View Full Version : Julie's hybrid fusion and VBT

03-06-2019, 09:25 AM
I was diagnosed with idiopathic adolescent scoliosis when I was 10, at 15 my curves were in the 20s (don’t have exact numbers from back then). I never experienced any pain or limitations growing up, and I didn’t wear a brace.

At 27, I knew it had probably progressed and I wanted to do some strength training, so I found Dr. Lonner in NYC to get up to date X-rays. My thoracic curve was 60 degrees, my lumbar curve was 61. Even though I still had no limitations and very mild muscle tightness, the fact that it would only get worse and I would only get older, surgery now was the best option.

He recommended a hybrid procedure, Posterior spinal fusion T2-T11 (with rods) and anterior VBT Left T11-L3 w/resection of 8th rib.
Surgery was January 23rd.

I’ve definitely made it past the worst part. The first 4 weeks were absolutely miserable, nothing like I had ever been through before. I just started week 6 and feel like I have come so incredibly far and trying to focus on those positives even though I still feel far away from how I felt before surgery. Luckily I’ve been able to recover with my family who have taken great care of me. I’m returning to my apartment in NYC this weekend, not going back to work, but taking the next step in independence.

Even typing all this out and sharing it is so therapeutic, I really can’t thank you enough for just reading and listening. Reading the forums helped me a lot when I was struggling.

Let me know if you have any other questions about the VBT. I felt comfortable with it after Dr. Lonner fully explained the differences and risks. From what I understand VBT in fully grown adults (me) is still being researched/studied. So far so good, still a long way to go though.

Before and after xrays below! (FYI they are mirror image of each other, had them done at different offices)


03-06-2019, 10:35 AM
He recommended a hybrid procedure, Posterior spinal fusion T2-T11 (with rods) and anterior VBT Left T11-L3 w/resection of 8th rib.
Surgery was January 23rd.

How interesting Julie! Would love to see the x-rays. You are the first hybrid poster here!

The first 6 weeks are the hardest, things will improve quickly from now on.

Sounds like you had curves like mine (many years ago) with a balanced S curve. I ended up with a 70/70 at age 49. I couldn't take the pain anymore, it was out of control.

Welcome to the forum! Congratulations!


03-08-2019, 10:09 AM
Xrays added to the original post! FYI they are mirror images of each other, had them done at different offices.

Thank you so much for the encouraging words! That's pretty cool that I'm the first hybrid poster, happy to share my experience.

Still having constant soreness (I don't call it pain anymore, it's not the same debilitating pain I had in the first weeks). My next goal is to be able to sit in a chair without a pillow and of course increase my endurance with walking and sitting.

A challenge I'm facing is gaining back my pre-surgery weight. I went in weighing 110lbs at 5'2" and now I weigh 98 lbs at 5'3". (Love that I got an inch of height out of this! lol) I know I'm underweight and my appetite has greatly improved, but my GI system is still so sensitive. Everything's working normally, but after eating it can feel extra tight/tender. Gaining the weight back and looking more like myself will help me feel more "recovered".

I've realized so much of this recovery is getting your self-identity back, building yourself back up from the bottom.

03-08-2019, 11:45 AM
Julie, we trade pains after our surgeries, then we heal.....

I had pillows everywhere in my recovery for quite some time. Pretty soon you wont need them. Hard to say, at age 27, you should heal quickly....but try to take it easy until you get released from Dr Lonner. No BLT's for some time.....

I noticed you have double screws on each level in your lumbar. Looks like double tethers....very interesting!

I lost 40# in my recovery, quit meds and replaced with nutrients. The pains dropped off quickly and felt so much better. Your diet is extremely important in your recovery, drink a lot of water and do your short walks often. Walks circulate nutrients into healing zones.

I gained weight by drinking smoothies with whey protein powder. Ask Dr Lonner about whey. I cut out the whey after a month or so....

In a blender,
1/8 cup whey protein powder
1 organic yogurt
1 banana
10 strawberries
20 blueberries
10 raspberries
10 almonds
store in fridge, re-blend when you want more.

Your case will be of huge interest here. Many scoli's have been fused in the thoracic with the lumbar untouched and wonder about tethering under the fusion mass. You are our new star! Thanks so much for posting your case and please don't be a stranger. Scoliosis is a lifelong disease, many of the posters here are true vets and we follow along with each other.

Nice x-rays! (smiley face)


03-08-2019, 03:06 PM
Glad that you are doing better.
It does take time to feel yourself