View Full Version : Balanced or not ???

12-17-2011, 03:25 PM
Hello Everyone -

I am not much of a poster on this forum but believe me when I say I have probably read every single post on the surgical (first time) portion of the forum and am very grateful to you all for the experiences you share. I hope I will at some point be able to share my experiences too and help someone else going through this.

I had my surgery in June and while my curves were literally identical and very well balanced before surgery (87 thoracic and 85 lumbar), they seem significantly different post op (37 thoracic and 18-21 lumbar). I know that my bending xrays showed my thoracic curve to be very stiff (i.e literally unchanged in the bending xrays) and my lumbar curve much more flexible probably because it started out as a compensatory curve. My concern however is that since the surgery I feel somewhat off and feel like one leg is longer than the other. Dr B suggested a shoe lift on my left leg which I have used since then but I still feel off. I have expressed my concern about not being balanced but he says I am balanced and went through a long explanation about the sagital and coronal planes and totally lost me with the explanation :) I must confess I do tend to get intimidated during my visits and even though I did not understand the explanation, I kinda took his word for it :) Its hard to argue when your surgeon has such a good reputation right ?

Now my question is this, is it possible to have such discrepancy between your two curves i.e the post op thoracic curve almost double the lumbar curve and be balanced ?? For a layman like me it doesn't make sense but then I don't have the medical perspective. I know there are few people on the forum whose post op curves were not exactly thesame and had such discrepancy and wanted to get their opinion on this. I am kind of giving my body time to adjust as Dr B said I am balanced and it would just take time for me to feel it but also would appreciate comments from anyone who had thesame concerns post op.

Thanks everyone and happy holidays !!!

12-18-2011, 05:51 AM
My curves pre-surgery were also perfectly balanced (66 degrees each to be exact), and the lumbar curve was compensatory. I find it incredible that our bodies did that so we didn't have to be unbalanced. Anyway, like you, my post surgical curves have a similar larger upper curve. However, I don't feel unbalanced at all.

It couldn't hurt to give the lift a try.

12-18-2011, 12:10 PM
Hi GOE....

It is very possible. I think it's difficult to know, when the patient is on the table, what gravity will do when the patient stands up.

If you got your X-rays on a CD, you can actually look at the balance that Dr. Boachie mentioned. (I think some of the software is often included on the CD, so you can use the measurement tools.) Ultimately you want your head balanced exactly over the bottom of your spine, and your shoulders and pelvis to be balanced on both sides.


12-18-2011, 04:04 PM
hi GOE
i am so sorry you are experiencing this....
i have not had scoli surgery...yet... but i know from other medical issues that
sometimes what a doctor says doesn't match what the patient feels....
it happened to me with a top doctor at Sloan Kettering in NYC....long story short,
he told me what my left femur must have felt like based on what the medical text
said it had to feel like..i walked out of the appointment, complained to Human
Resources, and got a partial refund of the hundreds in cash i spent for the consult
i am not saying Dr Boachie is that rigid or uncaring....just that sometimes what
the medical textbook says is supposed to be right for our bodies doesn't
feel that way....

the point i am trying to make is that your body feels the way it feels to you, and no
matter what medicine says is right, if it feels off balance, then i can understand
why it is upsetting to live with....
would you consider seeing another top SRS scoli surgeon in NYC just for an
opinion about your situation....? since you have tried the shoe lift and still
feel off balance with it, perhaps another surgeon would have other ideas
of what to do about your problem....

i hope you can find an answer...
best regards...

12-18-2011, 04:21 PM
Thank you for your responses. I do have my pre op xrays on cd but have not requested my post op xrays on cd. I will go ahead and do that and see if I can see what Dr B is talking about for myself.

Also thanks jrnyc for your suggestion. I am definitely open to getting another opinion somewhere else if this does not resolve over time. Dr B seems quite confident that I am balanced so I'll give it a little bit more time and if I am still not satisfied with his follow up on the matter then I'll seek another opinion. I had my fair share of opinions from different ortho surgeons before surgery and they all seemed to agree which I guess made my decision quite easy at that point :) I just hope I dont have to do that again and that this kind of resolves on is own or Dr B takes some more time to look at it after I keep asking thesame question a million times :)

Thanks everyone for listening to my ramble .....

12-18-2011, 06:31 PM
Well I was technically never balanced (my spine either lol),but my right lag w as slightly longer because my thoracic curve caused my lumbar and hips to be unbalanced which made one leg shorter due to my hip placement. The lumbar area was minimal but my right curve was 74 which always made me feel off balanced. I learned how to carry my weight but in the end my right foot took some damage. I'm only 2 months post op and went from 74 to 16. I still have a slight rotation and right shoulder is slightly higher, but I feel completely off balance. If I'm not careful I will lean backwards or I find myself going right and losing balance. My left side has been difficult to deal with. Breathing makes it sore, walking, sitting. I think anytime you change you entire posture you use muscles and nerves that have never been used that way. While my migraines have diminished in number the dizzy spells when I am too active increases. You could be just experiencing a balance adjustment. I had orthotics before in order to disburse my weight differently. It might be a good idea to see a good foot dr who can tell you how you are distributing weight and if you do have a problem that could be only detected by you since you are in your skin or if it is just sensation caused by your new posture. You had some large changes that will affect both sides. Outside of feeling like you need a v8 you must be thrilled with some of the more positive changes like creases gone, clothing fitting better. I know I have had some issue with not being able to curve and slouch over to see belly button ring or bra clasps and people making some comments to me know how I seem to always have good posture and I sit so straight. Lol They didn't realize I had surgery. So I guess I will look very military and at attention from now on. I just hope my balance improves as my left side gets stronger. I didn't realize how weak it was including the left lumbar even though it was only slightly curved due to the large upper curve. I will be interested to see what you find out

12-18-2011, 07:31 PM
You could be just experiencing a balance adjustment. I had orthotics before in order to disburse my weight differently. It might be a good idea to see a good foot dr who can tell you how you are distributing weight and if you do have a problem that could be only detected by you since you are in your skin or if it is just sensation caused by your new posture.

Kayde makes a good point about orthotics possibly helping you with the balance issue. Prior to my surgery, I had worn orthotics including a heel lift. I waited until about 6 mos post-op before being fitted for new orthotics to allow things to just settle down. No heel lift was needed because my shoulders/pelvis are now even. I did not have a compensating curve, but I always felt the orthotics provides a nice foundation especially with all of the walking that I do. Hope you find a solution soon.

12-18-2011, 08:09 PM
i thought GOE said she tried the lift and she felt the same way with the lift as without it...