View Full Version : Surgery and post-surgery problems

Diana Black
05-01-2005, 05:00 PM
Hi, everyone, I've just joined and find the posts very interesting. This is mainly to say, DON'T underestimate the risks of spinal surgery, especially at a later age. I was diagnosed with IAS at 13 but told at 17 I had stopped growing so it would not progress - the wisdom of that time, I guess. Have finally had surgery in my early 40s and had a truly traumatic time - in hospital for 10 weeks, as I caught a series of serious infections, including MRSA, was on a ventilator, was fed through a gastro-nasal tube and came close to losing my life. For most of the time, I was hallucinating or suffering from delusions that the nurses were trying to kill me, etc (apparently this is so common it is called Intensive Care Syndrome). The correction of the curve itself was quite successful, but my back is still uneven. Worst of all, my torso is now twisted, with my right breast pulled back and a rib on the left so prominent it shows through layers of clothes. Cosmetically, I feel I look worse than before. It is still too early to tell how much my pre-op pain will be reduced, and there is no knowing how far the curve would have progressed without surgery. On the whole, though, if I had my time over again, I would avoid surgery and risk future complications.

05-01-2005, 05:57 PM
Hi Diana...

Yikes! It sounds like you had a pretty horrid experience. It must have been awful.

I wonder if you'd share the name of your surgeon? I'm not implying that s/he did anything wrong, but it would be helpful to know.


Diana Black
05-02-2005, 09:10 AM
Hi, Linda. Thanks for getting back to me. I am in the UK and was treated at the Royal National Orthopeadic Hospital, which is world-class in spinal research and surgery. The consultant I'd been seeing for a while to have my curve monitired (David Harrison) did say he would be reluctant to operate because of the risks. However, he then sent me to a colleague (Ben Taylor) for a second opinion. He left it up to me and mentioned the main risks, but certainly not the likelihood that my torso would be left twisted. He did not see me on a second visit, but I spoke to the Registrar and asked him whether one side of my chest would end up more prominent than the other as I had heard this could happen, and he just smiled and said 'Only very minimally'.
I opted for the surgery because my curve ws still progressing by a degree a year and it was not known whether or when this would stop and I was terrified of being disabled and in pain eventually. I had also spoken to a woman of my age who had had the same op, under Mr Taylor, two years before and was thrilled with her outcome and recommended I go ahead. So it seems to be the luck of the draw. I would just like anyone who is thinking of surgery and reads this to be really well informed about possible risks.

03-30-2006, 11:37 AM
Hi Diana!!!!!! I'm so soo sorry to hear all that. It sound like you did not have too much fun lately. I'm just hoping you feeling better and your post-op is not as bad as the begining of that nightmare.

Thank you for let us know that we should not underestimate the risks surgery. I'm planing on have mine done soon, but I'm so scare...i just don't like surgeries and the fact of having a metal bar in my body. I'm 27 and have 3 disc showing early degeneration and one of them has a hernia, plus that my spine is twisting with the curve and increasing one degree per year, right now is 53 degrees.

My Dr. says that now that I want to have a baby I have to get it done other wise my spine is going to curve even more 'cause you lose calcium during pregnancy. Did anythig went wrong with you during that time?

Please let me know and I really really hope you feeling better.