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chrisfrie
12-14-2004, 12:39 PM
I have been reading in the forum that most people have anterior and posterior surgery. My doctor said last week due to my respiratory condition that anterior surgery is out of the question and posterior only will be done. I read somewhere that posterior is only done on younger people due to the flexibility of the spine but anterior and posterior is required on adults due to the rigidity of the spine. I am 47 and will be having posterior surgery only. Will this impact anything negatively or positively? Does it have an impact either way. Confused?
Thanks!
Christine

LindaRacine
12-14-2004, 12:54 PM
Hi Christine...

You should probably ask your doctor that question. My understanding is that, assuming your curve is fairly stiff (and at your age it should be), you won't get as much correction as you would if you had anterior and posterior surgery.

By the way, who is your surgeon?

Regards,
Linda

chrisfrie
12-14-2004, 05:44 PM
Linda
Thanks for your reply. My doctor is Dr. John Gray. I really like him and he has been incredibly thorough. He says there is just too much risk even with the pulmonologist being present. He says I can expect 50% correction and there is the possibility that I may have to go to an intermediate care facility afterwards due to the respiratory condition. But maybe not!! So I am banking on my stubborn will power to snap back!!!

LindaRacine
12-14-2004, 05:48 PM
Hi Chris...

Dr. Gray was my surgeon as well, so I trust that he knows what he's doing. However, have you considered getting a second opinion just to be sure you're making the right decision?

By the way, I don't know if you saw it, but I'm hosting a support group meeting tomorrow night in SF. If you'd like to attend, please send an email to me at lindaracine @ earthlink.net (without the spaces).

Regards,
Linda

chrisfrie
12-14-2004, 06:13 PM
Linda,
Thanks, for the reply. I would love to attend the support group but I live in Ukiah. I have had another orthopedist last year recommend surgery but I was not ready. Over the years, several have recommended it. The pulmonologist have been the one's with varying opinions. The last pulmonologist is in favor of it because the lordosis is also progressive. It will be rough on the lungs now but if I wait too late then the option is off the table.
Thanks,
Christine

LindaRacine
12-14-2004, 06:30 PM
Hi...

I'd encourage you to see one of the scoliosis specialists at UCSF. They routinely deal with difficult cases, so if they were to recommend posterior only surgery, I think you could be confident that that would be the way to go. Here's information on them:

http://www.ucsf.edu/orthopaedics/patientserv/spine.html

Regards,
Linda

SkiAnn
12-14-2004, 07:20 PM
I don't know if my surgery was in the normal category or not, but my surgery was done posterior, fusing from T10 to S1. I only had a single lumber curve. I am 57 and the outcome was remarkable, my curve is now only 5 degrees, I don't know the exact degree before surgery. It was a 15 hour surgery at University Medical Center, University of Arizona, by Dr. Robert Dzioba. Of course I didn't have any pulmonary or cardiac damage or problems.
Gayle

chrisfrie
12-15-2004, 05:24 PM
Gayle
Thank you for your reply. That sounds great. 15 hours wow that is a long surgery. It is so reassuring to hear a great outcome. Dr. Gray insists that he can do the surgery in 5 hours, so it sounds like it might be less complicated in that respect than yours. from T3 to L1. I would be thrilled if I ended with a 5% curve

Thanks
Christine

suejeryl
12-15-2004, 05:43 PM
hi, everyone...i had my surgery three months ago on this very day; i'm feeling celebratory tonight! my 10-hour surgery was posterior only (t3 - s1) and i got a 45% correction on my lumbar curve; the thoracic curve disappeared entirely. i'll be 50 in february, so i'm not considered a young patient; still, i think my surgery was very successful...no more leg-nerve pain or back pain! good luck with whatever decision you make!

SkiAnn
12-15-2004, 07:38 PM
Christine,
15 hours was a long surgery, I don't believe I have read where any others were that long. Apparantly mine was not the norm. My surgeon told me from day one that it was going to be long, the residents said it was going to be a big one considering the severity of my curve (its location, direction and position). So---who am I to argue with a spinal surgeon.....:>) I researched his credentials which were remarkable and his reputation was impecable so I put myself and my trust in his hands with many second thoughts and alot of prayers. But I am glad I made the decision I did, and everything is going so well at this point I'm sure I'll will remain satisfied in the longer scheme of things. My nerve leg and foot pain is gone as well and although my back aches toward the end of the day, its not the same debilitating pain as before surgery. Good luck with whatever choice you make.
Regards,

Gayle

Theresa
12-15-2004, 10:03 PM
Hey Christine and Gayle,

My surgery was a total of 22 hours. The first day was 14-15 hours and the next one four days later was 7-8 hours. My dr. was originally only expecting a good 12 hours he said. But once they get in there things aren't always as they should be. My surgery was in April and there was someone after me on this board that was longer than me. I was in the hopital 2 weeks and she was in I think about 4 weeks. The times are just rough estimates and the average. You just never know until it's over.

chrisfrie
12-16-2004, 11:08 AM
Hello Everyone!
I guess there is a big variance in lengths of surgery and procedures. Theresa, I guess you are right about not knowing for sure what or how long things go until the doctors are in there. 22 hours!! How are you doing now? How long ago was your surgery? I have lots of time because I am not having my surgery until June. I just could not coordinate it sooner. But this way I have time to learn more about it. This forum has been great for me. Thanks to everyone sharing their experience.
Christine

SkiAnn
12-16-2004, 04:18 PM
Hi Theresa,

WOW, I can't imagine having had to face a second surgery after my 15 hour ordeal, bless your heart! But I guess we do what we have to do and if I remember back I was still pretty spacey until about the 3rd or 4th day. My recovery began very slowly until the 5th day and then I guess it took off like a runaway train. (thank goodness). Like Chisfie, how are you doing???????

Regards,
Gayle

chrisfrie
12-16-2004, 04:48 PM
Gayle and Theresa,

How long ago did you have your surgery. What were the first few months like and how long were you off work. I have so many questions. It seems like your curves were probably a lot more advanced. My T- 57 and L-36. It's the thoracic lordosis that is making the surgery necessary at this stage. I do have pain that became overwhelming a few months back but I bought a special bed and changed my yoga routine to one that is now specialized for scoliosis. My orthopedic surgeon recommended the sleep number bed system. I was very expensive but is worth every penny. What was the hardest part after you went home. It helps to hear others experience so I hope you don't mind me asking.
Christine

Theresa
12-16-2004, 09:17 PM
Christine,

If you click on search and search my user name you'll find alot of posts of my recovery period. I am 8 months post op. I started back to work at 5 months. I work in an elementary school library so I'm able to sit, stand, or move around whenever I need to. Every so often I'll go in the lounge and lay down on the couch for about 15 minutes. I'm just starting my second month of physical therapy. I had 6 disks removed. My lumbar 3 and 4 vertabre were really messed up and somewhat deformed. My T curve was 79 and my L curve was 44. I don't know the degree of rotation but that was there too. I had bone taken from the hip and a rib removed and used also. I also have a plate attached to my sacrum for better chances of the fusion taking hold. I am fused my T2 to the sacrum. I ended up needing 7 units of blood. As I said in my latest post, I might be going back in about a year for an osteomtry (excuse the spelling). My balance is still off. I have a hard time walking upright without a cane. The doctor wants the fusion to be solid and plenty of time for my muscles to learn how to work the proper way. He's hoping that as I still improve things will balance out. Feel free to ask any questions.