View Full Version : Considerations for surgery

10-12-2005, 07:31 AM
Hi! I was wandering how rare kyphoscoliosis was. I have a 50 degree thoracic curve and a 40 degree lumbar curve with about a 75 degree kyphosis curve. I have very little pain with no limitations. I have consulted three doctors who all say that I should wait and monitor on a yearly basis. One of these doctors was Keith Bridwell who is considered on of the best. He says 50 percent would do it now and 50 percent would wait. He says I am on the boarderline for surgery. I was wandering how many of you would wait and how many would have the surgery. I am also planning a wedding in March and was wandering if I should go ahead with it. I also need to lose about 50 lbs. I would love some insight for those people who are more experienced then me. I am also scheduled for my first MRI in the next month. I am 27 years old. My 50 degree thoracic is very rigid. I currently tale no medication for pain only ibprofren rarely.

Thanks again,

10-12-2005, 09:07 AM
Hello Becky,
I am currently considering surgery, too. But I'm quite a bit older-late 40's.
I do not have kyphosis- a s shaped curve- 47/48. If you're not in pain- I would say wait. It's just recently that my pain has become debilitating. Pretty much done what I wanted- two children; work full-time- up to the last few years. Even then a lot of it has been managed with physical therapy and exercise.
It is a major surgery and if the doctors say you're borderline...
They told me that for years. I have an app't today to discuss surgery.
Just my thoughts....

10-12-2005, 11:50 AM
I would have to agree - WAIT!! Try to lose the weight and try PT and possibly seeing a chiropractor? Surgery in my opinion should always be a last resort - any good doctor will tell you that they cannot promise to make you better!! God Speed!! :)

10-12-2005, 12:58 PM
I am debating if I should have surgery too... but one of my deciding factors is the pain I have now. I also am considering recovery time, and the older I get, the longer the recovery period, and the less likely they will be able to get as good of a correction... For pain relief and lifestyle reasons, I am shooting for sooner than later, but since your lifestyle (painfree and weight loss issues) it seems waiting would be better.

Karen Ocker
10-12-2005, 01:30 PM
Be careful about "waiting" for pain if the curve is definitely progressing. Pain is not the sole indication for surgery-but progression is. The progressing will not stop just because it doesn't hurt terribly - yet. With pain one starts to limit activities and become de-conditioned. Why get more and more deformed resulting in needing a more extensive surgery?

On the other hand I realize one must be mentally ready to go through surgery it is a very individual decision keepng in mind all the facts.

Chiropractic has never been shown to either correct a curve or "hold' it .


Mary Lou
10-12-2005, 01:40 PM
My daughter is 14 y.o. and 10 months post-op from her surgery to correct her Kyphoscoliosis. Before surgery, her Kyphosis was about 71* and the main Scoliosis curve was about 46*. She never had pain from either. We thought long and hard before agreeing to surgery. We are very glad that we did her surgery when we did.

Mary Lou

10-16-2005, 02:36 PM

I would wait definitely to have surgery if I was you. My opinion and many orthos that I have visited would say that a 50ish curve and no intense pain(that stops you from living normally) is not a big consideration for surgery.

I had a 50ish curve at 18, no pain doing my everyday things(working, dancing, driving sportscars,etc), and went in for surgery. The ortho then told me that IF I should get surgery since later on, even a few years down the road(like I wanted to) would be so much harder to reduce the curve, wich was a lie. I left the hospital, didn't get the surgery and never regretted it, as I lived great, pain free and flexible(ultra) years until I had debilitating pain at 26, and a 60 degree curve, wich was reduced to about 13 and a hugely successful surgery.

I had to cancel my wedding before the surgery and had to wait 2 years AFTER surgery to get married, as it took me about that time to "heal" after having two surgeries(one to remove hook). So wait a bit, you're still very young and exercise, that's the key. Enjoy your time when you're not fused.

10-16-2005, 04:48 PM
You're getting a lot of good advice. It is a big decision. If you are not experiencing pain and it is not progessing, I would definitely wait. I'm finally going through it early next year.
Good luck and I'm sure you'll reach the right decision for you and your circumstances.


10-16-2005, 05:08 PM
Becky, I agree with the rest...if you are borderline, wait. If you don't have enough pain to keep you from doing what you want, then wait. I, too, needed to lose weight (more than 50 lbs). I decided it could only help my back, so I began dieting (with the help of my family and friends), and have lost 45 lbs so far! If you decide to diet, go after it knowing that it will help your back & you. Good luck on your impending marriage! Linda