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View Full Version : Does changing appearance automatically mean progression



Leelee
05-05-2013, 11:03 PM
Hi,

Want to take a moment to introduce myself again, my name is Lisa, and I was somewhat active here and very active on spinekids years ago but haven't been around the past few years. My signature is incorrect (I've left it alone to be nostalgic haha) but I'm almost 23 years old. At my last appointment, probably 3-4 years ago, both my curves were around 45*. I was diagnosed at age 10 and wore a Boston brace for 4 years. I had what I believe to be poor care with regard to my scoliosis due to a sub-par orthopedist and uninvolved parenting. I really haven't had any care since getting out of the brace in 2005. I had a discharge appointment from shriners at either 19 or 20 years old (2009 or 2010) and was given no follow up directions whatsoever. Which brings me to the meat of my question....

I've had some issues with neck pain recently which is new...usually any pain I get is in the rib hump area. And yesterday I was spray tanning (I know....) and caught a look at my rib hump in the mirror which prompted me to think about my neck pain and take a good look at my proportions and symmetry in the mirror. Honestly I was shocked by what I saw! I'm not sure when the last time I scrutinized my body in the mirror was, but I definitely noticed a difference especially with my shoulders. I don't think it's in my head either since I sought out opinions from others haha. So my question is, does this automatically signal a possibility of progression? Or is it possible for things to just shift/settle as I get older and look DIFFERENT without actually being WORSE? Either way I've picked out a new orthopedic surgeon to make an appointment with and will be calling tomorrow....it's been long enough that I feel like its time for a check up and a new pair of eyes on me anyway. But these things just get me jittery and I'd like to think I haven't had any progression. Thanks!

Pooka1
05-06-2013, 05:51 AM
Hi. I don't think visual change is necessarily helpful in figuring out if something has changed though it can be in certain cases. The only way to ever hope to know what is really going on is radiographs as far as I know.

rohrer01
05-06-2013, 10:54 AM
Welcome back, Lisa.

I had visual changes and changes in my gait. My high shoulder felt like it was dropping and my legs felt uneven. It happened gradually. I mentioned it to my general practitioner who had never seen an x-ray of my spine. He was quite shocked at how it looked and sent me to a scoliosis specialist in the Twin Cities. I no longer had my childhood x-rays for comparison, but the surgeon measured my main curve just a few degrees more than when I was a teen (within the margin of error). Finally, at one point several years later, my shoulders were completely even and I noticed a new rib hump and my belly button became about a half inch off center. It had been 10 years since that visit to the Twin Cities and I had found a new doctor. I went to him 5 years after the Cities visit and no change (that anyone noticed). Then at that visit in 2010 I suddenly had progression and a double major curve instead of the single major. Well, I don't think it was sudden. They weren't paying any attention to my lower curve and stayed focused on the upper curve which was pretty stable. It was the lower curve that was progressing and no one noticed until it was almost as large as the top curve.

So a long story short. A change in appearance most certainly can mean a change in your spine. Logically, how could it not? Unfortunately for us, it's usually not for the better. It took 10 years for anyone to notice my change. I felt it happening. I would get some x-rays done. Hopefully, it's not serious.