View Full Version : Late Surgery Questions

02-27-2007, 06:05 PM

Let me start by explaining a little bit about me - I am 21, when I was younger (in about 6th grade) I was checked in school for scoliosis and warned that I had what seemed to be a severe case. My mother was seeing a chiropractor at the time for her own reasons, and brought me along with her one day to see if they could assess the situation. At that point she was told that I was bad enough to need surgery as soon as possible, and that the longer I waited the less my chances were of corrective surgery being a viable solution.

At that point I had often complained of back pain but my dad (who would have had to pay for it) when told about the surgery laughed at me and told me that his back hurt too, which pretty much signalled the end of the discussion.

I had pretty much let it go, not having the money to do anything about it, but when I had my first child, shortly before giving birth to him I finally gave in and asked for the epidural - When they came to give it to me the doctors exchanged looks and asked me why I hadn't listed scoliosis on my chart.. Apparently it had given me a higher risk when getting the epidural, although I protested enough for them to give it to me anyway.

I guess my question is this - And after finding this forum the question that had been nagging me most my life was answered - "Yes you can get surgery this late for it". Before my account was approved to post here, I read a thread here about a lady who died from the surgery.

Is it safe to get surgery at this point to correct my back? Would it really help any, or is there a good chance of it giving me more problems / risks than I have just living with it? I've pretty much gotten accustomed to it by now and it doesn't bother me other than making my posture a little awkward and the surprise I get when I see the difference between my back and a 'normal' person's back.

I have a 4 year old and another along the way, and was considering getting surgery done if possible after this baby, but I don't want to put the well-being of my family in jeaopardy by risking my health unneccessarily.

I know this was longwinded but if anyone's made it this far through my post, I'd love to hear opinions. :confused:

Karen Ocker
02-27-2007, 06:17 PM
I had my surgery at 60 so you are probably not too old. ;)

02-27-2007, 06:42 PM
I had my surgery at 60 so you are probably not too old. ;)

Hehe, I know - I really started to question the merit of that chiropractor when I started reading on this site of all the adults who have been through surgery.

I just remember that poor woman's post here that died due to an accident after surgery - Is death a common risk of surgery? Have there been many who have suffered as a result of the surgery? Is it generally a safe procedure or are there any major risks (aside from accidents or negligence which I assume are just as likely with one surgery as another).

I don't mind living with scoliosis if it'd be safer to do so, anotherwords. I just know very little about the whole thing and am not sure if I should pursue surgery or just play it safe for my children's sake. :o

02-27-2007, 07:53 PM
I am almost 8 weeks post op and am scheduled to go in again march 13th because i had a screw pop off on top of my rods. i'm 43 and i would say if it does'nt bother you or you are not in any pain, i would say don't have surgery. my kids are older so i feel it was a good time for me. i never would have done this when my kids were babies unless i had alot of help.

02-27-2007, 07:57 PM
As tragic as Trudy's death was, we have to remember that death is NOT a common risk in scoliosis surgery. Unfortunately, every surgery can have that risk. I would agree that if you are not in pain and have young children, surgery might not be the best option, but this is something to talk over with your surgeon. I am very sorry to hear about your family's initial dismissal over the severity of your scoliosis. Do you know the degree now?

As I am sure you have read on this site, early twenties is definately not to old to have surgery.

Best of luck,

02-27-2007, 10:15 PM

Yes Trudys death was NOT common at all, and as Abhbarry said it can happen with any surgery.
I'm the same age as you and though i have not had kids yet i would wait till they are much older...

Im getting surgery done in a couple of months i do not experience any back pain just discomfort sometimes but the fact is i need to get this done cos im still young my curves will continue to progress.

My suggestion go see a specialist after your baby is born.


02-28-2007, 01:12 AM
Hi Krikette,

I am still dumbfounded as to why so many of our medical professionals are so ignorant to our condition!!! It's so obvious that surgery can be done at any age, if you follow this forum!!!

You are so young, and have young children, and as long as you can deal with the pain, if it were me, I would wait until they were older. Of course it depends on the length of the fusion. The longer it is, I think the harder the recovery time may be. I also think the younger you are the easier it is.

Linda R. has a "pro" and "con" questionaire that may help you also.

We all fear death as a result of any surgery, that's only normal. But for it to actually happen, is so remote. But I don't think any of us here can fault you for having that fear. I had the same thoughts.

When I finally found this forum, I read as much as I could, I went back to page 1, and it was like an addiction, but I wanted to know as much as I could about everyone.

Take your time, and make the decision that is best for you and your family!!!

Just know that there are many people out here to support you!!!


02-28-2007, 06:08 AM

Welcome to the site. I am 22 and 5 weeks post surgery and I am so glad that I had it done. If you are having a lot of problems with your scoliosis, I would recommend surgery. Of course, you will have to think about how it will affect your family afterwards. I still need a lot of help dressing, bathing etc.

I wilsh you and your family all the best, whatever you decide to do.

Love Karen x

03-01-2007, 12:30 AM
Hi and welcome.
I was 25 when I had my surgery in July last year. My curves went from 66 and 48 degrees to 25 and 18 degrees. I am so happy that I had this surgery and have had an uneventful recovery to this date. I did not suffer too much pain beforehand, however, the look of it was depressing and I was worried about it getting worse when I have children. We are planning on trying for a baby around October when I know for sure my fusion is solid. It was the scariest time of my life and noone should enter into this surgery light heartened. It is a big thing and can often consume us at times. Trudy's death was tragic and saddened all of us very much, however I have heard far more success stories on here and other places. Having young children could be harder, as I have difficulty picking up my 3 month old nephew and getting his pram etc out. Maybe wait until your youngest is walking before entering into such a big life decision as this. All the best,

03-02-2007, 02:44 PM
Thank you everyone for your replies!

That was exactly what I was wanting to know, you guys have all been so helpful. My dilemma was whether it was something that needed to be done sooner rather than later, and also I needed to know how it would effect my family post-surgery.

My husband is active duty infantry and leaves for Iraq in July so obviously I wouldn't be able to attempt it for quite some time. I hadn't realized how strenuous recooperation would be; I guess I could have looked it up online but once I found this forum I was more interested in getting real people's responses who have been through it rather than going by what sites say.

I think I will take the advice about waiting until my baby is born and then seeing a specialist, that seems the most logical thing to do.

Thanks again everyone!

03-04-2007, 02:26 AM
Hi Krikette,

Whatever your decision is will be the right one!!! This forum is a great place to come to for support and information, and what better information can you get, other than first hand experience.

As women, we tend to think of the others around us first. I just want you to know that there are people out here that understand the sacrificies you are making, not only for your family, but for our country and other's as well!!!

This is not a "political" response, only a personal one, but you have all my respect!!! Keep in touch!!!