View Full Version : Left Thoracic Scoliosis Questions

03-21-2007, 08:52 PM
Hi every one!

I have a few questions. On March 15, 2007, I was diagnosed with a 13 degree left thoracic spinal curve. I am 16 years old. Also, they do not know what caused it. I am awaiting a call from the specialist, must take x-rays every 3 months, and already booked some slots for physiotherapy.

So, for my questions:

1. I read this quote on many different websites, and I would like to know if it is true.

- left thoracic curvatures are uncommon (1-2% of curves)
- associated conditions: (33 % of patients)
- occult syrinx;
- treatment of the scoliosis without recognition of syringomyelia and
Chiari malformation can lead to paraplegia;
- Arnold-Chiari
- spinal cord tumor;
- neuromuscular disorder;
- MRI is usually indicated;
2. At the moment, I wish to be a nurse, is this possible? Should I look into a different option, or just go for it and see what happens?
3. Should I be worried about my scoliosis? Especially since it is a left thoracic?
4. Pain. My back is hurting so badly, especially when I lay down or sit down. Nothing seems to work, bath's don't work, cold doesn't work, resting doesn't work, Tylenol doesn't work, nothing. Any suggestions for me?

Thank you so much for all your replies,

Justine :)

03-22-2007, 12:52 AM
Hi Justine...

Yes, left thoracic curves are relatively rare.

I would encourage you to consider a career other than nursing. Nursing does have a lot of options, but if you already have pain, nursing school could be really difficult.


03-22-2007, 12:31 PM
Hi Justine,

I say follow your hearts passion.. If you want to go into nursing, go for it. Don't let a 13 degree curve take command of your life. There are many options for treating the pain you have, and you won't know what's effective until you try them. I don't think it's necessary at this point to eliminate your career options.

Best of luck.

green m&m
03-22-2007, 04:03 PM
Hi Justine,

My major curve is a left thoracic curve. Hasn't stopped me from doing anything in life, and don't see it causing major problems down the road either.

I know the cause of my scoliosis... It is related to a neurological genetic disorder - neurofibromatosis type 1. The type of curve I have is called dyplastic (or dystrophic... I've seen both terms in use) scoliosis... which involves 6 or fewer vertebra... wedged vertebra and bunch of other stuff.

13 degrees isn't too bad :)

03-22-2007, 05:33 PM
My thoracic curve is left-sided as well (and my lumbar curve goes to the right) - I had infantile idiopathic scoliosis though, and I believe lefthanded thoracic curves are slightly more common in that. I have no other problems apart from the scoliosis :D

I'm really sorry to hear that you're in so much pain with a relatively minor curve....it often seems to happen like that, that smaller curves can really hurt some people, whilst other people have large curves but no pain. I do hope you find a way to relieve the pain, it's very unfair that you're suffering so badly with it!

Karen Ocker
03-22-2007, 08:22 PM
I became a registered nurse in 1963 and later a certified registered nurse-anesthetist---all with scoliosis.

In 1956 I had my original scoliosis surgery for a 100deg thoracic curve, in 2 stages, three casts and a year in bed. It was all they had those days. Two nursing schools did not accept me despite top marks thinking I could not do the work AND my spine surgeon wrote permission. The third and best school accepted me; two medical staff members had scoliosis.

I was able to do the hardest work as a floor nurse-EVEN DOUBLE SHIFTS and I never missed a day because of my back which was fused then T-4 to L-2. My back never really hurt those years; I got tired like everyone else. I later went into anesthesia and now stand all day--never a problem. By my fifties I lost the correction because there was no hardware to support it so I had a revision 4 1/2 years ago. Guess what? I am still working at the job I love. I went back to school, while working full time and got a graduate degree. All with scoliosis. And I am not the only one.

My suggestion; have your back evaluated by a scoliosis expert. If syringomelia is the issue then it must be addressed properly.

Go for it, girl!

03-22-2007, 11:06 PM

Good for you. I like hearing those kind of stories. What type of nursing?

03-23-2007, 08:46 AM
Karen, what a fantastic story, that's really inspirational! I love to hear stories like this too :D

Karen Ocker
03-23-2007, 06:05 PM
I am a certified registered nurse-anesthetist. I work almost every day as a per-diem. I do want to cut back a little because I will be 65 in May.
My husband is retired and wants more of my company.

03-23-2007, 06:50 PM
Karen, you ARE a pistol!!! ;)

03-24-2007, 08:51 AM

Good for you. I have nothing but admiration for nurses. Most of my kids' friends' Moms are nurses. I guess it was that generation that mostly went into nursing are teaching. We are all in our 40's. God bless you and all you do.

03-24-2007, 10:47 AM

Your story is more than inspirational! Thank you for sharing it! You go girl!

04-20-2007, 11:39 PM

Don't let your scoliosis prevent you from what you want to do!! Just make sure you are going to an orthopaedic surgeon that specializes in scoliosis and that you have an MRI to rule out anything else... I have a 42 degree right thoracic curve and a 32 degree left lumabr curve, and I am on my way to medical school. Currently I am a nursing assistant at a hospital and it hasn't been a problem. I just have to make sure that when I am lifting people I raise the bed up a lot because I am really tall. You can be a nurse if you want to, you have all the support in the world here and if you have pain there are always ways to manage it.