively young and better able to heal. Everyone is different and we each need to make the decision that right for us, hopefully your family can understand that. I totally understand the want to change your appearance too. It's hard to see your body changing and not being able to feel comfortable with who you are. I'm really anxious for the surgery but I'm feeling that it's what I have to do to feel better. So good luck to you too and I'll post when I can after my surgery. You will be in my thoughts too.