PDA

View Full Version : New to Forum, Taking Steps Towards Surgery



Doreen1
07-18-2011, 01:43 PM
Hello Everyone!

I am 43, have been in pain for 20 years and cannot bear it any longer. I was diagnosed in my early teens with scoliosis and was told not to worry about it because it wasn't that bad. As a young adult, pain set in in my lower back, but I tried to ignore it. After my daughter was born 11 years ago, pain was unbearable. Doctor told me I was too old for a brace and for me to "just sit up straight." Unbelievable!

Years went by, and I went to a chiropractor 5 years ago and my x-rays showed 40 degree curve. I was shocked at what I saw on the x-rays. Chiro relived some pain in the beginning, but then started to aggravate my back so I stopped. Since June of this year, my pain is in more places now and my back hurts when I breathe.

Last week I saw my family physician who prescribed physical therapy. He said that I really don't want to explore surgery until I've exhausted all other options. Really? He sent me to a physical therapy doctor who took x-ray which showed upper curve 53.6 degrees and lower curve 51.9 degrees. I'm shocked again by what I saw. Isn't that a big progression; 40 degrees to 53 degrees in 5 years?

Vacuuming the house takes me two days because the pain it causes in my back. It is ridiculous how my lifestyle has become limited with things I am unable to do because my pain will flare up. I'm tired of saying, "I can't do this/that because of my back." My grin-and-bear-it philosophy isn't making my back healthier which is why I went to a new doctor last week.

At the same time, I am experiencing an issue with my heart and have an ultrasound scheduled this week along with MRI of my spine. Family doc said his goal is to minimize my pain. After seeing my degrees last week, my goal is #1 stop the progression #2 minimize pain. I'm not an expert, but will physical therapy help while I pursue finding a surgeon?

I've enjoyed reading everyone's experiences/journeys on this forum and am excited to hear people's advice/suggestions. I'm praying for favorable heart ultrasound results so I can move forward with correcting my spine.

Warmly,
Doreen

titaniumed
07-18-2011, 06:32 PM
Usually surgeons want to see a record of attempts in maintaining scoliosis pains as surgery is usually a last ditch effort. Even with some surgeons talking about addressing things sooner, most will adopt this stance since it is so irreversible and yes, complications can happen but they are rare.

Utilizing Physical therapy is certainly worth a try.

You will want to seek out a “scoliosis specialist” This person is not just your regular orthopedic, he should ONLY do scoli surgeries. There are lists, what state are you in?, we can post scoli surgeons in your area if you wish.

Welcome to the forum. You have taken the right step in reading and posting here, as knowing and talking to fellow scolis is of great value. Ask anything you wish.

Ed

jrnyc
07-18-2011, 06:49 PM
hi Doreen
welcome to the forum...
i hope you find both information and support here....

i would suggest, in addition to what Ed wrote, that you also find a good pain management doctor..there are treatments, such as injections, nerve ablation, facet blocks...things that might relieve some of your pain...
and seeing a pain doc does not rule out surgery....it just might help you feel better while you are making your decision....

jess

LindaRacine
07-18-2011, 07:07 PM
Hi Doreen...

Yes, it's a lot of progression, but not at all unusual after 40 or 50, due to degeneration.

Best of luck in your journey.

Regards,
Linda

Lorz
07-19-2011, 08:26 AM
Hi Doreen,
Welcome, and good luck with your journey. To answer the physical therapy question, I had a full year of PT prior to my surgery. I think it helped with the tight muscles, and to control the pain somewhat. I had muscle stim. treatments, and soft tissue/myofascial release work done , along with stretching exercises I did at home.

Doreen1
07-22-2011, 08:33 AM
Thank you, everyone, for sharing your input and advice. I leave in a couple of hours to get MRIs done and just got off the phone with Dr. Yoon's Atlanta office and will see a spinal deformity doctor July 27. I also have a follow up with my primary doc to get the heart ultrasound results on July 27 so it should be a busy day collecting more information from both sets of docs.

I've been experiencing spasms/twitching all along my spine, back of neck and throughout the back of my right leg. Have any of you had spasms/twitching? I've had a migraine for a week (hurts when I blink) but cannot take anything other than aleve and store-brand Tylenol until primary doc sees heart ultrasound results. My head feels like it going to explode.

Dr. Yoon's office was extremely helpful by coaching me on how to obtain MRI results on disc before I leave the office today. I wouldn't have know to ask for that onsite. I was planning to ask my doc for it when she gives me the results next week.

What will an MRI show me?

Warmly,
Doreen

asccbodypro
07-23-2011, 06:02 PM
[QUOTE=Doreen1;123079]Hello Everyone!

. Doctor told me I was too old for a brace and for me to "just sit up straight." Unbelievable!

Vacuuming the house takes me two days because the pain it causes in my back. It is ridiculous how my lifestyle has become limited with things I am unable to do because my pain will flare up. I'm tired of saying, "I can't do this/that because of my back." My grin-and-bear-it philosophy isn't making my back healthier which is why I went to a new doctor last week.

I did the grin and bear for 6 years and things fot so bad I could barely walk at times. Vacuuming is torture somedays a well. It certainly sounds like your at the point where it's time to take that final step...surgery. I have very advanced degenerative disc disease for my age and my surgery fixed my lumbar/sciatica pain :) I'm glad you are going to a new doc....any doc that tells you to just sit up straight doesn't sound like someone educated enough to help you. All I can say is as much as recovery has been hard for me compared to most I would do it again. I wish you good luck and you will certainly find a great deal of support here!