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whitney81180
05-02-2005, 10:01 AM
Hello everyone!


Just returned from my first visit with a doctor in five years. He is a new surgeon who graduated from the spine program at St. Barnes in St. Louis. He looked at my xrays and said that my curve has not progressed in five years. It is currently at 50 degrees upper and lower about 45 degree in compensatory. Got the results of my echo and it was borderline normal meaning a slight change in right side of heart because of the curve. Also, one lung is a little restricted. I have no breathing problems and can walk forever. Is this normal for scoliosis sufferers? Would this prevent me from having the surgery in the future? Was wandering if someone would comment on this. It might be helpful. Each doctor said they did not want to see me again for another two years.

I am getting a second opinion from Dr. Keith Bridwell in St. Louis on May 19 and 20th. I am trying to push my regular doctor for an MRI to take with me but I can't seem to get any headway. I have minimal pain and work a full-time job. I am 27. Thanks for all the relpies.

Becky

lrmb
05-02-2005, 01:28 PM
Hi Becky! Glad to hear you finally got a first appointment. And also that your curves haven't moved much farther!! That can only be a good thing :)

I don't know about the heart and lung issue. I know it is necessary for these to be strong for surgery, but I'm not sure if a small restriction is a big deal. Hopefully somebody else can answer about that. (Also: I was not given those checks when I saw any of my scoliosis surgeons. Can somebody tell me if I should have gotten them??)

With minimal pain and no progression, this might be a difficult decision. I am in somewhat of a similar position (except for more pain), and opted on the advice of two surgeons to wait until the larger curves reached about 55-60. However, with your lower curve being large-ish, I'm not sure if you would get the same advice.

Did the surgeon recommend surgery at this time?
Take care ~Laura

HGD24
05-02-2005, 01:28 PM
Becky,
I'm 30 and just had the surgery 3 months ago. Like you, I had minimal pain and worked a full-time job, played sports and was otherwise fine (except for slight Asthma). The exception for me was that my curves had progressed since my last set of x-rays which were taken at 18 yrs. old. At that time, they were in the 55-65 degree range. At the time of my surgery, they were both at 75 degrees.

I was comfortable with my decision for surgery because I knew that the progression would continue and the surgery was going to have to happen at some point in my life. I decided to take charge and do it at a younger age when recovery would be a little easier on me.

You know your body best, and finding and working with good doctors who will be honest with you and who are experienced, will help you make the right decision.

Good luck!

whitney81180
05-02-2005, 02:46 PM
Heidi,

Prior to your surgery and your curves being so large, did you have any lung restriction or heart changes? This one surgeon recommends waiting a year or so. Also, are you allowed to have children someday?

Becky

LindaRacine
05-02-2005, 03:09 PM
Hi Becky...

Marginal changes to the heart and lungs are definitely normal for anyone with a 50 degree or greater thoracic curve. You should discuss them with your primary care doctor, but I'm guessing s/he'll say they're nothing about which you should be concerned.

Severe pulmonary difficulties don't start until thoracic curves become severe (at least 80-90 degrees).

Regards,
Linda

whitney81180
05-02-2005, 03:33 PM
Thanks Linda,

My cardiologist said nothing to be concerned about. I should check back in about two years. These small changes should not impact sugery at a later date I suppose? Thanks for all your insights. I appreciate it.

Becky

LindaRacine
05-02-2005, 03:48 PM
Hi Becky...

No, they should not affect your ability to have surgery. I've known of people with thoracic curves > 150 degrees who were able to have surgery.

Regards,
Linda

HGD24
05-02-2005, 03:53 PM
Becky,
I didn't have any lung or heart issues that I knew of other than the Asthma that I've had since I was a teen.

I am going to be able to have children, I just need to wait at least one year after the surgery to be sure that the fusion has had time to fully take hold. My doctor explained it as giving my body time to heal from one trauma before putting it through another :)