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View Full Version : Surgery for curves under 40 degrees



karend
07-15-2011, 11:27 AM
Hi all,

I am new to the forum. I am 23 years old and I have was diagnose with scoliosis when I was 12. I know it could be much worse off but I am in the low 30 degree range, but I have back pain, and I am very uncomfortable when I am sitting, and always feel off balance. Of course I hate the way it looks as well. Has anyone here had surgery for smaller curves? My parents are totally against it because they think if I get my spine fused it will cause me major problems later in life. I went to Dr. Errico and my parents were put off because they thought he would operate even though it wasn't totally necessary. Again, I know it could be worse but I am still bummed about it. Please let me know of your stories! Thx

titaniumed
07-16-2011, 10:25 AM
Decision making at your age having a low 30 curve is not easy. Some surgeons like Dr Hey, are saying that correcting a T curve early is the way to go, but yet many like to wait.

You do have plenty of time to think about this, surgery takes careful thought.

It would be a good idea to read and post here, you have made the 1st step!

Welcome to the forum
Ed

Karen Ocker
07-17-2011, 09:55 AM
Hi all,

I am new to the forum. I am 23 years old and I have was diagnose with scoliosis when I was 12. I know it could be much worse off but I am in the low 30 degree range, but I have back pain, and I am very uncomfortable when I am sitting, and always feel off balance. ! Thx

If you were in the low range at 12 have you been measured since then? The thinking used to be all curves stop progressing with skeletal maturity. It is not impossible that your curve could be larger now-especially with pain and being "off balance". The surest way is to compare the old x-rays at age 12 with current ones to document any progression.

Resilience
07-18-2011, 12:38 AM
I agree that you have lots of time to decide. Don't rush into anything.

There have been times in my life when I've had a lot of pain, in retrospect probably brought on by bad body mechanics at work, gardening too much, dancing too much in high heels, bad sleeping positions for me etc....

Learn what's good and bad for you, try yoga and lots of stretching, ibuprophen and massage if you have muscle spasms and get at least 3 opinions before you decide upon surgery.

Best Wishes!

karend
07-18-2011, 12:15 PM
Hi all,

Thanks so much for responding. I think at 12 I was in the 28 degree rang with the + or -5 degree margin of error. I went to Dr. Errico and he said I did in fact get worse but only by probably 5 or 6 degrees. He also said it is likely as with any scoliosis patient that curves do progress over time, despite skeletal maturity. I know it could be a lot worse but I don't want it to change 1 degree. I wore the Boston brace when I was 12 for a few months but it was really hard at that age to wear that to school and it was making my hips go numb. I then wore the Charleston nighttime bending brace from 12-15 which was a real treat. I hate to admit it but a lot of the reason I think of surgery is because of how bad I think it looks (yet I know it could be a lot worse). I see my posture is getting worse and I have a desk job which makes it uncomfortable to sit all day. Because of my back hump it is really uncomfortable for me to sit in a chair with my back to it because only one side of my back is touching the chair. I just wish there was an easier fix! I'm not a person that likes to wait around and see if things get worse :(

karend
07-18-2011, 12:17 PM
oh gosh... I've made a ton of grammar/spelling mistakes! I'm blaming it on this bloomberg keyboard :)

braceyourself
07-18-2011, 12:31 PM
As for the way you look, surgery might not be the best option. I don't know about everyone else on this forum, but even though my spine was straightened quite a bit, the rotational twisting of my body hasn't changed. I still have a fairly noticeable hump on the upper right side of my back, and the right side of my chest caves in. When I sit in a chair, my back feels so uneven. I was really disappointed at first that my surgery didn't fix that.

Also, you should seriously consider the amount of pain you're in now. Not everyone is pain-free after surgery. Many people have a lot less pain after surgery, and are very happy with the results, while many have just as much pain, if not more.

I'm definitely not trying to make surgery sound bad, because it was one of the best decisions my parents and I have made, and I'm so glad I had mine done. (My curves were 52 and 57 degrees.) But I just wanted to make sure you know that surgery doesn't always fix the way you look or feel. Hope this helps.

jrnyc
07-18-2011, 12:32 PM
i think it is important that you read a lot of the posts of people who have had the surgery....it is a very serious procedure...and it can result in problems...read some of the posts of those who had complicated and unsatisfactory results...those who needed revisions...once, twice, even three times!

you seem to be assuming that all would be well after surgery....that is simply not always the case....there are patients who have excellent outcomes...and those who do not...there are no guarantees, even with the best of surgeons....

jess