View Full Version : Some questions

03-21-2007, 07:25 PM
Hi. This is my first time posting. I have some questions about the possbility of surgery. I am 25 years old and was diagnosed with scoliosis at age 9. I wore a brace for about 1.5 years and after that surgery was recommended. However, my parents got second opinions and opted for me to not have the surgery. Since that time I have not done much in terms of treatment.

I have minimal pain so that is not too much of an issue. However, the appearance of it affects me greatly. My self-confidence is rather low due to this. I am very short (around 5 feet) so with the loss of height and the hump I feel very conscious about the way I look.

Further my grandmother who has scoliosis has a very large curve and has a hunchback. I do not want that to happen to me and have recently been looking into my options. I have always been led to believe that having surgery as an adult was highly unheard of but this forum has shown me that is not the case. However I do know that there are many pros and cons to the surgery and I am wondering do the pros outweigh the cons? Is the surgery safe?

I am also worried because I have completed graduate school about a year and a half ago and am in the start of my career and do not have opportunity to not work for several months. Is it possible to return to work soon after surgery?

Any guidance with this would be greatly appreciated. I'm sorry that this post was so long.

03-21-2007, 08:35 PM
Like yourself, I was diagnosed when I was younger (15) and wore a brace for 3 years. My parents always opted against surgery. Throughout my 20's, my curves progressed and I had increased pain, but I just figured I would never have the surgery. I also hated how I looked, especially in bathing suits, but eventually pain and rapid curve progression was the catalyst for having my surgery. Nobody wants to have surgery really, but you have to weigh the pros and cons...is your curve progessing? What is your curve now? At least you're not in pain. In my case, what helped me decide about having surgery was I tracked my curve for about 2 years, and it was just progesssing each year, and I was convinced it would not stop and I would have ended up disabled later on in life.

I would research surgeons in your area and go to a few and get 2 or 3 opinions. I know there is a directory where you can look up surgeons...I think Linda Racine (forum moderator) has that link...hopefully she will reply...
Good luck! I know it's really a difficult decision...

03-21-2007, 11:35 PM
you can find a list of surgeons through the scoliosis research society website at http://www.srs.org/locator

03-22-2007, 09:28 AM
Welcome to the forum! I was also diagnosed with scoliosis when I was younger, braced for 3 years, and my parents opted out of surgery. Now I am having surgery on June 5th - the main reason for having surgery is that I am in A LOT of pain and my curve is still progressing. I think many people on this forum would say the number one reason for surgery is the pain. I would urge you to see a surgeon and monitor it.

Best of luck,

03-22-2007, 01:06 PM
Thank you for responding to me. I am not completely sure what my curve currently is as I have not gone to a doctor about it for years, but the last time an x-ray was done the cruve was in the 40s. I am worried that over time it will progress and I will be beyond the point of surgery. It may have progressed as I seem to be getting shorter and shorter. It was recommended to me that I see an orthopedic surgeon by the physician at the hospital where I work. I just started a new job so my benefits do not start until May. In May I plan to line up appointments with several surgeons. I live in NJ, close to NYC, and my research so far has shown that there seem to be several respected physicians in this area. Hopefully the surgeon can give me more of an idea of what course of treatment to use.

It does make me nervous thinking about having such a major surgery and have been hesitant because of this. In reading everyone's posts it seems that with an experienced surgeon the procedure is safe and worth it.