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jelysc613
07-11-2006, 12:37 PM
Hello everyone,

My name is Jen and I just recently found this board and decided to become a part of it. I am 24, and had my surgery nearly 12 years ago. Hard to believe it was that long ago, as it sometimes feels like just yesterday. I'll try and be brief in my story...

My scoliosis was discovered when I was about 10. They had actually noticed it at birth, but said it was nothing to worry about at the time. After it was discovered during a routine check in gym class, I was sent to doctors and eventually put into a brace. I had an "S" curve, and while the lower curvature was only measured at about 20 degrees, the upper was at 33 and nearing crossing that dreaded line of needing surgery. I was stuck in a plastic brace for 23 hours a day, everyday, for about a year. It was at that time, things began to get sour. My dad had been seeing a chiropractor for a long time for his own back pains. One day, my dad mentioned my situation to him, to which he enthusiastically replied "I can fix that!" My dad, overjoyed at the possibility, brought me in. Dr. X (wouldn't want to ruin his good name... :p yeah right) was very convincing to my parents and I, telling us exactly what he'd be doing and how he'd do it and what would happen. I began seeing him twice a week... and he wasn't cheap. Everything he did was pretty painful, but, hey, he's the doctor. After a few months, he told me that as long as I was seeing him, I no longer need to wear my brace. As a fun-loving, outdoorsy 11 year old, who was I to argue with that?? As time went on, he continued telling my parents and I how much I was improving. My parents then decided to have Xrays done. He insisted they were unnecessary, but after another month, my parents were very suspicious and took me in to get them. There was the proof of a huge, sick lie... my lower curve had progressed to 30 degrees, while my upper was now 60 degrees. That same day, a group of surgeons walked in to my exam room and said surgery was inevitable. We were all so angry and upset, my parents felt guilty for believing this rediculous "doctor" who said he could help... but I'm sure any of you know what the power of suggestion can do for a very hopeful person.

The surgery was scheduled for just 2 months after that discovery. My spine was beginning to crowd my heart and lungs, and it seemed to get worse every day. Not long after that, I had a lot of trouble climbing a set of stairs and could no longer be in gym class. I was in surgery for 6 hours, during which they implanted 2 Herrington rods and a bunch of other hardware ;) I was in the hospital for just over a week (during which my mom never left my side, including sleeping on the floor by my bed every single night...) and put in an upper body cast before I was released. I had more than a month off from school, and spent the next 3 months in the cast.

As for the fraud who called himself a chiropractor... my parents looked into taking legal action, but it was decided that there was no way to prove that I wouldn't have needed the surgery anyway. All we'd have a chance of receiving would be money to cover what my parents spent taking me there 2x a week, but that would be eclipsed by legal fees. They asked me what I wanted, and I decided we'd all been through enough. Instead, I wrote the good doctor a long letter about a year later. I never received a response, but it was therapeutic for me and I was satisfied just to imagine him reading it and feeling ridiculously guilty for what he'd done to me (obviously, that was just my own hope... I'm sure he tossed it right away.)

Anyway... so much for a short summary :D If you actually read it all, I thank you for listening. It always feels good to let it out. I had a very hard time dealing with what had happened for about 2 years afterward, and I was also teased at school for a long time for having the brace/cast and for being "bionic." As I said earlier, it's been 12 years now... and I am doing just fine. Rods are still in place and people find me fascinating when they find out I have rods in my back. I'm sure you've all heard this one..... "Can you go through metal detectors at the airport???" :)

Please reply and share your story with me as well, I'm always interested to hear them. I applaud each and every one of you for enduring and surviving your own unique scoliosis situations... I hope someday they will find an easier way to stop/cure/fix this. Thanks again for reading!

Suzy
07-11-2006, 04:42 PM
Jen,

Thank you for sharing your story. I hope those who are waisting their time at a chiropractors office will take note. I have a good friend who is a massage therapist and works in a chiropractic office. I went in for a massage and while talking to the chiropractor he told me his wife had scoliosis and he didn't touch her! Chiropractically speaking. HE WOULD NOT WORK ON HIS WIFE! Catch a clue people, going to these guys can't help. Jen's story is more common then not, chiropractors saying they can help. Read back in the history of old posts, people going to them as curves get worse.....

Wakatie
07-11-2006, 06:06 PM
Hi there Jen! Thank you so much for posting your experience. I find it so useful to see how others dealt with the treatment of scoliosis. Any reputable chiropractor should not tell you that they could cure your scoliosis. I have also seen a chiropractor for mine, and she encouraged me to get it x-rayed every year, and once I had a CT scan and was found to also have a disc problem, she would no longer do adjustments on my spine. I don't think chiropractors can make a scoliosis worse, but they can certainly cause harm by tricking you into thinking they can improve them, and getting you out of a useful brace! I'm very sorry to hear about what happened to you, but I'm glad that your surgery was so sucessful!

Kathryn

sweetness514
07-11-2006, 06:41 PM
I don't think it can make the curve progress either, but it can at times help dealing with pain. It didn't help much when I used to see one in my teens a few times a week for years while I was wearing a brace(and he told me I wouldn't need surgery too, the fool), but it did help with some pain I had before I had surgery years later, in my mid twenties-and this time this new chiro was truthful and only touched me a few times for a few months, and it took care of my pain for weeks at a time.

Like I say, always trust yourself and how you feel, not even doctors who specialize in many fields(such as scoliosis surgeons)are 100% right at all times. Nobody goes by the name of God on this Earth from what I know(except for some who are in need of some psycholgical help but that's another story).

dawney
07-12-2006, 12:12 AM
I also saw a chiropractor and didn't do much for me. I did like him though, he actually referred me to a neurosurgeon because my pain wasn't improving.

Wakatie
07-12-2006, 09:25 PM
I've found a few medical websites that all say the same thing - chiropractors are OK for pain management, but don't expect them to make the curve better or keep it from getting worse whatosever. I have found some medical doctors very anti-chiropractor and I can see why after this posted experience, but I think generally speaking they are good as long as the treatments are used properly.