View Full Version : Davidís surgery with Dr Lawrence Lenke April 4, 2018

09-09-2018, 10:05 PM
Hi, my name is David and I’m 62 yrs. old. After years of seeing doctors (which most talked me out of the surgery) I had scoliosis surgery with
Dr Lawrence Lenke in New York City on April 4, 2018. I haven’t got all the specifics post op, but prior to surgery I had a
75 deg. Thoracic curve and a 50 deg. Lumbar curve. I have Metronic Solera instrumentation implanted.
Instrumentation from T2- Sacrum. Posterior spinal fusion T2- Sacrum. Posterior column osteotomies T7-T12
and L5-S1. Decompression L3-L5 and Transforaminal lumbar interbody fusion L5-S1. Everything went great, and I didn’t have a lot of pain from my back, it was my stomach hurting from not having a bowel movement. I went to Dr Lenke because he is one of the best, if not the best (as I have researched over the past 15 to 20 years and also I’ve heard). A couple days after my surgery, while still in the hospital my son took a picture of my back and it looked great to me. I couldn’t even notice a rib hump that I had prior to surgery. After we returned to Florida several days later and approximately two to three weeks later my back started to look different, and after maybe another week I noticed my rib hump came back. I think I didn’t have it right after surgery, maybe because of the swelling. I was pleased with everything about the surgery and can tell you my recovery other than the rib hump has been great, although after being on my feet now, even for a short time, I feel like I kind of bow over just a little, and I’ll lay on a hard floor and my back will crack and crunch and straighten out. It doesn’t hurt when I do this, it feels good, and when I get up I feel taller and straighter. I am not very pleased at all with still having a rib hump. Dr Lenke informed me against copolasty surgery, and I guess he doesn’t do these unless it’s absolutely necessary, and I’m Not even sure about that. Anyway, I guess he got as much correction as he could, as he is more concerned about getting you as straight as he can. His office informed me to look for another doctor in Florida who performs this procedure. I was surprised they told me this. Now, I’m very dissatisfied with this hump and not sure if I can find a doctor to address this. It does hurt and bother me to sit against a lot of different chairs because you don’t sit straight and even on both sides, and the rib hump hits on one side. I will answer any questions about my surgery and what I know about Dr Lenke. Again, I know he is a very good doctor and I would recommend to anyone considering surgery to go through with it. I can tell you that I have always been very active and in really good shape, and they told me, that made all the difference in the outcome. My back definitely looks better then it did prior, but I shouldn’t have assumed that my appearance would be like some of the other older adults that he had performed surgery on. I’m looking for some more advice here, because I’m not getting any from Dr Lenke’s office. I have talked to a few people on here years ago, the last was Ed. I’ll probably write some more about this, but wanted to get this post started and my experience. Thanks

09-10-2018, 06:23 AM

It has been a bunch of years since we talked.....

Can you post any photos of your rib hump? I posted some photos of mine and shot the rib hump photo from the side.....Would also love to see your x-rays, they probably look just like mine.

The rib hump procedure is called a Thoracoplasty. Its called a Costoplasty in England. There are not too many thoracoplasty folks on this forum, they are a rare bunch here in the US.

I hope you are feeling well. 5 months is early.....



09-12-2018, 12:12 PM

In wondering why some surgeons frown on thoracoplasty, (we have never discussed this before) below is a study on this procedure, pulmonary function, and pulmonary function decrease values.

The study was basically done on very large 99 degree curves in 17 year olds.....these kids are going to have large thoracic rib humps.

In section 4, from a surgical standpoint, they mention that the procedure "can" destroy thoracic integrity, and respiratory muscle, leading to pulmonary function damage. Having ones breathing ability compromised would be serious. If you see any surgeons about this matter and they ask, "Any questions" this would be a good one to ask. Perhaps a rare sort of event, but as Linda has said once that I never forgot, "Complications only matter when they happen to you".

Our surgeries are serious procedures never to be taken lightly. To get through major spine surgery without serious complications is a blessing in which most of us are very thankful.


Many of us, including myself, make it through and do well. I have to say that this does boost our bravery a bit, I was ready to have neck surgery 5 years ago, and my surgeon laughed at me and told me that I knew better....and tears will sometimes flow waiting in pain as I did for so many years on my spine, but better than having a cervical complication such as neck swelling which is something I think about.

Surgeons have to warn us about complications, but the problem is that there are too many to discuss, its impossible to know them all, and some are beyond their control.


09-17-2018, 12:39 PM
Hey Ed,
I was trying to upload some photos but can’t find an area or a tab to click on. I sent a message to the association over a week ago, and just sent another and haven’t got a response back. Someone is not keeping up with their duties. I wanted to mention, I haven’t had any issues with my surgery and I wasn’t even in pain after the surgery, and I’ve done real well. People can’t believe the things I presently do, and it doesn’t hurt, it seems like it’s harder to stand straight as I should be, after being in my feet, and again, I don’t have to be doing anything either. I think because I’ve been so active and have always been in really good shape that it didn’t really bother me. If I would’ve known the surgery was going to be like this, I would’ve done it much sooner. But it seems like you hear a lot of negative responses and even some doctors will try to talk you out of the surgery. If I could talk to anyone, I would explain to them in an easier to understand way than most people explained to me. Sometimes you don’t know what to ask, and it helps if the person that had the surgery thinks of things the other might not know to inquire about. I knew I was going to one of the best doctors if not the best, but I assumed my physical appearance on the outside would be better. I was going by others results and what Dr O Brien in Plano Texas had told me. He said he could address that issue (Rib Throacoplasty) during the surgery. Unfortunately, I had to change and find another doctor because Dr O’ Brien had some medical issues any no longer practices. Anyway, I’ll upload those pictures as soon as I can. David

09-17-2018, 01:42 PM
Hey Ed,
I was trying to upload some photos but canít find an area or a tab to click on. I sent a message to the association over a week ago, and just sent another and havenít got a response back. Someone is not keeping up with their duties.

Hi David....

Joe O'Brien, who runs the NSF, is a one man show. He counts on me to monitor the Forum, but messages aren't sent or forwarded to me. Sorry about that.

To add a photo:
1. Click on Reply to Thread
2. At the bottom of the page, under Additional Options, click on Manage Attachments
3. From the new window that pops up, click on Add Files
4. Navigate to the image you want to post
5. Click on Upload
6. Click on Insert Inline
7. Click on Done

Note that there are restrictions on file type and size.


09-18-2018, 06:01 PM
David, Congratulations! Painfree adult scoliosis surgery recovery is a rare thing....There is always some sort of pain and like Roseanne Roseannadanna would say, "Its always something". Can you imagine if she were alive today and she had the e-mail address "Roseanneroseannadanna@roseanneroseannadanna.com? (smiley face) It took me 8 minutes to type that.

Did you get released yet?

What have they told you about bending? Its seems we get into all sorts of trouble when we bend over. Bending over and lifting is even worse. (for the lumbar)

If I had to do it all over again, it would be at age 40.

I had varied leaning sensations in my recovery.....which I attribute to soft tissues and their healing. Its not easy to balance a flagpole on your hand, let alone balance a spine after what we go through.

It takes at least a year to really judge ones surgery.....and if you came through good, I wouldn't re-paint on the Mona Lisa. We are artwork you know?