View Full Version : Just starting out

05-23-2011, 02:35 PM
Well hello all! I had a challenge getting my account on here, finally through the technical glitches we got me here. So my name is Patrick and I wanted to start a discussion and seek some sage advice on my situation. I live in Southern California and I have been diagnosed with scoliosis ever since I was very young, but because the curves is an S and line up not a huge deal. Now fast forward to my current age 42 and I am starting to feel this way more than ever before and lower back issues. Add to my situation a 9 month old beautiful baby boy and I want to make sure this doesn't progress and we are going to have many hours of playing and laughing pain free.

I went to my Dr. to look at my situation which she was alarmed and sent me to Dr. Gordon over at Newport Medical. He wasn't alarmed and he told me "that is just how you were born", so yeah great covering what I already know. That was it dead end and no further advice or treatment and we have nothing to really talk about and moving on.

So I am going to try and see if if I can find someone in the Southern Cal area, that would be more aggressive or rather innovative in their approach at helping me out. So, if there is someone who can recommend anyone who they think would be good for adult patients in the LA or OC area I would really appreciate it!

I am currently looking at talking to these physicians and if you have any input I would appreciate that as well!

Jeffrey C. Wang, MD (UCLA Spine Center, Los Angeles)
Arya Nick Shamie (UCLA Comprehensive Spine Center, Los Angeles)
Frank Acosta Jr., MD (Cedars-Sinai Medical Center, Los Angeles)

That is it for now, I would be not telling the truth to say that that I am not worried about investigating this and my future prognosis. However, better to do it now than in 10 years with more possible complications and problems in healing.

05-24-2011, 10:03 PM
Welcome! I'm sure you'll get some good names here. . .there seem to be several people here who have had their surgeries in CA.

05-25-2011, 07:55 AM
Welcome, Patrick! I'm in a similar boat- our age, when we knew something was amiss, and that we're seemingly not yet candidates for surgery. Though I feel discomfort and pain, the curves are supposedly not severe enough to warrant surgery- but if I had problems with a compressed lung or heart then things would be different. I'm not so eager for surgery myself, so I am investigating as many of the non surgical routes as I can. Not everyone agrees on the right approach, and we all have slightly different situations, bit you might consider investigating Yoga for Scoliosis or a Scroth practitioner. Both may help you strengthen the weaker parts of your back and make life a bit more tolerable.

05-27-2011, 10:08 AM
So far I am getting my records from Gordon in Newport Beach and sending them over to Acosta at Cedars-Sinai. Is it just me or do you feel frustrated with medical people still relying on the fax to get things done? They also said that the fax is "more secure" than an email....really a machine that indiscriminately spits out paper in a room is more secure? Anyway, so they are snail mailing me the records and then I scan them and then email them to Acosta, he will look at them and then decide if I am jacked up enough to take in. This will be a problem especially if Gordon was dismissive in his writings, so I am going to have to preface it with a decent letter in that event.

So, that is where I am right now, and I am now excited and apprehensive about this next step. Yesterday shopping for a new mattress with the wife and baby I was really sore after walking for a couple hours. I am over it I want things to change, I am glad I had a pretty pain free life but I want to be there for my son as he gets older.

Thanks all, keep ya posted as to how Acosta is.

05-27-2011, 10:32 AM
hi Patrick
welcome to the forum...

i sent you a private message...
it is limited how much one can write on private messages...i think 140 characters...so sometimes people divide the private messages up into part 1, part 2, etc...


05-27-2011, 10:35 AM
Thanks Jess! Yes I read it and I will see about him while I am there. I am lucky to be close to that area only an hour drive and UCLA. So, hopefully I can get the best advice possible, and maybe some treatment other than "that's the way you were born".

05-27-2011, 10:39 AM
that is the most stupid remark i have heard from a doctor yet!

of course there are things you can do..from pain management to surgery...
i have tried many pain treatments...and had relief from only 2 kinds of shots...

i sent you more than one private message, as there are limits, as i mentioned....

best of luck...


05-27-2011, 11:09 AM
Yes there is quite a difference in physicians, I am sure many can attest to that. Our first pediatric physician for our son told us after asking his opinion on circumcision "it is just like a hair cut". We obviously are not with him anymore, and we are big proponents of second and third opinions now, in all fields. I just went to the Dr last week for plantar fasciitis and they found a bone cyst on my foot, "that is nothing to worry about". Squirted my foot full of cortisone and off I went....sigh.

05-27-2011, 11:18 AM
very very true!
i went undiagnosed with Lyme disease from 1987 to 1989, while doctors implied i was a hypochondriac, because they didn't do the right blood test! i was so sick by the time they found the cause, i was in a wheelchair, and til the very minute the test came back high positive, they were still trying to tell me i couldn't possibly really be sick!!
the arrogance of some doctors is staggering...and can do a lot of harm!
instead of saying..."you are sick but we cant figure out with what"...they said "we haven't found anything, so therefore, you are not sick"!!


05-27-2011, 05:36 PM
"That's the way you were born" would almost be a funny "opinion", it it weren't so lame.

I was born with a straight spine. I was also born with no hair, and weighed 6 lbs, 2 ozs.

Now I have scoliosis, hair down to my shoulders. . .and I weigh lots more.

06-06-2011, 09:21 PM
Hi Patrick,

I am also 42 with and S-curve that is getting to the point where I am thinking surgery is an option as well. I am in Portland and getting started with OHSU Spine Center. I'm so sorry you had such a negative response with your first doc, hopefully the next one will be more promising.

06-09-2011, 03:38 PM
Well the good news is....Acosta decided to see me! So, I am going to go see him at Cedars next Tuesday, I can't wait to see if he has more to say than deal with it - I suspect at a minimum he will send me to phys therapy.

On a side note I am getting all my x-rays together to take to Acosta and my Dr. the impeccable and awesome Dr. Karen Don will have them ready for pickup on Friday. Now calling Dr. Gordon's office at Newport Medical....that will be a $15 fee for a CD more for the film. So, guess what I said, no way those are my films are you really trying to charge me for my stuff? Oh well I will make those charges go away, they are not mandatory. Nice enough guy on the phone, beyond stupid policy based on ignorance and greed by the office!

That's it for now, until Tuesday...

06-17-2011, 03:24 PM
Well the visit went great! He is an honest, attentive, and according to my wife very handsome Dr. He met with me and talked about what the next steps were and his office was a well oiled German machine and a welcome change from other offices I have dealt with. The drive was an absolute 2 hour nightmare, but Cedars is a great hospital and worth the drive. The next step was to meet with another Dr to work with the core strengthening that I need to do regardless if I have the surgery or not, however if I should do the surgery this will greatly help me with being prepared and ready for the surgery. They recommended I see a Physiatrist in Beverly Hills which I couldn't do so I was recommended one in OC Arie Gluzman, MD. I will be seeing him and moving forward on core strengthening and then seeing the Dr again, to be continued....

06-18-2011, 11:27 AM

Sounds good. Exercise is so important with scoliosis. I think if I wasnít so active through the years, I would have been in trouble many years ago.

Did you ever find out your Cobb angles?

06-18-2011, 01:00 PM
Did you ever find out your Cobb angles?

No, is that the degree that I am at?

06-18-2011, 01:16 PM
Yes. Itís the included angle, and is a reference that is used in measuring our curves.


Its good to have your own copies of your x-rays to compare angles to see if you are progressing in the future. The copy you have now, will help years from now in determining this, the next surgeon will appreciate the copy. Rapid progression is an indicator for surgery.

In my signature you will see C12, T70, L70. That is a 12 degree cervical, 70 degree thoracic, and 70 degree lumbar curve right before my surgeries. I had twin 50 degree curves for many many years and delayed my surgeries since 1974.


06-18-2011, 01:59 PM
Ahh, well unfortunately no not since I was a child. I am sure these values now will be a discussion piece for the physicians to use as a benchmark on my progression.