View Full Version : Surgery?? I am affraid..

02-13-2007, 03:15 PM
:rolleyes: Hello everybody!!
I am new here.....
I have had scoliosis since I was 6 years old...( scoliosis 30 & 35)
I wore a Milwaukee brace for 10 years... until I was 16... (I know, you can do the math lol)
My parents were overseas missionaries so we moved from one country to another frequently....
After 16 nothing was done with/about my scoliosis.....(scholiosis..
In 1993 (I was 28) I got my umph up and went to see a orthopaedic surgeon.. my curves were then 39 and 40 .... he suggested surgery, but, being a single mom, I got cold feet about such a procedure..
I have lived with back and other area pain for most of my life.. ( like many of you have said in this forum)
I know... in my body and how I sit, stand etc.. that my scoliosis has gotten worsse..
I have been diagnosesd with Fibromyalgia shortly after the birth of my now 9 year old son... :(
When, recently I have asked my dr as well as an orthopaedic surgeon I saw for a bone spur in my shoulder.. they told me that since I was able to have 3 full term pregnancies and carry on with my life that I do not need any type of help with my scoliosis.. :mad:
I found this web site... and the French one (I speak, read and write French as well as Spanish).. I have read post after post about adults having the surgery and feeling much better for it......
I have contacted an orthopaedic surgeon in our area (birmingham al) who specialiazes in spinal dissorders in adults....
I feel that FINALLY something will be done for me!! or at least some one will look at it and tell me if it has gotten worse!!
I AM SO EXCITED!! but also so scared..
My appointment is Monday Feb 19th at 3:30 pm Central time...
********** :confused: Please help me by telling me what a 41 year old can do to prepare for the surgery.. but more importantly... what are the questions I should ask the Dr. What are deffinite "red flags"... should I consult a neurologist instead??? and all the stuff you think I will need before my consultation************************
Thank you SO MUCH
Paula :rolleyes:

02-14-2007, 02:07 PM
I just had surgery 2 months ago. I am 45 and my curve was 100 deg. I had very little pain- I guess every one is different. I would ask if the surgery will help your pain-ask how many discs will be fused -the most important thing I believe is to get several opinions. You learn so much more when you see several doctors. I am in Atlanta and flew to New York for the surgery- don't limit yourself to your home town. Welcome to this forum- I hope we can help you!

02-14-2007, 03:22 PM
Welcome Paula,
My best advice to you is read back as far as you can on threads that have questions that you need the answers to. When I first got on this site I did so and found I was able to get so much info that way. When you first start your research you will have so many questions and then you will also see answers to questions you never thought of. Also, you can ask your Dr. more specific questions that relate to you alone. Take someone in to your appt. with you if you can. You will not be able to remember it all as most of us found out ourselves. If you go alone take notes while your Dr. talks. I was 43 when I had my surgery and It went VERY well for me. (8 days till my 1 year anniversary of surgery.) Best wishes.

02-14-2007, 03:51 PM
Hi Paula

Im now 6 months post op and it has made a world of difference to my life.

The main thing i would advise is to be as healthy and fit as possible going into the surgery to help with recovery time. As soon as i found out i needed surgery i also stopped drinking and smoking...not sure if this makes any difference but it made me feel better in myself and it can only be a good thing right?

You need to ask exactly what procedure they will do on you and how it will affect your flexibility/restrictions for the future.

I had silly questions like 'when will i be able to go on rollercoasters?' and the such...but to be honest i wanted to know so i asked...which is what i think you should do.

You will probably think of loads of questions so just note them down as you go along. also it might be worth asking family/friends if they want to ask anything (different perspective is always fresh and good).

i did have a list of all my questions-if i can find ill send to you.

hope this helps


Houston Curves
02-14-2007, 06:22 PM
Here are SOME of my pre-op questions to ask my Dr. I hope they help...


Have my curves increased? If so, by what degree?
As I have a left thoracic curve, which is rare, will you do a complete MRI workup of my spine and brain stem to rule out abnormalities?
What is causing my pain and why is it worse now?
What about my neck pain?
Will my neck be treated during the surgery also?
How soon can I be scheduled for surgery?
What kind of preparation is needed for surgery?
Can I have my preoperative tests at either St. Luke’s Hospital The Woodlands or Memorial Hospital The Woodlands? Will you have immediate access to the results if I do? What about Baylor in downtown Houston?
How soon can the tests be scheduled? Can they be done on the same day or two consecutive days?
Where will the procedure be done?
How many surgeries have you done at this facility? What kind of specialized equipment do they have?
How much will the surgery cost? Are there ways to reduce the cost?
Will I be sharing a room or does this hospital have only private rooms?
When will I be admitted to the hospital pre-op?
Can I receive medication prior to surgery to calm me down and/or help me sleep?
What type of surgical approach do you believe I will require? Anterior, posterior or AP?
How many levels will need fusion?
Would I qualify for minimally invasive surgery? If so, how is it done and what is the cost/benefit analysis for that procedure?
How long do you think the procedure will last?
What kind of anesthesia will be used?
Will any kind of biopsy be needed? If so, how long do the results take? Will Dr. S call with the results?
How successful is the procedure generally?
I am allergic to the metal in a lot of costume jewelry, which I believe is an allergy to Nickel. Can you use titanium or other materials for the instrumentation?
What results may I expect from the surgery? How much correction do you believe is possible and will it likely resolve my pain?
Are there less invasive surgery options and what are the risks/benefits associated with them?
What are the risks associated with this surgery?
What complications might develop (both immediate and long term)?
I understand that there are risks associated with any surgery, and I have complete confidence in Sr. S, but I have fears like all other patients. I learned from the NSF Forum that Dr. Shelokov recently lost a patient (Trudy), and I am obviously concerned about the risk that this could happen to me. What went wrong, if anything? How many your surgical patients have you lost?
What the chance of paralyzation? How about other neurological deficits of surgery?
Given my age and the length of the fusion, how long will I need to stay in the hospital after surgery?
Where will I likely wake up? In the Operating Room or Recovery Room?
Will I need to stay in ICU? How long?
How long will I need to be in Rehabilitation facility? Which one and where is it located? Is the Rehab something I need to arrange or does your office do that?
How will I feel after surgery?
Will I wake up intubated?
How much pain is there after this type of surgery? How is it treated?
When will I get up for the first time?
When can I eat regular food?
Will I be prescribed a back brace? Hard or soft shell?
Will I be prescribed PT? How soon?
When will I be able to drive?
When will I be able to resume regular activities such as caring for our children? How about intimacy?
What short term and permanent physical limitations, if any, will I have?
How much weight will I be able to lift (Heidi is 21 lbs and Kaiti is 16 lbs)?
What symptoms should I look out for?
What is the step if surgery doesn’t work for me?

the optimist
02-19-2007, 05:46 PM
i too am going back to see the consultant (after not going for years and years) in 3 weeks after getting pain in my bottom rib (which fingers crossed/ is gone), i can tell mine is worse as i can see my ribs have rotated (my breasts are quite even, but nothing a wonder bra pad cant fix)
i have been told by everyone about the list writing i think i am going to have about 5 pages (think its gonna be a long consultation) but it is good to see others lists, thank you.
i am thinking about taking a sweepstake on what degree my curve is now! hehe

good luck going back
its normal to be scared.... i was crying everyday before i started reading this forum, and now i am trying to except whatever needs doing needs doing and theres no point preempting what they are gonna say

let us know how it goes

the optimist
02-19-2007, 05:49 PM
hi sorry i just reread your post and saw that your ap was today i hope it all went well and you got answers to all your questions :)

Houston Curves
03-03-2007, 03:36 PM

How did your appointment go?