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corinne729
03-12-2007, 12:06 AM
hey everyone, i'm new here & let me first tell you how it's really great to know i'm not alone here and can actually get some answers from people who have been in similar situations, so thanx to all of you, you all seem like a bunch of sweethearts.
anyways, i'm corinne, i'm 16 at the moment but have had scoliosis since i was about 11, 12 years old. i wore a brace for about a year & then just called it quits because of puberty, embarrassment, & just the whole fact that it was frustrating to be confined with the whole contraption that was the brace lol i pretty much threw it in my closet & told my mom there was no way she could get me to wear it, let alone for 23 hours. after that i went to a chiropractor until last June after getting x-rays & seeing that it really wasn't improving my curves- which are now in the 30s. now i have intense back pains & am strongly contemplating getting a back brace in august to wear throughout senior year [although i'm not sure if that will make a difference or not - will it?] or having surgery next summer. however, i cannot seem to find a definite time for recovery- it seems to range but all i'm really looking for is rough estimate. i intend to be at college in august along with my classmates & i get out of school in early June of senior year. i'm wondering if it will be possible to get the surgery & still attend classes in august or if i will have to hold off college until spring of 09 due to recovery?
also, i'm wondering if the brace is even worth it & if i should plan on getting that as opposed to the surgery.
&, will the surgery only decrease my 30+ curves or get rid of them entirely?
any more info about the surgery or any of your experiences with the brace, recovery, etc. that will help me make the right decision are most welcome=]

sorry that it's so long btw=]

The Slice
03-12-2007, 07:12 AM
At 16, it's very probable that you are past all of the rapid growth of adolescents (unless you started it VERY late). With that said, it's not likely that a brace will be of any significant help at this point. I can't answer your questions about recovery time as everyone is different and some are more motivated than others to get back into regular routines sooner. Now, if you are conemplating surgery, there are alot of things to contemplate about when is the best time to do it. Your curves being in the 30's, it may be tough to get a specialist to go for surgery - but NOT impossible. Maybe the answer (if you can get scheduled in time) is to have the surgery THIS summer, going into your senior year. You may lose some activity in the beginning of the year, but you shoul be able to ge back into the swing pretty quickly. The biggest thing here is asking the specialist to refer you to rehab for exercises BEFORE surgery that may improve the surgery results, and help your recovery time.

Christina_in_NC
03-15-2007, 12:47 PM
Our experience with surgery recovery - was a 4 day hospital stay and at 3 weeks post-op my daughter is going to classes again and church - she takes a pillow to make sitting in chairs more comfortable. This seems to be a quick recovery compared to others on the boards - but in our surgeon's practice it seems to be the norm - some recover even faster if they are athletic.

According to our surgeon - the longer you had the curves, the less correction you will get. They seem to set themselves in place. At 16 you'd get a better correction than at 36.

Also, when you are done growing and the curves seem to stabilize, you should still get monitored. Our surgeon recommended about every 5 years to x-ray for me. Curves can still change in adulthood. He does lots of adult scoliosis operations (just did one on a neighbor who was 86).

My guess is at 30* if you are done growing you will be at the monitoring stage. But if you have a lot of pain and chiropractor has not helped it would be worth seeing a good surgeon.

A User Is Me
03-15-2007, 01:24 PM
Thanks again for your info. I think it will help me great deal on deciding the surgery by viewing the video. I was also very concerned about those screws might cause trouble later on and voiced that issue too. Are there any discomfort or irritation around the surgical area? What I am thinking is being thin might contribute more on irritation. Can you feel and see the rod(s) with bare eyes? He told me that those screws are hidden under the muscle and it shouldn't be too much issue with being thin. My son is 5 ft 5 and barely over 90 lbs. She did not have to stay in ICU right? Thanks. Erin

Christina_in_NC
03-15-2007, 10:24 PM
Well, I am not yet sure if you can feel anything as it is still too soon for her to want anyone to touch her back. As far under as everything is it is hard to imagine you could feel it very easily.
Right now (3 weeks post op) her main complaint is itching - and some of that is due to the skin knitting back together. It is very slightly swollen right at the incision, but nothing that shouldn't go away very soon.
Supposedly - anecdotally at least - being thin does put you at higher risk for some of that irritation, but the surgeon dod not think it very likely in any case. He also does things so very different from many other doctors that many things seem to be less traumatic with his procedure.

She did not stay in ICU. That was the beauty of being over 80lb ( and boy did we work hard for that!) - no ICU and parents could stay with the child 24/7 - and I did. Both my dh and I stayed overnight - they have a single bed and a recliner in addition to the hospital bed. Not the best sleep we ever had...