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CynLyn38
03-30-2005, 05:37 PM
Hi there! I'm new to the forum, and might be a bit premature posting here, but I feel that being able to talk somewhere is better than keeping things inside. You can call me Cindy, my husband is an OTR truck driver, so he is not home during the week to support me. He does on the phone, but that just isn't the same. Which is why I am here.

Ok, today the school conducted a scoliosis screening with 7th graders, the school nurse called to inform me that my son, Eric (12) has a curve, didn't give me any specifics and I didn't know to ask. She said he needs to be evaluated with his doctor, I called and made an appt. and since it isn't considered an emergency, that appt. isn't until April 27th. Well, since I know nothing of this, I went surfing the net...which led me here. In reading things here and beings that I am not a patient person, I decided to call Orthopeadics and he now has an appt. for Friday morning. I am quite nervous at the outcome, but feel better knowing I don't have to wait a full month to find out for sure.

Basically, I'm wondering, how good are the school screenings, does he really have it and if so what affect might it have on him?

Anyways, thanks for listenin! :)
Cindy

Alaskan
03-30-2005, 06:29 PM
dear cindy,

I'm sorry to hear about your son but it sounds like your handling it properly. I was screened in the 6th grade (i'm now 30) and the nurse told my mother who did not get right on it! Ultimately I had to wear a brace which as a teenager i hated and did not wear. Well I had to have surgery and it has definatly had an impact on my life. Your doing the right thing scoliosis can be treated without surgery as long as your still growing, I'm sure everything will work out fine, the medical field has come a long way since my time!

chris

Carmell
03-30-2005, 06:58 PM
Cindy,

Welcome to the board. First, take a few deep breaths and try to relax a little. Take these things one step at a time. Scoliosis is rarely an emergency situation. You have time to research and find out details about your son. Waiting a month sounds like forever, but it really isn't. Will your appointment be with a pediatric orthopedist? I hope so. Only an orthopod will be able to give you accurate information about your son's spine issues. Does he have any other medical issues that may contribute to the scoliosis?

My hubby used to be an OTR driver too. Sometimes I miss that because there's less laundry and dishes to do when he's gone! LOL. However, I understand how hard it is to handle new information like this alone. Feel free to lean on the members of the board. We have a collectively large shoulder to lean on.

Good luck and let us know what you find out.

phaden
03-30-2005, 07:35 PM
Welcome new (possibly) scoli Mum:

There are occasional false positives in school screenings for scoliosis, but I can't remember the precise error rates, sorry. My recollection is that they are not very high. That is, if the school nurse thinks your son has a curve, he may well have one.

The first thing to probably remember is that while clinical scoliosis (technically a curve greater than 10 degrees -- you've no doubt read about Cobb angle by now) is equally frequent in males and females, the aggressive progressing scoli you'll hear people talk about here and at www.spinekids.com, the stuff with bracing and surgery and so forth, is nine times more likely in girls. That is, 90% of the progressive cases are girls, and only 10% are boys. So your odds are good right from the get go. Nonprogressing minor scoli is effectively a non-issue, and will require no treatment.

Sounds like you're doing the absolute right thing to get your son's curve measured accurately by x-ray as soon as possible. If there is a big curve there, you will, of course, want to start dealing with it right away.

If you just can't wait (I couldn't), you can get a rough sense of how big your son's curve might be yourself (note that this is very, very rough). The big things that you can see are:

1) Does your child, when standing straight, look asymmetric, with the head not lining up directly with the centre of the pelvis?

2) Does one of your child's shoulder blades stick out noticeably farther than the other? (Applies to thoracic curves -- I don't think you mentioned whether his curve(s) was thoracic or lumbar or both...)

3) When your child bends forward from the hips with straight legs ("touching his toes") is there an obvious hump where the rib cage sticks up higher on one side that the other? (Also applies to thoracic curves.)

4) When your child is standing straight, is there a marked fold on one side of the waist only? (Applies to lumbar curves.)

5) Is one of your child's shoulders higher than the other?

The more any of these physical signs deviates from symmetric, the larger the curve is likely to be, and the greater rotation present. My daughter, for example, has a 52 degree thoracic curve and a 50 degree lumbar curve. (She's been braced full time for a year and a half, but it hasn't halted the progression and she is scheduled for surgery in May.) Her right shoulder is a good two inches higher than her left. Her right shoulder blade sticks waaaaaaay out, almost perpindicular to the plane of the back. Her rib hump is maybe four inches higher on the right side than the left when she bends. When her curves were smaller (36/30 at diagnosis), all these signs were less extreme, but they were all observable once we realised what we were supposed to be looking for.

And finally, if things are bad, and your son does have a big curve, remember that bracing is not as bad as you think it will be when you first hear it mentioned. Lots of people spend a big chunk of their teenage years in the brace doing perfectly normal things and being perfectly normal teenagers. As for the other scary thing -- surgery -- if your boy doesn't look obviously "crooked" he's very unlikely to be anywhere in that neighborhood.

Good luck with your ortho appointment.

Patricia
Scoli Mum from New Zealand
Daughter Caitlin's surgery scheduled for 2nd May

CynLyn38
03-30-2005, 08:09 PM
Thank you for your replies. My daughter noticed something different with me tonite at dinner.....just been thinking about it alot.

A trained screener checked him today, the nurse didn't give me any specifics in regards to degree, lumbar, thoracic. Just that there is a curve. And I didn't know any of this to ask her.

Yes, the appt. on Friday is with Ortho....I want to get the accurate info so we know where to go from here. I haven't told my son yet, not sure I will until Friday morning before we go. I didn't examine him either, guess I'm afraid too....make sense? Think I will wait for the Ortho to do it, as I really don't know what to look for.

As for medical issues that might contribute, I'm don't what would contribute. I know when he was born he had a minor heart murmer. He had alot of ear infections til he was 3.....went to a chiropractor and hasn't had one since.......however I remember him sayin that his one side was higher than the other..but don't remember which. Other than that, there isn't anything. I thought maybe it was hereditary as well..but haven't found anything on that.

Thanks for the link...will check that out.
Cindy

nikyergen
03-30-2005, 09:35 PM
Cindy,
My heart goes out to you having to deal with this and your husband is an OTR truck driver. My husband was too. We decided after 15 years of sleeping in separate beds because of his job, that it was time for him to find something that he could do that was close to home. So, he started driving log trucks for a living. Well, it was just like when he was OTR. I talked to him during the day on the cel phone. He has since found a good job and has been home every night. So, I understand the support thing you have going on.

Like Carmell and Patricia said, this is rarely an emergency. But, we do understand your wanting to know as soon as possible. Be sure you use a pediatric orthopedic surgeon. There are numerous children's hospital's too, like Shriners Hospital, etc. You may want to look into them for treatment.

All three of our girls were diagnosed with scoliosis on the same day. All three with different degrees of severity. Our oldest just had surgery on 3/15/05 and is doing absolutely wonderful, she had an 88 degree curve. Our middle daughter has a mild curve and is what is called a wait and watch. Our youngest daughter has a curve that is requiring her to wear a brace. But, just so you know. As scary as this was for us, we just picked up our pieces and went on with life. It doesn't limit what they can or can't do in most cases. All three of our girls play volleyball, basketball and two of them do throwing events in track. The one thing the doctor really stressed to us was to let them do their normal things. They also work around our ranch, when they aren't off doing sports.

So, as you can see our life does go on.

As far as accuracy of school screenings, I don't know. My 16 year old has had numerous xrays and all any doctor would ask her is if she had ever been in an accident and hurt her back. So, it was missed by the medical professionals big time. So, by the time she was properly diagnosed it was too late for bracing and surgery was her only option.

Scoliosis isn't anything to be affraid of or overly worried about. It does need to be treated and watched. What gets most of us worked up is when our children are heading off to surgery and you know the worst case scenario and the best case scenario. We pray for the best case, but are completely aware of the worst case.

We are here to support you and will put you in our prayers. Keep us posted on your son's appointment.

Prayers are for your family.

'til later,
Nikki

phaden
03-30-2005, 11:35 PM
Ok, I can't stand it anymore: What is an OTR driver?......



Cheers - Patricia

CynLyn38
03-31-2005, 12:04 AM
OTR = Over the Road

He is gone weekly, home most weekends. Basically, I have a part-time husband...lol!

nikyergen
03-31-2005, 01:42 AM
Patricia,
Sorry about the lingo bit. It is kind of a truck driver's wife thing. You ought to hear the log truck driver wife lingo. It is even more interesting.

The best thing we did was sell our semi-truck. The payment was tremendous and the fuel prices had just started going up when we sold it and my husband went to driving log trucks.

Believe it or not, we are still trying to adjust to sleeping in the same bed after three years of him being home at night, all night. The only difference between an OTR driver and a log truck driver is that the log truck driver comes home to sleep for a few hours. Log truck drivers get home about 6pm, eat dinner and go to bed. Only to get up and got back into their truck at 2am.

'til later,
Nikki

CynLyn38
03-31-2005, 11:46 PM
Hi there! Eric's appt. is at 8:20am tomorrow. I talked to him about it this morning and he is a bit worried.....he says not, but then said he looked it up on the computer today at school. He had some questions that I could not answer and I told him we would worry about them when we find out more with the doctor. I will keep you updated.



I know what you mean about sleeping in the same bed....weekends are nice...but sometimes I just miss having the bed to myself...lol!

Thanks!

nikyergen
04-01-2005, 12:17 AM
Cindy,
Let us know what goes on with your sons appointment tomorrow. Make sure he is encouraged to ask his questions. The doctor should be able to answer any questions he has.

Tell your son we are praying for all of you. And, any treatment that is recommended is for his own good. It will make a difference as he gets older if he does what the doctor asks him to do now.

'til later,
Nikki

PS-I love having my queen bed to myself when I get it. I have decided it isn't big enough for both of us. lol!

CynLyn38
04-01-2005, 01:01 PM
Hi Everyone....we are home and they did xrays and all sorts of body checks...and his spine is perfectly straight, nothing wrong with it at all. I really do thank you for taking the time to reply and for the prayers as well.

For those of you that deal with this, I have said prayers for you all as well. Thanks again!
Cindy

nikyergen
04-01-2005, 02:12 PM
Cindy,
I am so glad to hear your report on your son. It is such a relief to hear he is okay. Now, you feel that you can go on without having to wait until your orginial appointment date.

I am glad you went with your mother instinct and got to the bottom of it right away.

'til later,
Nikki

phaden
04-01-2005, 06:35 PM
Hi Everyone....we are home and they did xrays and all sorts of body checks...and his spine is perfectly straight, nothing wrong with it at all.


Cool. Can't get better news than that. And, as a side benefit, you now know a whole lot of random facts about scoliosis.

Cheers.

pat
04-01-2005, 06:56 PM
Thank you Patricia! I was having fun/going crazy imagining all these wild things OTC could stand for!!!! Pat


Ok, I can't stand it anymore: What is an OTR driver?......



Cheers - Patricia

louhoo
04-04-2005, 08:01 PM
Hello, I'm new to this forum as well. My 9 year old son had his shirt off last week and I noticed a lump between his sternum and nipple. I called his doctor and they asked me to bring him in to be checked. I took him to the doctor the same day and he had x-rays done. His doctor called me the next day and said he had scoliosis, but not to worry about it. Being a parent of one child that is bi-polar, when a doctor tells me to not worry, I worry. My husband immediately made an appointment with a Chiropractor that we know and took him in today for an exam. More x-rays were done and the diagnosis was confirmed so we have another appointment for Wednesday. Right now, like you, I am doing research and getting my "questions for the doctor" list ready to go. My son does suffer from migraines (which are inherited) and I am beginning to wonder if the scoliosis may be causing this. He had screenings done at school, but I never received a letter from the nurse or the school. I wish you luck, and my prayers will go out to you. By the way my father is an OTR driver as well. Small world huh?
Louhoo

nikyergen
04-04-2005, 08:48 PM
Louhoo,
The wife of a truck driver always has an interesting life. Never knowing where they are from one moment to the next. And, how long will it take them to get home in an emergency.

Anyway, on your sons scoliosis issue, I would highly recommend that you take him to an pediatric orthopedic surgeon. That is the most qualified doctor to evaluate his condition. Scoliosis is rarely an emergency situation and if caught in time, won't end up at the surgical point. The chiropractor can release muscle tension, but cannot really fix the problem. There are basically three levels of scoliosis: 1) wait and watch-not a severe issue; 2)bracing-far enough along to need a brace for correction or to keep from getting worse; and 3) surgery-usually a scoliosis that has gone undetected by a qualified professional for quite a while or a curve that just won't slow down regardless of bracing. I have three girls, and have one in each category.

If you are interested there are Shriner's Hospitals all over the United States. Their website is www.shrinershq.org. They have some of the best doctors in the world at their hospitals. The other thing is that if your child is diagnosed and treated by Shriners Hospital, they provide all treatments, I mean everything, at no cost to you or your insurance. Some of these appointments and treatments can be costly, even with insurance. Shriners is there for the kids to see that they get the best orthopedic care possible at no cost to you. They do all the xrays, everything right there, and give you a diagnosis right then. They will tell you the degree of his curves, which is very important to know, and what they recommend for treatment.

I am like you. I worry about my kids health. Nothing wrong with a chiropractor, but you do need to see an pediatric orthopedic surgeon. We use chiropractors at our house, but not for scoliosis correction.

I will have you in my prayers as you go through this with your son.

'til later,
Nikki

KRIS ATKINSON
04-05-2005, 04:42 AM
Louhoo, Did you get a degree of curvature from the x-rays? That may help as to how aggressive you get in treatment. Kris

hannah's mom
04-09-2005, 10:10 PM
Hi. I'm totally new here and was wondering about scoliosis. The school nurse did the screening for scoliosis and sent a paper home with my daughter yesterday and said we needed further evaluation. I take her to the doctor on Monday. I did go see the chiropractor today though and she said that yes she did have a mild case of scoliosis. Can chiropractors help scoliosis or do more harm? Hannah's left shoulder sticks out but I not sure what that means. Are there specific questions that I should ask the doctor? My cousin had it when she was a kid but I was a kid too. I remember her wearing a back brace to help with hers. I am really freaking out right now not knowing what to do or how to feel. She is very active and likes to play soccer and everything else. Is that ok for her to do?

Thank you,
Connie

KRIS ATKINSON
04-09-2005, 10:40 PM
A good chiropractor should not harm her, but can help her. The chiropractor may or may not be able to do enough help to correct the scoliosis as much as orthopedics can do. If you were told she has a mild case, that is comforting. I personally have a mild case of scoliosis, but do nothing about it. My daughter has a more severe case and has a rib hump, which makes her shoulder go forward. She is 14 and has played soccer since she was 4 years old. She is very active and wears her brace constantly, even finding comfort from it. She has had her brace for a year. She now loves to play basketball, even more than soccer, and she does great with her brace as she plays all sports. Today, she even washed cars all day at a church fundraiser and she is going on a mission trip this summer to Puerto Rico for a week to help teach bible school. She wore the brace as she washed cars and plans to wear it on the mission trip, except if she goes in the water to swim. The best thing for your daughter to do is keep physically active and continue life as usual. Let us know how things go as you see your doctors. Also, let us know what degree she has. Welcome to the group, Kris

Karen Ocker
04-10-2005, 06:48 PM
I personally would not go to the chiropractor without first having her spine monitored by a scoliosis specialist. Chiropractors are not qualified, despite their claims, to treat scoliosis.
My experience: In the 6th grade I was discovered to have mild scoliosis. I went 3x a week for "adjustments" for 9 months. When we finally saw a spine specialist I needed surgery for a 100 deg curve. My parents wasted, hope, time and money they did not have. Maybe I could have avoided this with early bracing.

For more info: http://www.chirobase.org/

Karen

nikyergen
04-11-2005, 12:59 AM
Karen, I agree 100% with you. We took Crystal to a Chiropractor, that made the same claims for a year and a half. Guess what? He couldn't correct her problem, all he could do was just releave muscle pain. If we would of gone to the pediatric orthopedic surgeon we may have been able to get her treated without surgery. Oh well, she has had surgery and absolutely loves her new back. We wasted way to much money and time on the Chiropractor. Sure wish we wouldn't of made that mistake.

Connie, I am not against Chiropractors. There are just some things they aren't trained to treat and scoliosis is one of them. If they do treat it, they need to be doing it in conjunction with the pediatric orthopedic surgeon's recommendations. Just so you know, these orthopedists don't like to do surgery if they don't have to. They try to avoid it at all costs because it is a huge surgery. The recovery time alone is 9 months to one year. If I were in your shoes I'd be seeing a specialists. Maybe you should check out Shriners Hospital, www.shrinershq.org. They are strictly a pediatric orthopedic hospital and have some of the best doctors in the world working at them. They have hospitals all over the country. Let you daughter do all of her sports and activities that she is doing now. There is absolutely no reason to stop those things. It keeps her well conditioned, and most of all happy. Crystal plays high school basketball, and regardless of how much pain she was in because of her back, that is before surgery, she continued to play basketball and finished her season just a couple of weeks before she had surgery. Her recovery is a little quicker because she was in such good physical shape. So, let your daughter be the wonderful kid she is and do all those things she loves to do. But, do get her an appointment with a pediatric orthopedic surgeon.

'til later,
Nikki

KRIS ATKINSON
04-11-2005, 12:21 PM
I wanted to further comment on my statement regarding chiropractic care. My daughter went to the chiropractor while My son and I went a year ago, after my son and I were in an auto accident. My daughter was able to see the chiropractor for free, since my son and I were covered by the accident insurance claim. She was glad to go and seemed to feel better with the adjustments. The orthopedic physicians also approved of the ongoing treatment, while we waited for the brace to be made. Both the chiropractor and the ortho agreed that we should discontinue chiropractic care while she wore her brace, which we did. In our case, the ortho was very cooperative with the chiro, and both agreed there was not much chance of improving the scoliosis without surgery. The chiro was more to help with muscle strain from the curvature, with possibly some improvement in the curvature. I would definitely not depend on the chiro to change her curvature as much as is needed. Plus, I would have to think hard before paying for chiro care on a continueing basis, had it not been concidental with my accident.

SkiAnn
04-11-2005, 06:20 PM
Hi Cindy,
Your post brought to mind a conversation with my PCM. We both were wondering if it would be beneficial to check the length of the legs in school screening. It is becoming more apparent to both of us, that having one leg longer than the other seems to be more than coincedence that affect scoliosis patients. Anyone have any thoughts on that theory.
Regards,

hannah's mom
04-12-2005, 03:54 PM
Karen, I agree 100% with you. We took Crystal to a Chiropractor, that made the same claims for a year and a half. Guess what? He couldn't correct her problem, all he could do was just releave muscle pain. If we would of gone to the pediatric orthopedic surgeon we may have been able to get her treated without surgery. Oh well, she has had surgery and absolutely loves her new back. We wasted way to much money and time on the Chiropractor. Sure wish we wouldn't of made that mistake.

Connie, I am not against Chiropractors. There are just some things they aren't trained to treat and scoliosis is one of them. If they do treat it, they need to be doing it in conjunction with the pediatric orthopedic surgeon's recommendations. Just so you know, these orthopedists don't like to do surgery if they don't have to. They try to avoid it at all costs because it is a huge surgery. The recovery time alone is 9 months to one year. If I were in your shoes I'd be seeing a specialists. Maybe you should check out Shriners Hospital, www.shrinershq.org. They are strictly a pediatric orthopedic hospital and have some of the best doctors in the world working at them. They have hospitals all over the country. Let you daughter do all of her sports and activities that she is doing now. There is absolutely no reason to stop those things. It keeps her well conditioned, and most of all happy. Crystal plays high school basketball, and regardless of how much pain she was in because of her back, that is before surgery, she continued to play basketball and finished her season just a couple of weeks before she had surgery. Her recovery is a little quicker because she was in such good physical shape. So, let your daughter be the wonderful kid she is and do all those things she loves to do. But, do get her an appointment with a pediatric orthopedic surgeon.

'til later,
Nikki
Thank You. We did go to the doctor yesterday(regular) and she sent us for x-rays. Have to wait until tomorrow or thursday for the results. If it's bad enough then she'll send us to an orthopedic doctor. I'll stop the chiropractic care for now and ask the orthopedic if we go to one. According to the school it was 11 to the right. Not real sure what that means though. The doctor said that more than likely it is a watch situation. We have to wait for x-rays to come back though. Thank you again. Connie

hannah's mom
04-12-2005, 03:58 PM
Just want to say thanks to all of you. It helps knowing that there are people out there that can help us new ones out. I'm not as jumpy about it as I was before. I'm letting her do what she wants for now until somebody tells me different. I'll keep you guys posted when I find out about the x-rays. Again, Thank You!

Connie :p :)

nikyergen
04-12-2005, 05:20 PM
Connie,
Good for you. You need to know where you are at before you get started. The important thing is the the degree of the curve(s). I am not against Chiropractors, as they can releave some muscle pain. But, scoliosis really needs to be monitored, because the degree of the curve(s) can change very slowly, very rapidly, and sometimes not at all, and you need to be right on top of those changes. Most likely, if you daughter is a wait and watch, she should go in for follow-up xrays every 4-6 months. That way you won't get to terribly far behind the battle. It sounds like you doctor has it going on, telling you that you needed to come back to get the results of the xrays, which means they have to measure the curves.

I just hate to see someone make the mistake with a chiropractor that we made. It was our mistake by not seeing a specialist. Because with a specialist and a chiropractor we may have been able to stay ahead of Crystal's curve. Now she is 16 and 1/2, and going crazy because she has to slow down for nine months. That is really hard on these active kids.

Let us know how things go.

'til later,
nikki

hannah's mom
04-12-2005, 05:29 PM
What do the curves actually mean? Does it mean something different if it's on the right than the left or the left than the right?

Connie

nikyergen
04-12-2005, 05:43 PM
Connie,
The degree, whether to the right or left, tells how far the spine has curved out of position. The body can only handle so much of a curve before it can possibly cause other problems with the internal organs. Usually, the curves can be taken care of before there are any problems. Scoliosis isn't usually an emergency situation. The higher the degree of the curve the more twisted the spine is. Crystal's curve was at 88 degrees. I will get her corrected curve next Wednesday for one of her follow up appointments after surgery.

Have you doctor explain the curves more thoroughly with you. Don't be afraid to ask your doctor questions either. There is never a dumb question.

'til later,
Nikki

Mary Lou
04-13-2005, 07:31 AM
Gayle,

I like your thought about checking the limb length in school screenings. Good luck getting it done, however. Our school district doesn't seem interested in checking the kids any more often than the law requires them to do so. There reason, it is time consuming. The first time my daughter was seen by an ortho. for her Scoliosis, the doctor did mention a little difference in the limb length.

Mary Lou