View Full Version : Taking suggestions for fourth, fifth (well you get the picture) opinions, please!

01-05-2017, 07:26 PM

This is only my second time posting here and I don't know that I'll be following all the proper methods, but hopefully this is ok to ask... I live in the Seattle area and have already seen 3 surgeons. I talked to one who said the next places to look would be SF and Denver. I'm 48 y.o. and was in a Milwaukee brace from about age 12 y. 3 months to almost 15 y.o. I think my curve then was 37. I had an x-ray in November and it's now 62 thoracic and 45ish lumbar (depending upon who's reading it). I feel paralyzed. I don't want to make the wrong decision. I don't want fusion at all, but life right now is pretty miserable. Vicodin when I wake up and sitting on a heating pad as much as I can. Can anyone recommend a neurosurgeon in OR, CA, AZ, NM, CO, MT, ID (I think I hit all the PMW/Western/Southwestern states). I'm willing to travel for consults because I want to make the best decision.

Thank you in advance,


01-05-2017, 09:46 PM
Hi, Suzanne,
Welcome to the forum! I think you are extremely wise to seek out the best surgeon possible for this surgery. I am sure that Linda, the moderator on the forum, will reply and give you some names of excellent surgeons.

01-07-2017, 07:55 AM
Hi, I recommend Dr Robert Hart who is now the head of the spine program at Swedish Medical Center. He moved last year from OHSU, where he was for a long time. I was his patient for 8 years before he moved and know him well. He is an excellent surgeon who has lots of experience with complex scoliosis surgeries. I suffered broken rods twice due to several levels not fully fusing, and he did both of my huge revision surgeries. My back is now doing really well, and it's been 15 months since my last revision.

Dr Hart is compassionate and very nice. He spent as much time as I needed explaining the surgery and answering questions prior to surgery. Here is a link to another thread about him: http://www.scoliosis.org/forum/showthread.php?5523-Information-on-Portland-Oregon-surgeons&highlight=Robert+Hart

Best of luck in your journey.

01-07-2017, 11:39 AM
Hi Suzanne, I would also recommend Dr. Hart. I have seen him for 3 revisions for a very complicated situation. He was in Portland for ? 17 years and as Gayle said is at Swedish Spine Center. I suggest that you be persistent in trying to make an appointment as for some reason, the "new Patient" line has not responded to me.

I highly suggest that you do have a few opinions and choose the doctor that you can trust.

Having your surgeon in Seattle is a real plus for follow-up.

And.....nobody really "wants a fusion". I resisted surgery for 2 years [initial diagnosis age 64] and did every procedure possible and 2 years of PT. I was on Dilaudid and ice bags. No life really. I asked the two surgeons that I consulted, "If you were in my shoes would you have surgery?" One said, "Anyone in your situation would have spinal surgery" and the other said, "yes". Both said that I would be in a wheelchair on Narcotics within 5 years.

Good luck and if I can be of assistance, send a PM. I am not on the forum too much, so my initial response may not be immediate.