View Full Version : Debating on having surgery

04-27-2004, 10:04 PM
I am a 21 year old male getting ready to graduate college. I first found out I had scoliosis last august when I was having back pain. Went to the Dr's and found out I have a 47 degree curve. Right now i'm on pain pills to try to help. I've been debating on whether or not to get the surgery this summer to correct it. Of course, my mom doesn't want me to get it but my dad says to do what I want. I think i'm leaning towards getting it done but i'm not sure. If I do get it done now, i'll have plenty of time to recoup before I start working for a living. If anybody could respond to this and give me your opinion to what I should do, it would be greatly appreciated. Thanks.

04-27-2004, 10:13 PM

The thing about scoliosis surgery is that it's an elective surgery...the doctor's almost never tell u to have surgery ...they can recommend it...but they don't like to insist on it......I cannot tell u to have surgery but it's better to have it when your young...You don't have a base line xray , so you can't tell if it shifted relatively fast...I would wait not jump into it.....see if u can fight the pain with other methods...easy on the pain pills, addiction can creep on u without u knowing it....and too much pain meds can cause depression. I've been living with back pain all my life, but my curve was never bad...so i didn't have surgery.....now it started to shift fast .....and i'm not so young...so i'm having surgery.....good luck with your decision...also get more opinions ....

04-28-2004, 12:15 AM
My doctor usually advises not to have surgery until the curve starts to get into the 50's and 60's. Mine is 75 :( but i never gave surgery too much thought until the pain started to kick in last year. I haven't been taking any perscription meds for it but i'm tired of not getting a good nights sleep anymore. And I am tired of having to lay down after i have over done it by standing too long. I hate taking medicine for anything. My surgery is this thursday. I wish i had gotten it done when i was at 60 degrees but oh well. My mom was also very against it. But i'm 26 and i decided since im the one living with the pain its about time i made a grown up decision for myself. my husband is like your father and supports what ever i decide about this. I am also in college and i am concidering taking a distance ed course while i am a home recouperating. Depending on what type of job you land, it could buy you time to think somemore. My company has good insurance. I will still get paid while im out because i have been there for 5 years. (I still could have qualified after one year). This is the kinda thing you want to think about if you wait till you land a good job.

04-28-2004, 10:23 AM
Thanks for your opinions. I agree with you spincon58, I don't want to get addicted to pain pills, that's why i'm thinking about getting the surgery. I feel that this is the best time to get it because i'm going to have my parents to take care of me and support me while I don't have a job. If I were to get it done later in life and I have a job and a family, I wouldn't want to be a burden on them and i'm not soo sure a company would let me have off 2 or 3 months to recoup from it. I have been thinking about this since August of last year, so it's not like i'm rushing into the decision. I just think this is the only time that I would be able to get it done and i'd rather get it done before it gets any worst. I guess the last step will be to talk to my parents about this for one last time. Thanks again for your help.

04-28-2004, 10:54 AM

Have your doctors considered the possibility that your back pain is not directly caused by your scoliosis? Most people don't experience severe pain from curves below 60+ degrees, especially not young adults. If your pain is so severe that you're worried about getting addicted to pain pills, something else may be going on here.

Also, you should be aware that scoliosis surgery provides no guarantee that you will be pain-free for the rest of your life. Indeed, the majority of patients undergoing surgery today report some reduction in pain, but not all.

One last point: you should verify whether your curve is actually progressing over time. Of course, if you're experiencing intense pain and your doctors are certain it's directly caused by your curvature, it doesn't matter whether your curve is progressing. But if you have a stable 47 degree curve, you may want to pursue a strategy of controlling the pain through other modalties (not narcotics) instead of surgery. You may be happier with the outcome this way.

Best of luck to you!