View Full Version : Tilted!

12-12-2007, 03:54 PM
Hi everyone,

I had surgery about 10 days ago, and now I'm finding I'm tilting to the left. I can correct it myself, just by looking in the mirror and shifting my shoulders back to center. I'm assuming that this is caused by my muscles; they worked hard for 10 years to make me look centered when I wasn't, and now that I am they're pushing me off balance. Is this a fair assumption? Will it correct itself over time and with PT?


12-12-2007, 05:22 PM
When I was tilted, i made a conscious effort not to be, by just what you said, look in the mirror and correct yourself. It is a matter of proprioception, it will take awhile to "re-teach" where straight is.

I'm sure I'll be tilted again soon! good luck, hope you don't look like the leaning tower of piza for too long! :)

12-12-2007, 08:26 PM
I think (hope) it's normal to tilt after this surgery. My son had surgery five months ago & he still looks a little tilted but it does seem to be improving. His right shoulder is higher than his left & he leans more on his left hip. He also leans forward & tends to look downward instead of straight across. His shoulders lean in/forward & I find myself often telling him to stand up straight, roll his shoulders up & back, stick out his chest, stand evenly on both legs... This only seems to help him for a minute or two & then he goes back to the way he was standing before I said it. I don't know if I should leave him alone about it but as his mother I want his muscles to heal properly around his fusion & for him to not have future pain as a result of poor posture.
I think awareness of his posture may help him?

The Dr. & nurses say that his muscles need to readjust to his new spinal alignment & that it will keep improving. The Dr. also said that physical therapy isn't necessary but I'm not sure I agree. He recommended that Alexander go swimming 4-5 times/week so we've been going before school & it does seem to help his strength & posture. He was able to go swimming after only one month post-op but it felt too uncomfortable to him until about 3 months post-op. It's probably too soon for you to even consider it yet but in a few months, when you're given the okay to swim, I'd highly recommend it.

I think it's good that you look in the mirror to correct your posture & help realign yourself to a straighter posture. My son isn't very self-aware in this regard. He doesn't seem to think about how he's holding his body at all - hence my reminders since it is obvious to others that his posture isn't even comfortable looking or good for him in the long run.

The surgeon told us that he was involved in a study of balance including people with or without scoliosis. The people with scoliosis were found to have a different center of gravity & balance & to feel straight when they weren't; they had to be taught how to be straight via balance exercises.

I'm sure your tilt will improve with time. It sounds like your recovery is going really well.

Take care,

12-12-2007, 08:43 PM
I lean to one side as well. It really showed on the 6 week xrays. There is just over an inch difference and like you I noticed it right away. My doctor said to walk as much as possible and he told me to get a shoe lift to help me keep as straight as possible while walking. Hopefully the muscles will pull things back to normal as it heals.

12-13-2007, 06:51 AM
The physical therapist told my daughter to stand in front of a mirror to see how it feels to stand straight and work on trying to stand that way. It took her about a month to get used to standing straight. You do have to retrain the muscles.

12-13-2007, 01:25 PM
I don't know what to tell you, because I've had the same experience, so I'm interested to see what responses you get.

When I had my follow-up x-rays just 2 weeks ago (so almost 4 months post-op), they showed that my right clavicle is noticably lower than my left, and therefore my right shoulder is noticably lower than my left. I don't know how much of this is related to muscles, and how much is structural. Don't know if that makes sense, but what I'm trying to say is I wonder how much of this is "adjustable" via physical therapy, and how much might be permanent.

12-13-2007, 05:40 PM
hello dear-

I find that my tilt is improving as time goes on and i don't walk as stiffly, as I near the 6 month mark. Shortly after surgery, I felt like I was carrying a tall stack of dominoes as I walked, like I was trying to keep them from toppling over. Rather awkward, as you get adjusted to holding yourself up differently. I bet you improve quite nicely! And don't be surprised if you find yourself thinking the curve is coming back. I asked my husband several times to check it. I can't explain it, except that maybe I had forgotten how bad it was before surgery.
Oh, the strange things we go through!!! best wishes to all of you that just had surgeries, keep posting and we'll get you through it.

12-14-2007, 06:38 PM
Well, I'm glad that the tilting does seem to be normal. From what you all seem to be saying, I will need to continue to encourage my son to be aware of his shoulders & body & to practice standing as straight as possible.


12-14-2007, 07:42 PM
I posted a pic up above - it's pretty grainy after trying to reduce it to less than 100 KB (!), but you can still see what I'm talking about. This is an x-ray of me standing up, as straight as I can, and yet my right clavicle (on the left in the x-ray) is noticeably lower.

I should point out, though, that I had pretty major rotation along with my curvature, and so a large rib hump - my doctor's op notes stated that they applied 80 lbs. of pressure and de-rotated my spine by about 100 degrees. So that might make my situation a little different than others'.

12-14-2007, 09:17 PM

I think my situation might be different because, if I look in the mirror, I can align my hips and my shoulders so that I am standing straight... that makes me think it's muscular?

Post-op is Tuesday... so hopefully I'll learn more then...