View Full Version : hip pain, who do we see?

04-27-2007, 02:32 PM
Question: What doctor do we see for the hip pain? Our scoliosis doctor is an hour away in Oakland, Dr. James Policy, but I'm not sure about seeing a regular pediatrician, or an orthopedic guy who is not also a scoliosis doctor? Opinions???

My daughter is experiencing pain right over the top of her hip on the left side, which is the rib side that's compressing. We thought it was an injury from running maybe, because its much worse when she completes a race, and yesterday, about a week after it starting hurting, a long thin purple and red bruise emerged. Was just wondering about hip pain. Could this be from a tilt or rotation related issue?

Background: We are facing surgery at this point in our scoliosis journey, our recommendation was received last friday for the first time in three years of treatment. She wore the brace well, did what she had to do with a smile and a great attitude, jammed on track and field and cross country, still bikes, works her butt off academically and it turns out that after all this, there is a 95% chance she is progressing and will continue to progress. The recommendation is based on several factors, including her two positive change x-rays in the thoracic curve (38 to 41, then 41 to 46), her great physical shape, her age, and all that jazz. Don't you feel a little crazed by the endless discussion of statistics and possibilities, I wish it was less "this is what usually happens about this percentage of the time" and more, "you have it, it will get worse, make a choice".

We have a second opinion next week, an appt with the pulmonary folks, and we just wait now.

Her Curve:
Moriah has an s-curve, and she has a very narrow, small rib cage for her height. I think the rotation for her is the challenge, even in the brace with a thoracic curve in the the 30's her lung was compromised and unable to fully inflate. She is 15.5, 18 months post bracing (she had a very long, tight brace, quite high under one arm). Her curves are probably (its a plus or minus thing, I know) 46 degrees thoracic, 34 degrees lumbar(compensatory curve). The vertebrae they are planning to fuse when we give the "go" are the top lumbar vert to T6.

My question is about hip pain, but I would also love to know about asthma. She has had increasing "asthma" (she doesn't wheeze, she just can't seem to get enough osygen, less than half what she should be getting sometimes), and pnuemonia 5 out of the last six years. Can your breathing and the hip pain get better with the surgery?

Karen Ocker
04-27-2007, 03:06 PM
My suggestion would be to see the scoliosis doctor about the hip pain and not involve another doctor not conversant with scoliosis. Why? Because she could have what's called referred pain meaning pain originating somewhere else not where it's felt. An example is leg pain from the lower spine. Nothing wrong with the leg but a problem with the spine. Her hip pain might be from the scoliosis

Breathing issues do occur from scoliosis but usually with large curves > 70 deg but can occur sooner with triple curves- in my case. I did lose lung tissue but my curves were large as a teen 100 deg- and the deformity from that curve could never be removed entirely.

The pulmonologist will be able to differentiate between asthma and restrictive lung disease-which I have from the scoliosis despite excellent results from my revision.

Straightening the spine into a healthier alignment usually helps these problems. The anterior approach(through the chest) involves incisions through the breathing muscles which in turn can scar them and cause residual breathing effects. This was explained by my pulmonologist who was experienced with scoliosis.

This is the reason to intervene early in progressing curves where an anterior approach might not yet be necessary and fewer vertebrae need fusing.

04-27-2007, 03:11 PM
I really appreciate that.

We could see 2 years ago that her one lung was squished, but I think it really is asthma plus the smaller lung thing.

I so appreciate your input! Thank you!!!

- MArtha