View Full Version : Scoliosis pain

12-16-2006, 03:58 PM
I've been reading a number of posts by people who have pain and haven't had surgery (yet) . I'm wondering if this is common. I've had pain since I was diagnosed with scoliosis at age 12 1/2. It began whenever I was sitting on a bench or stool, etc. with no back support. Now it is pretty much constant, and I take pain meds to help control it. Someone on this site was saying that some "studies" claim that scoliosis does not cause pain. I am proof that this is not so. I suspect that it's fairly common for pain to be associated with scoliosis. My surgeon, Dr.Akbarnia (San Diego), says that those with pain have curves that don't balance themselves out. I'm asking everyone: do you/have you had pain from your scoliosis not associated with surgery? Those who have had surgery: is your pain less now, more or just in different places? What are your comments about this?



12-16-2006, 06:23 PM
Yes, as you will see in a number of the posts, pain is very common with scoliosis and is also specific to the individual. My sister-in-law's pediatrics book for medical school states (point blank) that pain is not associated with scoliosis, and we all know that is NOT true. The textbook did not distinguish between scoliosis that is 12 degrees versus over 40 or 50. I gave her an education! Yes, I have lots of back, neck, hip, and shoulder pain, and have been tested for other causes of my pain, but all the tests came back negative. So, there is really no other cause for my pain except my scoliosis. I wouldn't consider this surgery if it wasn't for the pain I experience. You will see though, everyone has a different story and a different level of pain.

12-16-2006, 06:48 PM

I've never had surgery and I'm in almost constant pain. I have shoulder, back and neck pain mainly. Any sort of exercise causes pain which is very depressing because I used to run and do pilates. My curve is 44 degrees. My doctor thinks I will eventually need surgery since my curve keeps progressing.

12-16-2006, 06:56 PM
I've had moderate pain for 25 years, but not the kind of pain that limited my activities until the last couple of years. Now I have trouble sitting or standing for any length of time, and doing housework hurts a lot, so I do it in 20-minute spurts (when I do it at all :p ). I also have off-and-on nerve pain in my legs at night.

12-16-2006, 08:07 PM
my pain is worse because i never felt my pain from scoliosis because i was always high on weed. But the surgery has some negative effects such as pain from muscle spasms. If your curves stop around 20-30 degrees i suggest not to get the surgery. However above 40 degrees, most curves increase. My pain varies everyday from what I do to how I do it. I take too many pain killers such as vicidoin to control the pain sometimes. Im trying to stay away from pain killers though, theyre bad. Sometimes advil doesnt help though/

12-17-2006, 09:23 AM
I am about 3 and a half months post op and am in less pain now than before surgery. The pain I have now is different and I am still recovering. I was at the point before surgery that I needed 2 or 3 vicotin to get through my daily activities and even that was still painful. I am glad I had the surgery and I feel like I am getting back to my old self. It is a big surgery I had 2 surgeries 2 days apart. One was 6 hours and the other 10. I think the decision is a big one and you need to be ready to take such a step.

12-17-2006, 12:17 PM
Hi Dawney - I'm seven weeks post-op and feel much better too! I have some pain, but like you said, it's different - more muscle twitches, spasms, and muscle pain. I have been told to take more ibuprofen now than narcotic pain killers - and I find that I don't need that much anymore. Before my surgeries, especially the first one, I had significant pain.

12-17-2006, 01:46 PM
I have very minimal pain now compared to before surgery. And it's only when I try to do too much such as vacuum, clean, work out etc........
I'm so happy I had the surgery and just sorry I didn't do it sooner.

12-17-2006, 05:19 PM
Pre op: I had pain a lot when my curve was progressing, between ages 12 and 17, and also pain from wearing the brace.

Between ages 17 and 26, I barely had pain unless I sat straight for a long time, but my job was standing up so no trouble there. At the age of 26, my pain started to be debilitating, I had sciatica a lot and curve pain.

Post op: I had a LOT of pain for about 1 to 2 years post op, and then on and off, but not curve pain just muscle spasms and neck and lower back tension(b/c those areas are unfused). Now, since having two revision surgeries, I still have some pain in screws between shoulder blades, wich is inflammation from nerves touching the screws. It could go from almost no pain to a lot, depending on what I do.

I don't take pills in the day, and didn't pre op either, as I don't like being in a daze and also get allergic reactions very easily. I do take a sleep aid at night, as I'm also an insomniac and it helps with relaxing my muscles as well.

12-17-2006, 05:36 PM
I never had back pain until I had the surgery, and I feel the older I get the more pain I feel. I am scared to think what It would be like in the future because I am only in my early 30's.

12-18-2006, 10:36 AM
I guess I have been more fortunate than most since I have had a relatively pain-free life despite severe scolisis. However, that all changed about 18 months ago, when at age 56 my spine felt like it was collapsing and could no longer support me. (A surgeon suggested that my spine may have shifted; and that makes sense to me). That's when I had x-rays of my spine taken for the first time and learned of the severity (75 deg. lumbar curve). My collapsing spine sensation lasted for about two months at which time I could not function. Through prayer I have rebounded and can function for the most part, but I do have some limitations. I do believe God has given me this time to do the research and consult with specialists, and I am very grateful. As much as I'd like to avoid surgery, I feel it is inevitable and I am encouraged when I hear about successful surgeries in this forum as well as from those in a support group I have joined. It is not the end of the world and there is life after surgery.


12-20-2006, 02:42 AM
Thanks to everyone who responded to my thread about scoliosis pain. As I suspected, everyone is certainly an individual and we all respond differently to the challenges of our scoliosis. Some have pain that greatly diminishes after surgery (and recovery). A few have worse pain. My mother's pain increased after having a spinal fusion, but she was 70 years old, and her curves had progressed too far for her to have a very good correction. My son, who had a fusion at age 14 and had no pain before his surgery, is now 31. He has pain occasionally from the screws in his back touching some nerves when he leans against something, but is not usually in pain. My pain has become severe as my curves have recently progressed. I will be having surgery in the Spring. I hope I'm one of the lucky ones!
Sending my best wishes to you all,

12-20-2006, 11:50 AM

I sent you a private message regarding your Dr., please reply.