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Julieanne
04-20-2006, 09:41 PM
Hello,
I'm new here, and I had no idea so many people suffered with scoliosis. I am 44 years old, I have a 22 degree and a 40 degree with a rotation component. My 40 degree was only 27 degrees 3 years ago. I was always told that this did not progress in adulthood. But my pain and disability sure got worse, now I know why!..I was told today by a physical med Dr. that I needed surgery. I am going to agree, I have tried EVERYTHING from meds, to PT, brace, chiropractor, etc.
Does anyone know of a good surgeon in the Illinois or surrounding area?
Thanks so much and God bless you all!

Shari
04-21-2006, 12:50 AM
Hi Julieanne,

Welcome!!! :) Be patient. I think Linda Racine will be able to provide you with a list of crediable Dr.s.

Don't settle for just any Dr., find the one you like and trust in your heart!!!

Shari

Julieanne
04-21-2006, 07:43 AM
Thanks Shari....I will be patient and hopefully find just the right doc! The surgery looks pretty gruesome, I want someone with a lot of experience :)

LindaRacine
04-21-2006, 12:54 PM
Hi Julieanne...

You can find a list of specialists here:

http://www.srs.org/directory/directory.asp

I don't know anyone specifically in Southern Illinois. If Chicago is acceptable to you, I can recommend Purnendu Gupta, who has excellent training.

Before agreeing to surgery with anyone, I'd want to be sure that your curves were measured accurately. A 13 degree increase in a small curve in an adult is pretty unusual.

Regards,
Linda

dmb
04-21-2006, 03:23 PM
Hello All,

i had surgery almost one year ago. I am only working about 70% of the time. I am fused from T-3 to L-4. Altho i had some other difficulties. I suffered from major blood clots four days after surgery and spent another two weeks in the hospital on the cardiac and critical care units. I guess my question is this: At one year, how much activity should we be doing and how much work is not enough? Thanks!

Dmb

LindaRacine
04-21-2006, 09:28 PM
Hi dmb...

Most people are back working full time by about 6 mos. postop, but we're all different. I assume that it's pain that is keeping you from working FT. What kind of pain?

--Linda

sweetness514
04-22-2006, 02:50 PM
Hi dmb,

I figure if you don't feel pain and want to work, it's how your body feels. Some PT exercises or alternative treatments like massage or acupuncture can help certain people with lower back and neck pain since those areas when unfused can cause a lot of pain when you work a certain amount of hours, but again it's whatver you feel your body can take. If you have a physical job, I would understand that being tough and having certain limits, but again that is unique to every person, b/c physical strenght and pain threshold(not just from scoliosis or back surgery), is different for anybody, wether they're perfectly healthy or have had surgery.

dmb
04-25-2006, 03:02 PM
hi there!

i can only work 5-6 hours a day at an office job. When i get home, i'm completely beat. i have to lye down for about an hour before i can do anything! Its so frustrating. i guess i'm just looking to see if this is normal?? I continue my light pt and i try to walk 1.5-2 miles every day.

dmb



Hi dmb,

I figure if you don't feel pain and want to work, it's how your body feels. Some PT exercises or alternative treatments like massage or acupuncture can help certain people with lower back and neck pain since those areas when unfused can cause a lot of pain when you work a certain amount of hours, but again it's whatver you feel your body can take. If you have a physical job, I would understand that being tough and having certain limits, but again that is unique to every person, b/c physical strenght and pain threshold(not just from scoliosis or back surgery), is different for anybody, wether they're perfectly healthy or have had surgery.

sweetness514
04-25-2006, 03:19 PM
I think it is normal, I know people who don't have severe back problems and are beat when they come back from work too, and lie down. Some are tired, in pain in different places, etc. We're not machines and if you're doing PT and getting rest, you're doing what needs to be done and that is an accomplishment.

You're doing great.

LindaRacine
04-25-2006, 03:56 PM
Hi dmb...

So, it's exhaustion, and not pain?? It does take a long time for the body to recoup from such a big assault. In my case, however, I think I was pretty much back to normal in terms of general fitness. Perhaps it's something that you should discuss with your primary care doctor.

Regards,
Linda

dmb
04-25-2006, 04:33 PM
Hi Linda,

Not only am I exhausted it is because i do have pain. Somtimes worse than others. I just feel so incredibly tight!! It's almost like if they could go back in to my spine and loosen those screws!!! That is how i feel 24/7!! When i sit too long, then i feel that my spine is about 2" long! Any suggestions? I just feel that i am not back to full potentional and it is driving me crazy. May 16th will be one year and i only feel about 75% and i'm only working about 70%. Is this normal? Am I too whiney about it? I also had blood clots after surgery. Alot of them. Both of my lungs were filled and i only had one air passage open. I was on coumadin for 8 months but no longer have to take that because my lungs are cleared. I jsut get so beside myself that it is not even funny. Thanks for any encouragement or advice

dmb


Hi dmb...

So, it's exhaustion, and not pain?? It does take a long time for the body to recoup from such a big assault. In my case, however, I think I was pretty much back to normal in terms of general fitness. Perhaps it's something that you should discuss with your primary care doctor.

Regards,
Linda

sweetness514
04-25-2006, 06:57 PM
I didn't feel back to normal until two years post op, and even then there were some fatigue, lower bak pains(still get it), tightness. In my case it took time. I will say again that you're working almost full time, it's a great accomplishment and it's amazing if you ask me.

If the pain gets too much you can talk to your surgeon, too see if all is in place, or if the pain is normal according to him. Your PT could help too, sometimes there are certain exercises besides the ones you're doing that could help. I know in my case, only walking, swimming and with time light weights and stationary biking helped, and every PT exercise I tried for my abdominal/lower back increased the pain, but I read that there are so many exercise for that region that maybe new ones that I didn't try could help.

Take it easy.

LindaRacine
04-25-2006, 07:12 PM
Hi dmb...

I think you just need to give it some more time. I had some surgical pain that lasted three years! If you don't see some real improvement over the next 3-6 months, I think it may be time to talk to your surgeon about trying to figure out why you're feeling the way you are.

Regards,
Linda

JoAnn5
04-26-2006, 10:46 AM
I get more aches and pains when the weather gets bad too... I guess the low pressure causes the bones to throb or something.

dmb
04-26-2006, 11:27 AM
thanks for your encouragement and i'll be sure to ask for different exercises to see what helps and what hurts!!


I didn't feel back to normal until two years post op, and even then there were some fatigue, lower bak pains(still get it), tightness. In my case it took time. I will say again that you're working almost full time, it's a great accomplishment and it's amazing if you ask me.

If the pain gets too much you can talk to your surgeon, too see if all is in place, or if the pain is normal according to him. Your PT could help too, sometimes there are certain exercises besides the ones you're doing that could help. I know in my case, only walking, swimming and with time light weights and stationary biking helped, and every PT exercise I tried for my abdominal/lower back increased the pain, but I read that there are so many exercise for that region that maybe new ones that I didn't try could help.

Take it easy.

Karen Ocker
04-28-2006, 10:06 AM
dmb:


Recovery depends on so many factors: fitness going into surgery, age, extent of surgery, other medical conditions like high blood pressure/diabetes/lung disease, post-op complications and extent of correction.

When large curves are reduced all the internal organs are repositioned: the spinal cord, spinal nerves, blood vessels, intestines, stomach and more. It takes the body--longer in older patients--to heal from this.
That is why I see red when people wait until they are in so much pain and progressing curves are so large. On the other had pain is a motivator for change and that might be the only thing propelling someone to definitive treatment.

It took me a good year and half to feel like myself after my revision. I went into surgery in the best condition I could. I have no other medical problems except for some residual breathing issues(improved from pre-op) which do not keep me from all normal activities and a full life.

I think "pushing-it" too soon impairs healing and causes discouragement. Walking every day 1-2 miles after 7 hours of work might be too much at this time. Your muscles must recover; try it every other day until you feel less fatigue. Lite PT too?

Sounds like too much. Only the young teens having this surgery can really bounce back that quickly.

LISTEN TO YOUR BODY. It doesn't lie.

dmb
04-28-2006, 10:30 AM
Thanks Karen,

That is exactly what i needed to hear. i had nothing to compare my recovery to and some days i felt like i was out in left field going. My surgeon said it would take one good year and two weeks will be one year and i only feel about 70-75%. I am a women in my 30's and i just feel that i should be out there doing whatever and yes, it does get extremely frustrating!! I went into surgery in good shape. i worked out at the gym 2-3 times a week doing weight training and walked as well. I drank alot of water and ate all the right foods. However, 9 days after surgery i was back in the hospital with blood clots. They flew me to Washington Hospital Center in Washington DC to treat them. My lungs were filled with clots, i only had one airway open. I spent 3 days in critical care and the other 6 days on the cardiac floor. So yes i did have some setbacks. Thanks for your encouragement!!

D.





dmb:


Recovery depends on so many factors: fitness going into surgery, age, extent of surgery, other medical conditions like high blood pressure/diabetes/lung disease, post-op complications and extent of correction.

When large curves are reduced all the internal organs are repositioned: the spinal cord, spinal nerves, blood vessels, intestines, stomach and more. It takes the body--longer in older patients--to heal from this.
That is why I see red when people wait until they are in so much pain and progressing curves are so large. On the other had pain is a motivator for change and that might be the only thing propelling someone to definitive treatment.

It took me a good year and half to feel like myself after my revision. I went into surgery in the best condition I could. I have no other medical problems except for some residual breathing issues(improved from pre-op) which do not keep me from all normal activities and a full life.

I think "pushing-it" too soon impairs healing and causes discouragement. Walking every day 1-2 miles after 7 hours of work might be too much at this time. Your muscles must recover; try it every other day until you feel less fatigue.

Shari
05-02-2006, 01:49 AM
Hi dmb,

Don't feel like you're alone!!! My 1 year post-op will be the end of May also.
I'm not 100% yet either. I can say in the last 2 months I have felt so much better. 2 weeks ago I hit my first 2 golf balls. I didn't swing hard, just wanted to see if I could do it. Last week I got on the big tractor to see if I could mow the grass. I got on it, thinking I would last about a half an hour, but I ended up mowing for 3 hours. I know that sounds like nothing to most people, but to me it was huge. It took me several days to recover from it, but I did it.

Who can say why we all heal differently, I was in great physical condition before my surgery. But it has taken me this long to start to feel able to at least try to do things that I enjoyed doing before. It is way to easy to get down when you don't heal as fast as others seem to, and I do have this one area that causes me a great deal of pain at times. Almost like a screw is stabbing me in the back. But it's not a constant thing, and I'm not a Dr., so I don't understand why I keep getting it. The one thing I'm absolutely sure of, is that my scoli pain is gone!!!

Shari

bbest
05-02-2006, 10:55 AM
Julieanne -

I cannot recommend a surgeon, but I can tell you that you are among people who care. I hope you find a surgeon you can trust. Be sure to get a second and possibly third opinion before you make a definite decision.

Best of luck,
Brandi

bbest
05-02-2006, 11:24 AM
I see you are from Maryland. I am too. Who did your surgery?

dmb
05-02-2006, 02:43 PM
Dr John Carbone did my surgery. He used to practice at JHU and at UN of MD. He now practices at Harbor Hospital and is the director of Harborview Reconstrucive Spine Services. He is very good and i like him alot. I'm from Western MD, where are you from?

D



I see you are from Maryland. I am too. Who did your surgery?

bbest
05-02-2006, 03:08 PM
I live in Germantown in Montgomery County. My husband and I like to go to Deep Creek Lake in Garrett County a couple times a year just to get away. Dr. William Lauerman is my surgeon. He is Chief of Orthopaedic Surgery at Georgetown University Hospital. Aside from all the bells and whistles he is an awesome doctor. Very compassionate, patient. I completely trust him. Sounds like your surgeon has some of the same qualities.

dmb
05-02-2006, 03:43 PM
i live about two hours from Deep Creek Lake. it is nice up that way. I too have complete confidence in my surgeon. How far are you fused? i am fused from T3-L4. How are you feeling? May 16th will be one year for me and i feel about 80%.



I live in Germantown in Montgomery County. My husband and I like to go to Deep Creek Lake in Garrett County a couple times a year just to get away. Dr. William Lauerman is my surgeon. He is Chief of Orthopaedic Surgery at Georgetown University Hospital. Aside from all the bells and whistles he is an awesome doctor. Very compassionate, patient. I completely trust him. Sounds like your surgeon has some of the same qualities.