View Full Version : Update: 12yr old dancer/daughter

05-17-2005, 05:07 PM
Today, we met with the ortho that the first had recomended. When he checked her back he was surprised when I told him that the first X-ray showed a 45 degree lumbar curve since she carries it well. Unfortunately, the X-rays today showed a 48 degree which he believes that surgery is probably going to be necessary. We are having a brace made and we have another appointment in 30 days to see if it will help. A couple questions I have: 1) has anyone used a brace that actually improved the situation or does it just slow/stop the process, and 2) has anyone had a curvature of this size after they stopped growing that they just lived with? The doctor has advised that generally speaking if they are 50 degrees or greater there is a large possibility that it will continue to degenerate over the years. Has anyone had this happen?

06-07-2005, 09:36 PM
Sorry to hear about your daughter's worsening curve. My daughter wore a brace for several years, but the curve continued to progress. I am also curious as to the implications of living with a 50% curve over the long-term (without surgical intervention). From all I've read, it's really a guessing game at that point and depends on numerous factors (i.e., youth's age and growth stage, type and flexibility of curve). I've not found any conclusive research which makes me feel certain one way or another that surgery is/is not the best option.

How does your daughter feel about everything?


06-08-2005, 07:36 AM
My daughter started with a curve of 45 degrees 18months ago, wore a brace since then, and is now at 70 degrees. We feel the brace prevented her from a much larger curve and may have given her height a longer chance to increase. I am not sure about either of these, but am glad she wore the brace. Now we are at a point where she is increasing in curvature too much compared to height to be worth waiting and the curve change we can get now is more likely better than to wait a few years. She has back pain when she does not wear her brace. We felt that if the brace kept the curve from increasing, she might be able to postpone surgery long enough to allow some height. Since it increase 25 degrees in 18 months, she decided to prevent the potential future damage to her lungs and other internal organs by having the surgery now instead of hoping we could keep it controlled with the brace. She was willing to just forgo surgery totally and live with the deformity if it hadn't increased so much, because she did not want surgery ever, a year ago. Since it looks so much like she is heading for the curvature that can endanger the internal organs, she decided to have the surgery, and to have it this summer instead of waiting til she stops growing. God help you with your decisions. It was helpful to us to try the brace first, in case you wondered. Kris

06-09-2005, 10:15 PM
Hi vandesha,

Unfortunately, from everything I've read, it sounds like your daughter's curve will most likely continue to progress. The brace may slow the progression, and give her a chance to grow a few more inches before she has her surgery. I can tell you, our fear and anxiety before surgery was much more painful than life has been post-surgery. Our daughter is doing incredibly well, and she looks great. We are three months post-op today, and we're so glad we went through with surgery.

I have two pieces of advice. First, get at least three opinions from nationally recognized spine surgeons. Give us your location, (either here or PM), and we'll give you some names. Second, if there's a Shriners hospital anywhere near you, PLEASE get a referral to go there. They have some of the best othopedic docs in the country, and the care you receive is FREE. No strings, and no "needs based" assessment. They simply offer free care to any child who needs it. Here's their website:


Anyhow, our thoughts and prayers are with you as you make this difficult descision.

06-09-2005, 10:42 PM
Vandesha, I agree with Susannajon, definitely apply to Shriners. They have an application you can download and fill out, then mail. They will mail you a consultation date if you are accepted. Kris

06-14-2005, 10:06 AM
We are located in Sioux City, Iowa. My grandfather was a shriner so I will definitely check it out. My daughter is wearing the brace very well though we haven't got to the 23hr mark. Thanks again, and I will send any updates we get.