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NataliesMom
03-29-2005, 09:48 AM
I was wondering if anyone here has any experience with a left thoracic curve.

In July 2004 my then 11-year-old daughter complained of back pain and her hip falling asleep. Our family doctor did an x-ray and said she had a tiny (2 degree) curvature, which was absolutely nothing to worry about. 5 months later, I took her back for continued pain and hip numbness and the x-ray showed a 12 degree curve. Because of the rapid progression, we went to the orthopedic doctor who said that because her thoracic curve was to the left instead of the right, it was considered atypical and that fact, coupled with the pain, might suggest that her curve was due to an underlying condition. She had MRIs of her spine which were normal, and was prescribed physical therapy for pain for 3 months, which we have now completed. She is forever complaining of a 'moderate' headache in the back of her head and says her back still hurts.

She goes back to the ortho mid-April. I am concerned even though her curve is very slight because her curve is atypical and has other symptoms. Anyone out there have a story like Natalie's? (I would prefer one that ends with "...and so it ended up being nothing to worry about!")

Angela

Carmell
03-29-2005, 12:38 PM
Hi Angela,

I wish I could give you the answers you are looking for. UGH. I understand how frustrating it is to worry and not know what is going on with your child.

Based on our own experience, I have a couple of questions that hopefully will help you think things through (with the docs).

1. Did they do an MRI of the brain? Hopefully they ruled out conditions like Chiari problems.

2. Does she have any other symptoms of hypothyroidism? (i.e., is she extra thin or overweight (either extreme), does she lose a lot of hair, is she tired all the time, etc.) My daughter has pain/discomfort with her scoliosis, which shouldn't be (according to the docs). Her scoliosis is moderate, but the pain/discomfort she has is atypical for the degree of curvature. We are assuming her back pain is related to her thyroid being off, even slightly.

3. Is your daughter active? My daughter says her pain is less intense when she is physically active. By keeping her back and abdominal muscles strong, they support the spine and help ease the discomfort. She does Pilates exercises and used to dance. Being physically active and eating well are very good things to help support the soft tissues that support the spine.

Good luck and I hope you find better answers. Keep us posted.

NataliesMom
03-29-2005, 10:11 PM
Hi Carmell. :)

Natalie's MRI included the base of the brain which should have caught a Chiari malformation. There was no evidence of a syrinx. Natalie is not over or underweight, so I don't suspect a thyroid problem. Can scoliosis or back pain be linked to hypothyroidism? I never knew that - I don't even think of them as being in the same systems, and it surprises me there could be a link. There seems to be so much I don't know!

Your daughter's observation that her back pain is decreased with physical activity certainly jives with what the physical therapy people told me. Natalie is the opposite - her pain is worst when she's been very active, but I still encourage her to be active anyway, and to participate in PE and keep playing basketball with her brothers. Now if I would just haul my butt out there with them - I could do with activity myself!

I bumped her appointment up a couple of weeks, and will post the findings, but in the meantime, I would love to hear from anyone who has a thoracic curve that goes left.

Again, thanks for your thoughts, Carmell.

Angela

Carmell
03-30-2005, 12:41 PM
Hi Angela,

Thanks for the update. I don't think there is a documented connection between hypothyroidism and scoliosis. It is just a commonality with my daughter. She was diagnosed with scoliosis around the same time she began having thyriod symptoms. I was just thinking out loud, mostly.

My son, Braydon, has a left thoracic curve. His is a congenital curve due to several malformed vertebrae. A left curve is unusual, but not something to be alarmed about, I wouldn't think.

And, I'm with you on the activity level. Gotta get my act together and be a better example to my family - ugh. Where's my will power... ?

NataliesMom
04-06-2005, 10:20 PM
Just a note to let you know that we got very good news today at Natalie's 3 month check up. The curve she had (12 degrees) appears to have straightened up, and her current curve is only a 7. So she doesn't have true scoliosis after all (just a mild curve)! :D We'll go back in 6 months, but I am not worried at all.

I have appreciated reading every's stories on here, and offer kudos to all the uplifting and supporting that you all offer each other.

All the best,
Angela