View Full Version : Opinions on this picture please: ridges on the spine

09-12-2012, 05:44 PM
Does anyone else have hard ridges on the spine as shown in my picture attached? What could this be? I look like a freak of nature now.

09-12-2012, 08:19 PM
Hi Pam...

I believe those are your spinous processes. I suspect that they were either there all along, or the derotation that was done during your surgery made them apparent. It is unusual to see them, but I think that's because they're often (usually?) removed during surgery. I don't think it's anything to worry about.


09-12-2012, 08:49 PM
hi Pam
i am so sorry that the way your scar looks upsets you so much...
i do not think you look anything like a "freak"
because it bothers you so much, why not put in a call
to the surgeon's office and ask to speak to a nurse...???


09-12-2012, 09:01 PM
One of my daughter has "dimples" in her scar which look like that but they are not so regular or numerous. Do you have a connective tissue disorder?

I assume whatever my daughter has caused the scar to dimple. The scar extends out to the side from each dimple in a shallow "c" despite never having been cut in those places. The tissue appears to have simply failed in holding together. But there is no raised portion of the scar as appears on your scar. It is either flat or dimpled in.

I hope you get an answer.

09-12-2012, 09:03 PM
I'd rather Dr. Lenke's office call me to discuss my debilitating pain and how they plan on helping me resolve it so that I can actually function and get out of bed. The appearance of my back is rather low on the priority list right now compared to my pain. I'm sorry, but I am rather frustrated right now with the lack of a diagnosis and treatment plan of action.

Thanks Linda, but if the spinous processes are normally removed in surgery, then I guess this is something they failed to perform during my surgery? I never had this sharp pointy appearance to my spine prior to surgery. I am beginning to have less and less confidence in my surgery despite having one of the top surgeons.

No, I do not have a connective tissue disorder that I am aware of.

09-12-2012, 10:40 PM
Sorry that things are not going well for you. I hope that you get the attention that you need. When dealing with my doctor, I have found that I need to call early, repeat call, get names of people that I talked with, and call again. Inspite of all of the above, OHSU called today and said that I "was not scheduled for a procedure tomorrow morning" as they had previously said. Bummer.....three calls later, I was back on the schedule after they found my doctor in the airport in Chicago! Best of luck. You certainly should be feeling much better by now. Keep posting and telling us how you are doing, and keep calling!
Gentle HUGS, Susan

09-13-2012, 10:38 PM
Here is my uneducated guess. I think that is just your spine, and it protrudes more right now because you have lost weight. And you may have had some muscle atrophy. I am not as thin, but even so I can see a lot more of my ribs than before surgery I assume because of muscle atrophy. I don't think you look like a freak of nature whatsoever and would trade to be as thin as you in an instant! Also, when you finally do get up and going I bet you'll be able to put some muscle back on and your spine won't be as noticeable. You are still a very lovely young woman, as my mom pointed out!


09-13-2012, 11:15 PM
Hi Pam...

Hang in there. I'm fairly certain that you'll eventually get some resolution. I've found that doctors don't like to do anything in the first year, unless there's something that's obviously wrong. Have you asked Dr. Lenke's office for a copy of the dictation from your visits? There might be something there that will give you a clue as to what might be wrong. From what I've heard, Dr. Lenke is a great surgeon, so I doubt he's done anything incorrectly, and is just not telling you about it.

Do you have a 6 month follow-up visit scheduled?


09-14-2012, 07:54 AM
Thank you all for your responses. After speaking to Kelly with Dr. Lenke's office today she indicated just as you said Linda...it is the spinous processes. She said due to my muscle atrophy between the scapulas that mine are more prevalent than normal. She said I have zero muscles mass there so I need to get to work building those mucscles. Any good recs for good exercises that are permitted? I have flys that can be done in bed.

Evelyn, you are too kind as always and thank you for the compliment. I am self-conscious about how these ridges protrude so much. I think it probably looks worse in person than in a photo.

Linda, yes I have a follow up appointment in November. Thank you for the encouraging words.

09-22-2012, 12:49 PM
Hi Twinmom, oh my first thought was how straight your back looks! yes, I saw the bumps- but it looked like you were very thin too. does it bother you to sit back in a hard chair or a pew at church? It looks like you need pillow support BIG time!! I'm so sorry this disturbs you now, body image wise- and I understand- you go through so much to be straight and then discover "new" issues. do you sleep with memory foam? try to be comfortable, and perhaps with time you can rebuild the muscle ( or fat) padding over the back. thank you for sharing, I am hoping to schedule my surgery in 2013 - Regards, Jamie

10-06-2012, 04:14 PM
Hey Pam,
You are not alone! I have two large bumps on my incision line : the first is about 3" from the top of the incision and the second is right on my bra line. They are both visible through a tight t-shirt. I call it my stegasaurus look. Anyway, I think they are the spinous processes and I THINK it is due to the rotation of the spine in surgery (ie rotating it back closer to where it should be?) along with significant muscle loss. I am still down about 10 lbs since my surgery and I think it is all muscle mass since I was very active with weights and stuff prior to surgery. I see Dr Bridwell this week and plan to ask him about my bumps...they are occasionally painful when I sit against hard surfaces, as I am sure yours are. I will let you know.
fused T2-sacrum with pelvic fixation
03.27.12, Dr Bridwell