View Full Version : new and looking for feedback

07-21-2006, 08:05 AM
Hi everyone, Ive been lurking around here for about a week. I am gratefull I am not alone. I am 32 years old and live in Hudson, Florida. I have a 65 degree thoracolumbar? curve.
The thoracic curve is 20 degrees and ridgid. The lumbar curve is 40 degrees and flexible. I was told at 15 I could have surgery at that time my curve was 40 degrees. Given the option at that time of course I said no. I wish I had since my curve has progressed and around the age of 21 I started having intermitent pain. At 29 after child #1 the pain increased and decided to go for surgery again. At that time I had a stronger support system my mother in law was going to stay with me and help out. However, surgery was cancelled because I was pregnant with child #2. Since then my mother in law has past away. Now my children are 2 and 3 1/2 and I am looking to try this again. I saw a nuerologist, Brenard Guiot, and he said he could preform a anterior fusion to the ridgid thoracic curve and the lumbar curve would "even out". Three years ago I saw a orthopedic surgeon, Antonio Castellvi, who said I needed an posterior/anterior fusion for thoracic/lumbar spine. Now I am confused so I am going to see another orthopedic surgeon August 1, Anthony Moreno, recommended from posts on this site. After reading many threads/posts on this site I am afraid that recovery is going to be much more difficult than I had expected. I realized I would be out of work for about 3 months but I thought I would a least be able to get around the house and preform basic tasks. I do not have anyone that can help me out a lot at this time. My husband believes he can handle it, I do not see how he can manage the house, kids, me and his job. I have recieved a little relief from chiropractic over the past 6 months but do not see it as a permanent fix.
Any suggestions would be appreciated, the problems that concern me the most are as follows,
Should I get this out of the way now while I am fairly young or wait till my children are a little older?
What type of fusion is the better option?
When will I be able to preform basic tasks?
When can I return to work, Im a nurse, but coworkers would be willing to help with lifting?
Does anyone know any DR that preform minimally invasive fusion? In cental Florida area?
Brace after surery or no brace? (1 dr said yes, 1 said no).
Thanks for letting me spill it!

07-21-2006, 11:18 AM
Welcome Jsully! Thanks for sharing. I have to say this... a chiropractor is NOT a permanent fix. Perhaps he is okay for some very temporary pain relief, but I would even consult a surgeon to see if it's okay for you to be seeing a chiropractor. I don't want to repost everything, so if you want to see more about my experience with a chiropractor, pre-surgery, go look at my very first post (title: "i'm a newbie here" or something along those lines). When I was about to have my surgery, the doctors told me that a chiropractor could do damage, as my curve was pretty severe by then. I would also advise getting it done now, while you are younger... assuming you will still be able to take care of your kids and have enough help doing so :) Also... I'd think you would be braced afterward. I was for 3-4 months after... but that was also in '94. So I'm no expert! Best of luck to you!! :D

07-21-2006, 12:02 PM

I just wanted to mention that you do not add the two curve measurements together to get one measurement. If you were told that by one of the surgeons you've seen, I would definitely run the other way! :-)


07-21-2006, 12:48 PM
I recieved the 65 degree curve from the orthopedic surgeon.
I recieved the 20/40 from the nuerosurgeon.
I guess they used different measurement technique.

07-21-2006, 02:10 PM
I have a 55 degree lumbar curvature and I am in severe pain ALL of the time know, it gets old. Anyway I have tried many different things but none of them worked. I saw a nuero first who was great. His opinion was that if he fixed the herniated discs it would put more pressure on my back. He recommended that I see an ortho who specializes in scoliosis. I am scheduled for anterior/posterior surgery 2 days apart 9/6 and 9/8. I have one son who will be 11 by then and in school. If you can deal with the pain, I don't know how bad your is, it would probably be easier for you to wait until both are in school.
Good Luck with your decision.

07-21-2006, 03:27 PM
My pain is frequent but tolerable? I take NSAIDS every day! Its starting to take toll on my stomach, frequent heartburn :( . I have not been able to get a PCP to give me pain medications. I keep getting strong NSAIDS. Maybe I should ask the specialist for something for pain control? Do not want to seem like a user. :eek:

07-21-2006, 04:37 PM
If your husband can help you with all the personal care you'll need (ie getting in and out of the shower, etc) then what you really need would be some help childminding and housekeeping? Could you put away a little money to hire a weekly housekeeper? Someone to come and do the "big" stuff until you're back on your feet? I haven't had surgery yet, but based on what I've heard here and in books, you'll feel up to a little housework after 1 month of recovery (although it is totally different for every person who goes through it). And maybe some money for a babysitter as well, or even a nanny? If you could wait until your kids are in school during the day, it probably would be easier, but if you feel like you maybe can't, that is an idea. A good chiropractor should know, if you give him/her the degrees of your curves, whether they can do harm or not. In my experience, they tend to be overly careful. If they tell you they can "fix" it, run away!!! And like the other poster said, check with your doctor. Of course the last thing you want to do is make it worse! I also would recommend seeing your doctor about some pain control, from now until you do have surgery, whenever you decide to do it. There are a few stronger things that can help and are relatively safe to use long-term.


07-21-2006, 05:23 PM
I really cannot afford a house keeper but maybe I could take out a loan. I will also have to send my kids to daycare full-time. Now they go 3 days a week.
That will be an x-tra $100 a week, ouch! :eek: Also, my short term disability will only cover 60% of my pay. I hope I can get back to work ASAP!

07-21-2006, 06:16 PM
Actually it might be worth taking out a little loan. Your health is super important. If you have medical insurance to cover the bulk of the cost of the surgery, then just spending a little extra isn't too bad - just imagine if you had to pay cash for the surgery! :eek:


07-22-2006, 08:36 PM
Jsully -

The decision whether or not to have surgery is always a personal one. Those of us who have been there can certainly offer advice, but only from a place of personal experience. As far as the specific questions you have (minimally invasive surgery, brace issues, etc.) I would strongly recommend discussing these with a qualified surgeon.

Now speaking from a place of personal experience... I had a lumbar, combined anterior/posterior fusion in May, 2006. I am 32 years old and have three children. I knew that this was a serious operation and that it was increasingly difficult to recover from with each passing year. It sounds like you have a good support system and you will need it. Discuss your options with your doctor(s) and make the best decision for you.

I know surgery offered the best possibile outcome for me. I do not regret my decision and would do it over again if I had to. I wish you the best.

07-22-2006, 09:45 PM
Thanks everyone, Brandi you are the same age as me :) . Just wondering how old your kids are? I'm not sure about my support system though. I voiced concern today about my recovery to my mom. She said "It's not too late to change your mind"! Not exactally the reponse I was looking for. Was hoping for a little sympathy or perhaps a "don't worry I'll be there for you" kind of thing. Although, don't know why I should expect that now she's not the most understanding person. However, still frustrating! :mad:

07-23-2006, 01:07 PM

I feel that this surgery is a difficult one for mothers (even of grown adults) to face. It seems to them like it is an elective surgery made mainly for cosmetic reasons. You know how hard it is to put your own child through anything that will be painful because you go through it and feel it right along with them.

My own mother cannot handle going through surgeries with family members or seeing them in any kind of pain, so she is going to wait to come by once I am home and call her that I am ready to see her.

Anyway, you may have to find your support in other sources, close friends, neighbors, co-workers, church members, etc. Most people that I have told about the surgery react in surprise because they never noticed that anything was wrong with my back and I have a severe double curve. Others that know my struggles over the years are supportive because they know my history with the pain and disability.

As far as the ages of your kids, I would recommend that you wait until they are at least in school full time if you are not in pain or disabled from the scoliosis. There are a lot of lifting and movement restrictions after this surgery for at least a year. I was able to get by with physical therapy, exercise, and chiropractic treatments while my three were growing up. Even now it will be hard for the 15 and 20 year old who are still at home--emotionally as well as having to do all of my work and chores.

Keep seeking out good opinions until you have peace about it.


07-23-2006, 07:12 PM
Hello! My name is Kat, I am 36 and had anterior/posterior surgery with Dr. Moreno in February.
It was fantastic! I am now doing awesome.
It took awhile to be able to do basic things like shoes because of how low I'm fused, but I actually put on my own combat boots and laced them up by myself for the first time since surgery! :D
I know, what a silly thing to be excited about but after months of only wearing flip flops, it felt great to be able to wear my most fave boots again.
I can do everything on my own now, dishes, cleaning, etc. I still have weight limits, nothing over 10 lbs, but I feel so great!
He is an amazing surgeon. He has impeccable skills and a terrific bedside manner.
His entire team is amazingly caring and knowledgeable.
I am so pleased with my surgery and his care, I know you will be too.
Anytime I have a question or concern, I call his awesome nurse Cindy, leave her a voice mail and within a few hours, she calls me right back. I have even emailed with her a few times over some issues I had.
They make it so easy to get in contact and stay in contact with the whole staff, you will be happy when you meet him.

I read that your kids are young, you will need someone to take care of them for awhile, there are lifting restrictions like everyone has said.
Dr. Moreno may tell you to wait a little longer because your kids are so young but, he is incredible. I cannot say enough good/great things about him.
If you have any questions about ant/pos surgery with him, just PM me. I don't always long on but when I get the email saying I have a PM, I log in immediately and answer them.
I'd even be willing to talk on the phone with you about him.

07-23-2006, 07:45 PM
My kids are a little older, 16, 14 and 12 so they were able to function w/o me for a while and were a great help once I returned home. As far as your mom goes, I learned first hand that while surgery is something many of us face, it can be difficult for our family members to accept. Especially since it is almost always elective. Once surgery becomes necessary, they come around and become more supportive.

07-23-2006, 08:13 PM
Thanks so much everyone. Kat I cant even tell you how gratefull I am to know how easy it will be to get phonecalls and questions answered. I saw another DR. about 2 weeks ago and after seeing him agreed with my husband to see him again and set up surgery. He is with the USF medical group so they have one appointment center that takes appointments for all dr's. They could not schedule me back till the end of September so I tried multiple times to call his secretary for something sooner, (also because I scheduled a MRI at his request and wanted to go over results). The secretary never called back to this date. The DR finally did email me back and said he would have her set up something within a week or two. However, after that whole ordeal I do not feel comfortable. I need to be able to reach someone if I have questions or concerns! That is why a made a appointment to see Dr. Moreno because I was fed up! As far as I am concerned the Dr. and there office are a team and they all need to be GREAT! I guess that maybe all things happen for a purpose! As far as my surgery is concerned I think Im going to wait till May, the week before kids get out of school. My mother has finally realized I may need a little help! My mother works on a school bus and usually takes a part-time job during the summer. So I'm going to hire her for 10 weeks! That way I can continue to send my kids to daycare PT (they go 3 days a week because I work 12 hour shifts) instead of FT. I was already starting to feel guilty that I would not see them as much. She will also help keep up the house so I do not need a housekeeper and I won't be by myself as often! So that covers me for 11 weeks post op. Hopefully then I can return to work at 12 weeks.
By then my kids will be a little older 3 & 4, not a lot better, but better. Also, I should have more sick time banked. Right now I only have like 3 weeks.
Thanks, everyone! Your awesome ;) !

07-23-2006, 10:00 PM
As soon as you meet him and let him know when you want to do it, he will begin the process with you, get all new xrays, monitor you etc. He will probably take you off the NSAIDS. I know he did with me.
They may relieve some pain but they actually thin your blood out a lot and that is bad for your bones believe it or not.
No NSAIDS after surgery because they interfere with bone growth.

Also, wanted to offer this to you. If after surgery, he recommends a bone growth stimulator, I have one I no longer use at all. It's practically brand new. I wore it the amount of time they wanted but the insurance and the company, made it permanently mine so you won't have to fight with your insurance to get one if he wants you to have one. A lot of insurance carriers do not want to pay for them even if prescribed.
I have the box and all the instructions and paperwork still in the box.
I was just going to donate it to his office to give to someone whose insurance may not pay for it but I'll hang onto it until I see/hear if he wants you to use one.

And again, any questions about him or just want to talk, just PM me.

07-24-2006, 12:01 AM
Well, everyone here has given you some really good advice that will hopefully help you in your finally decision making process. Although I had my surgery when I was young (late teens) my roommate was 42 years old when she had hers done. I realized through watching her struggle through recovery that I was glad I had it done when I did.

One thing that might help you is sitting down with you mom and filling her in on what you are deciding and how it will effect you not only for the first three months, but beyond. Although it is your decision to elect to have or not have surgery, it is best that your helper has a clear idea of what to expect & not expect from you. I have to admit my mom became my nurse for the first few weeks home.Fed me, washed me, help me monitor pill taking, etc. oh, then turn the tables and ask her how she feels about what your deciding and weather it scares her a little. You may be surprised as what you learn from her.

I wish you best of luck in making the right decision for you. Definitely keep us posted on how the doctor appts. go. We are all here to support you anyway we can. GOOD LUCK!!!

07-24-2006, 07:54 AM
Thanks a lot. Kat I wil ask the DR aboult the bone growth simulator and let you know. Im sure my insurance would give me a hard time I have a HMO!
Thanks again,

07-24-2006, 11:34 AM

I noticed you are from New Port Richey. My in-laws had a house there. It seemed to be largely a retirement community when I visited. I guess things have changed. Small world.


07-24-2006, 12:18 PM
Yep, it was mostly for retired folks but things started changing as house values increased in Pinellas Co. ect. of course now its just as expensive here. Its a beautifull place to live, close to everything but not as conjested.