View Full Version : Another newbie, 30 y.o., 52* thoracic

02-15-2007, 01:51 PM
Hello everyone,
I'm another lurker to these posts since January, who finally put David Wolpert's book down long enough to sign up here!
My story is that I was diagnosed with scoliosis at 16 or 17 during a sports physical. The doc basically told my mom not to worry about it, to keep an eye on it. I never had an x-ray, and there was no follow up until this December, 2006.
I'd been experiencing sciatic pain, and with the encouragement of my family, went to a family doctor. He did an x-ray, complimented my curves ;) , and referred me to physical therapy and a specialist. The specialist was at my request, as my doc did not believe surgery was 'necessary'. I believed differently, as I know my thoracic curve has progressed since I was 16 (I'm 30 now), I've lost height, my rib hump is much more pronounced, pain is a pretty everyday thing, although it varies depending on my activities.
The specialist confirmed my belief, and has recommended surgery for my 52* thoracic curve.
So now, I am left with a few questions. I live in Alaska, and while my specialist (Dr. Eule) is in Anchorage, and the surgery would be at a hospital, etc., I do wonder whether I should stay here for the surgery or try to find a doctor out of state. I am waiting for more information on his history with this surgery. I've also contacted Dr. Wagner's office in Seattle to get a second opinion.
I'm wondering how many of you chose to fly somewhere for your surgery, and what your experiences with that were. How soon did you return home? What was the flight like for you? Do you wish your recovery had taken place closer to home? How did you conduct follow up with your surgeon in the months that followed?
Also, does anyone have information on either Dr. Eule or Dr. Wagner?
I know I'll have a lot more questions in the future, and have been so incredibly thankful for this forum and all the first-hand knowledge that is here.

02-16-2007, 01:59 PM
hi geo

i cant help with the questions you have as i am in the UK but just wanted to welcome you to the site.

i cant believe they didnt take any x-rays when you were younger.

i was in a similar position with regards to the 'specialist' not thinking i needed surgery so refered myself to a scoliosis specialist who agreed with me.


Linda W
02-16-2007, 04:15 PM
Dear Geo,
I am also new to this Forum and also found it by reading David Wolpert's excellent book. Sorry, I cannot offer any help regarding long distance travel for surgery. I live in the Boston area and hope that I will not have to travel outside the area for consultations or surgery for my T53 and L56 curves. I did a quick "Search" on this site of the doctors you mentioned. There are posts for both of them. Give it a try. You might be able to make contact with some of the forum members who have experience with either of them or even both of them! Good Luck. Linda W.

02-16-2007, 09:16 PM
I also have read and reread his book, and found it very helpful. I too, had to finally put it down and move forward to figure out what to do. I am 39 and have a 57 degree throasic curve that continues to progress. I interviewed over 6 surgeons in Milwaukee. Several were on this site, but I am ending up with one that is not on this site. He was recommended to me by six doctors/plus several surgeons. He does 24 plus scoli's a year with 3+ being adults. This may not seem like a lot for adults, but most of the other spine surgeon rarely have scoli patients. What I discovered was that you really need to find the doctor who has a lot of experience with scoli. Many of the spine surgeons stated that they could do it or had experience and even lots of training, they just don't do them very often. After 3 visits with a spine surgeon whom I really liked, suddenly something just did not feel right. (You know that good old feeling in your gut.)

If you have kids a great resource is your kids pediatrician. They do most of the scoli referrals.

Good Luck.

02-18-2007, 01:36 PM
Hi Geo,
I had surgery 2 months ago out of state. I live in Atlanta and researched surgeons everywhere- I chose Dr. Boachie in New York. I had a very severe curve and in my mind there was no choice-he was the best surgeon for me. I was in the hospital 10 days and then 10 days in rehab and then flew home. The airports have wheelchair assistance and once I was on the plane I just stood up when I got uncomfortable sitting. It was not easy but it was bearable. I would not let location determine the doctor you choose-it is more important to choose the right one! I will have to go back often for follow up also but I am ok with that. Best of luck!