View Full Version : Rod?

10-31-2011, 05:38 AM
I have a 45degree curve in my lumbar area, my neurosurgeon (who I am told is one of the best in the region) wants to put a rod from my neck down and fix a herniated disk in my lumber as well. I have a 14 month old son and I'm scared to death to have this surgery, but the pain is getting to where I can't take it anyore. I have an infection that won't go away and the antibiotics make me sick, so theywon't do my steriod injections anymore. I'm so tired of pain pills being my only option...

Any ideas/advice/stories on this type of surgery would be much appreciated. Thank you.


10-31-2011, 08:03 AM
Hi there,

I am sorry to hear of your pain. I would recommend you get at least one if not two other opinions from experienced scoliosis surgeons, who are almost always orthopedists (a few are neurosurgeons but not many I don't think). You can look for member surgeons of the Scoliosis Research Society (SRS) by visiting www.srs.org and doing a geographical search for your area. Some people who don't live in or near a larger city may need to travel a bit to see someone who is very familiar with this type of surgery.

I am wondering why the fusion/rod would go all the way to the base of your neck if your curve is lumbar? I was fused a year ago for a 47 degree lumbar curve and many lower lumbar degenerative problems, and my fusion extends to T8, which is about the bra-line. I would want to know why they are proposing to go so high in your case.

You mention you have an infection that won't clear and you don't tolerate antibiotics...You would absolutely have to get the infection completely cleared (wherever it is) prior to surgery. You do not want to risk getting an infection on your new hardware or in the surgical site.

I have school-aged children, but the early toddler days are still fresh in my mind! It would be extremely difficult to recover from this surgery with such a young child. You will not be allowed/able to pick up your child for a minimum of 6 months, and maybe much longer. This is very hard for the little ones to understand and very hard on you as a mother. Something to think about if surgery could be postponed a little longer.

There is a very good book that is available on this website (and also at amazon.com I think), it is by Dave Wolpert and called Scoliosis Surgery-The Definitive Patient's Guide (i may have the exact words in the title wrong but you get the idea). It is excellent and you will learn a lot about what to expect from surgery and recovery.

Good luck, I know this surgery is very daunting to consider. Learn as much as you can, and please don't hesitate t ask any question you may have here.

10-31-2011, 08:11 AM

Gayle's advise is very good.

There might be one issue... if there is some neurological reason you are with a neurosurgeon and not an orthopedic surgeon then it is possible you should have a neurosurgeon do the fusion. If you have no neuro condition then the no-brainer is to pick one of the top orthopedic surgeons for the fusion or at least to get another few opinions.

I have no idea about this issue of neurosurgeon versus orthopedic surgeon in the case of certain neurological conditions but I think the far and away best advise is to use an orthopedic surgeon if it's scoliosis with the "usual" neuro symptoms.

Good luck.

10-31-2011, 04:29 PM
Definitely agree that a second and/or third opinion is required.