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View Full Version : Orthopedic surgeon--first appointment?



sue12345
02-26-2014, 10:34 AM
Hi! I am new, and will give a little background. I was diagnosed at 11 as having Multiple Epiphyseal Dysplasia, which in essence makes the joints enlarged or something similar at the epiphyses of the bones. No big deal for me, it just made me have slightly enlarged knuckles, a crooked finger and wide feet. Around 12 I developed lateral scoliosis, but the determined it was not enough to get fixed.

Fast forward until now, at age 54. I have not seen an orthopedist for my scoliosis at all over the last 40 years. I had no issues and no pain. Now though, I have noticed my waist leans to the right when I sit, and when I lie in bed, I am ok on that right side, but when I lay on the left side, it is uncomfortable. It feels like I am in a "c" shape, and it won't bend straight(sorry, did any of that make sense?). This seems to have caused my shoulder girdle to then lean back toward the left.

At the same time, I absolutely cannot lie flat. I seem to have a huge gap under my midsection when I do, and my head is extremely uncomfortable stretching back to lie flat. I normally use 2 pillows to keep my head comfortable if I am on my back.

All of these changes has caused digestive issues and breathing issues. I am a short person at 5'2", and I feel like my whole ribcage is "sinking" down to my hip bones. I have no space between my lowest rib and my hip bone anymore.

So, what it boils down to is I am pretty sure my scoliosis has gotten way worse in the last few years, and now I believe I also have some kyphosis. My question is, can I go straight to an orthopedic surgeon to be looked at and tested with? Or, do I need to go to an orthopedist to have the testing/diagnosis, and then go to an orthopedist?

LindaRacine
02-26-2014, 10:42 PM
Hi! I am new, and will give a little background. I was diagnosed at 11 as having Multiple Epiphyseal Dysplasia, which in essence makes the joints enlarged or something similar at the epiphyses of the bones. No big deal for me, it just made me have slightly enlarged knuckles, a crooked finger and wide feet. Around 12 I developed lateral scoliosis, but the determined it was not enough to get fixed.

Fast forward until now, at age 54. I have not seen an orthopedist for my scoliosis at all over the last 40 years. I had no issues and no pain. Now though, I have noticed my waist leans to the right when I sit, and when I lie in bed, I am ok on that right side, but when I lay on the left side, it is uncomfortable. It feels like I am in a "c" shape, and it won't bend straight(sorry, did any of that make sense?). This seems to have caused my shoulder girdle to then lean back toward the left.

At the same time, I absolutely cannot lie flat. I seem to have a huge gap under my midsection when I do, and my head is extremely uncomfortable stretching back to lie flat. I normally use 2 pillows to keep my head comfortable if I am on my back.

All of these changes has caused digestive issues and breathing issues. I am a short person at 5'2", and I feel like my whole ribcage is "sinking" down to my hip bones. I have no space between my lowest rib and my hip bone anymore.

So, what it boils down to is I am pretty sure my scoliosis has gotten way worse in the last few years, and now I believe I also have some kyphosis. My question is, can I go straight to an orthopedic surgeon to be looked at and tested with? Or, do I need to go to an orthopedist to have the testing/diagnosis, and then go to an orthopedist?
Hi Sue...

Your last sentence doesn't make sense, but the answer is that it depends on the type of orthopaedic surgeon you choose. If you choose someone specialized in spinal deformities, and they're well known, they are unlikely to see you without being screened first by your primary physician, a physicians' assistant in their office, or another orthopaedist. Where are you located?

--Linda

sue12345
02-27-2014, 12:30 PM
Hi Sue...

Your last sentence doesn't make sense, but the answer is that it depends on the type of orthopaedic surgeon you choose. If you choose someone specialized in spinal deformities, and they're well known, they are unlikely to see you without being screened first by your primary physician, a physicians' assistant in their office, or another orthopaedist. Where are you located?

--Linda

You're right, the last sentence did not make sense! I meant, go to an orthopedist first or an ortho surgeon first?

I see doctors in Houston. I had seen a few ortho. surgeons listed, that's why I was wondering if I could go straight to the ortho surgeon. I was thinking of possibly trying Hanson. Thanks for you help!

rohrer01
02-27-2014, 01:30 PM
Sue,
Many people here start with their primary care physicians to get referrals. But, if your insurance doesn't require that, I would go straight to the surgeon. He/she will know what testing you will need, if any. There is a list of SRS approved doctors if you go the the website homepage and click on "find a physician". Not all here have had their surgeries with these physicians, but these ones have to keep up with a primary base of scoliosis cases so will have lots of experience. There are good surgeons that choose not to belong to this society, but if you go to one be sure and check out his/her credentials very carefully. I'm so sorry you are in pain!

Keep us updated and best wishes.

sue12345
02-27-2014, 04:50 PM
Thanks for the mention of SRS approved physicians...can you tell me what it stands for so I can find their website?

rohrer01
02-27-2014, 05:21 PM
Thanks for the mention of SRS approved physicians...can you tell me what it stands for so I can find their website?

It stands for Scoliosis Research Society. You can locate a physician on THIS website. Go to the homepage and click on "Resources", then click on "Orthopedic Spine Specialist Referral". This will take you to the website where you can locate a SRS orthopedic physician in your area.

They changes the format a bit since I last looked at the homepage. There used to be a direct link, but it is gone. Follow the steps above and you will get there, otherwise you can skip it and go to:

http://www.srs.org/find/

I hope you find this helpful.

LindaRacine
02-27-2014, 10:40 PM
While there are almost certainly orthopaedic specialists who are not surgeons, I think it's pretty rare, and I probably wouldn't go searching for one. (I suspect that someone who calls themselves an orthopaedist instead of orthopaedic surgeons may not have been able to pass their Boards.

sue12345
03-01-2014, 01:54 PM
Thanks for both of your feedback. I see there are about 3 different doctors listed for Houston, so I have choices.