View Full Version : Dr. Anderson at Rothman

12-28-2007, 10:08 AM
Hi everyone,
I found this Forum a little bit ago and have found so much useful info here! I am hoping that someone might have heard about a Dr. Anderson @ The Rothman Institute in Philly. I have a consultation for surgery appt. with him on 1/8/08. I also just ordered the book by Wolpert that so many of you have recommended. Thanks for any info you can give.

12-28-2007, 10:39 AM
Hi. Welcome to the forum. I think someone on here may have had a surgery done by Dr. Anderson (dawney?). I've been to the Rothman Institute in King of Prussia. I had a really bad experience with one of the pain management doctors a few years ago. I'll be going back soon to see Dr. Albert for a second opinion regarding surgery. I'm currently seeing Dr. Fras at Mainline Health and I'm planning on having surgery done in May.

I just got the Wolpert book in the mail yesterday and I haven't been able to put it down.

Do you live in the Philly area?

Good luck!


12-28-2007, 02:31 PM
Hi Shell,
Dr. Fras was recommended to me but I had to have a Dr. that accepted both my reg insurance and workman's comp since I got hurt at work. My MRIs were sent to Dr. Alberts and he suggested I see Anderson. Yes I live in Levittown so I'll be going to the N.E. office by Nazareth hospital. I hope Anderson is nice, I had a not so great experience with a Dr. at Temple before. He said my lumbar curve had only progressed by 8*, when the lab report said it went from 35* to 55*. I don't know, but my math says that would be a change of 20*...

12-28-2007, 03:17 PM
I hope everything goes well with this doctor. That is quite the increase for your lumbar curve! How many years did it take to progress 20 degrees? My curve has been progressing pretty rapidly in the past 9 years. Have you heard good things about Dr. Fras? I really like him, but I haven't heard of anyone who has had surgery by him. I'm just nervous because this is such a huge surgery.


12-29-2007, 08:29 AM
Glad you found us, and good luck with the doctor search, that's half the battle! It is a huge surgery and a lot of decisions have to be made. But you're never alone here!

01-03-2008, 11:53 AM
Hi Shell,
Just a quick run down on my back...I knew I had scoliosis as a teen, my parents figured I wouldn't wear a brace (they were probably right) so occasionally went to a chiro. Always had pain and over the years it got worse. Back in '96 I had a bad episode and Dr gave me muscle relaxers and Vicodin. Also ordered an MRI showed degeneration of discs @ apex of lumber primarily @ L1-2 and L2-3. No improvement with the meds , so he sent me for scoli. x-rays( done 2/24/97, 50* right thoracic T6 to T11, 35* left lumbar T11 to L4) and to a sports medicine D.O.. That guy told me if my back bothers me I should take a couple of Tylenol, because scoli. doesn't hurt...Thats seems to be a recurring gripe by so many here on this board...So I decided to go back to the chiro., was going 2x a wk with some improvement. He gave me stretches to do at home. After several months though I plateaued and still had quite a bit of pain, I lived with it. Decided to try a different Primary Dr and see what he thought. He sent me to another Specialist who felt that no surgery was necessary and we should do the wait and see thing since I had no x-rays from when I was a teen. Told me to get new x-rays in 2-3 years and come back, which I did. Those films showed rt T curve of 43* and lt L curve of 55*, and more degeneration of L2-3. The radiology tech had literally pushed me into a straighter position saying I needed to "fit in the box" . I asked my Dr if that would effect the measurements and he said no and that there wasn't enough change to warrant surgery. I left in tears thinking that I was going to have to live with pain and being crooked. Well after more than 11 years being in constant pain of one degree or another My back decided to "pop" at work with me ending up barely able to stand. With only one person in the shop at a time and a lot of heavy lifting there is really no such thing as light duty, so I have been out of work since August '07. On W.C. I have had another MRI which showed more degeneration, a Schmorl's node along lt. L2 and narrowing of the rt side of L1-2 and L2-3 (told this couldn't be causing my pain and it just a strain secondary to scoli.) and the x-rays taken were so poor that the reading radiologists didn't/couldn't take measurements (Dr said they were basically useless) he sent me for 8 wks PT. Some improvement but still have radicular pain and tingling in both legs and a lot of pain in lower back and right hip( my hip and ribs pretty much touch), now its been going into upper back and left side of my neck awful shooting pain(feels like someone cracked me with a 2x4) this now is coming with headaches and more often. This Dr said he doesn't do surgery so referred me to DR Fras, who isn't under my WC or reg. insurance . I finally have been referred to Dr Anderson. Maybe I can get help there, at least a readable x-ray might help ;) Boy, I ran on, sorry but thanks for letting me vent...

01-04-2008, 12:56 PM
Hi Sharshe,

It sounds like you've been through a lot with your back!!! How old are you? I can't believe doctors say scoliosis doesn't hurt. To me, just looking at a scoliosis x-ray looks painful. I showed my x-ray to 2 friends the other day and they both said, "That looks really painful."

Are you still going to a chiropractor? I went to one for about 2 months, 3 times a week. It didn't seem to help me and it got really expensive.

I've had some problems with radiologist technicians too. One kept telling me to stand up straight!!!

I'm really sorry you've been through so much with doctors. I've left several doctor's offices crying because none of them seemed to care about the progression or pain. Dr. Fras is the only doctor that has taken me seriously. I'm going back to see him January 23 to talk about my MRI. I had disc degeneration on my last MRI. Dr. Fras said it's normal for people with scoliosis.

Wow! Your ribs and hips almost touch! That must be so painful! My pain is more in my right shoulder blade area. I'm beginning to have more and more rib cage pain on my right side. My doctor said that is likely from my spine continuing to rotate which is also making my rib hump larger. I can't wait for that rib hump to be smaller!

I really hope Dr. Anderson recommends surgery for you. Dr. Fras probably would. It's a shame you can't see him. He doesn't seem to be as conservative as some doctors, but he seems to think that if your curvature is progressing and you are in significant pain, it's better to have the surgery sooner rather than later since you will be more flexible now than you ever will be. I agree with this too.

I really hope your appointment goes well. Because of all the horrible experience I've had with back doctors, I always go in not expecting anything so I won't be upset when I leave. The x-rays I had taken at Rothman turned out really nice, so that shouldn't be a problem.

Good luck! Let me know how it goes!


01-04-2008, 03:03 PM
Hi again Shell,
I hope everything goes well with Dr Fras. It doesn't seem uncommon to have problems trying to find a decent Dr, what a shame. I'm thinking if I don't like how things go with Dr Anderson I'll just have to get pushy about seeing someone else. Though the W.C. thing might make that a little difficult. By your profile it looks like you have had steady progression. I'm so glad you'll be able to have surgery. You'll be able to recuperate during the nice weather when you can take walks outside :p and not having to deal with ice and snow.
BTW I'm 45 and the rib/hip thing is really a bother, I find I am now leaning to my left to take pressure off that side but that just causes more pain on the left side, oh well guess not much I can do about that. I can't lay on my left side more than a few mins. w/o a lot of pain (it like smooshes my rt. side all up). When it 1st started I thought it was actually something wrong with my hip because it goes along the top as well as in the socket, and I have oesteopenia in that femoral neck. Well thankfully my Dexascan said thats improving and the gyn. thinks its my scoli. giving me this pain.
Oh, I got the David Wolpert book I ordered last week. It wasn't supposed to arrive 'til Monday, so now I'll have all weekend to read before my appt. on Tuesday :D I'll come to the appt. with a list of questions.
The problem with the last x-rays was that they were a digital print out and so dark you really couldn't see the spine. I don't understand how the techs can tell you to stand straight when you're there for scoli. I'm glad I'm not the only one thats happened to.
My feelings are the same about surgery, I've lived with the pain long enough and I'm not getting any younger, just get it done and over with, so I can start recovery and get on with my life.
Thanx for listening.

01-08-2008, 01:53 PM
How did your appointment go?

01-08-2008, 03:28 PM
Great! Thanx for asking. They redid x-rays. T 60* and L 58*. He scheduled surgery for next month. Anterior will be done at Nazareth on the 18th that will be I think L1 to Sacrum (my T4/5 is too degenerated). Then on the 22 I'll go to Thomas Jefferson for T4-T12. Weird the 2 hospitals, but were having a hard time getting surgeries scheduled a couple days apart at Jefferson and he didn't want me laying around for a whole week or putting off for months to get a better opening. I'll go home day after surgery and then back for the next one and be in a few days. If a better opening comes up we'll go for it. I'm just so glad that I'm getting somewhere after so many years. Now just have to wait to get insurance approval :o

01-08-2008, 04:28 PM
I'm so glad it went well! Was the doctor nice? Your curves have increased a lot so it's good that you are getting this done and especially so soon! Can he not do the whole surgery all at once because it would take too long? Are you excited? How does the insurance approval work? I'd like to get that out of the way, but I still have 4 months until my surgery.

Thanks for the update. I'm glad things will be better for you soon!

01-08-2008, 07:42 PM
I am SO thrilled that things are finally moving along! The 1st surgery is expected to be about 5-6 hrs. (thats the shorter of the 2) so he prefers 2 separate ones. The insurance is a bit touchy because I was hurt on the job. That means the injury /surgery should be covered under workmans comp. I'm not sure if I understand it all but, basically if I didn't have to do all the repeated heavy lifting at work it wouldn't have happened, even with the scoli. So I need to go through them (and have their approval)but still have back up approval from my regular insurance. Spoke to the w/c guy and he says I should hear in about a week. I'm keeping my fingers crossed. If they decide otherwise then we have a huge deductible/copay, but it will be worth it! I'm glad we're moving along quickly because later in the spring my husbands job will be extremely busy and he'll have less time to help me. Thats one of the reasons for not putting it off longer. Oh, yes Dr Anderson was very nice and while waiting to figure out scheduling I was speaking to an older gentleman and his wife who had Dr Anderson and were VERY happy with him. Everyone at the place was very nice, and didn't hurry me along and had time to answer questions. What a relief. :)

01-11-2008, 10:05 PM
Wow! I didn't realize surgeries took that long! My doctor is expecting mine to be about 5-6 hours. I'm not sure where I'll be fused, but I'm guessing it will be around T6-L1.

I hope everything works out with your insurance. Insurance companies can be such a pain! How long is your husband planning on taking off from work? My husband wants to take off for 3 weeks which sounds like a lot. I'll probably drive him nuts!

Let me know how everything goes with your insurance company.

01-13-2008, 12:48 PM
My husband is planning on taking off for the surgeries and to pick me up. We live in Bucks(n.e. of Philly) but he works down by Darby, so he'll be able to stop in and see me at the hospital. Then we decided the other night to have my mom fly in to help out for a couple of weeks. That makes everybody happy. I should hear the beginning of the week which way we'll have to go with insurance.
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