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dolores a
05-19-2008, 06:43 PM
hi everyone,
This is my first time ever online like this, but I loved this forum and already learned a lot from just reading the "threads". I'll just jump in as I have lots of questions that I believe the doctors just assume I know the answers. I probably was born with scoliosis, at least that is what my mom tells me. Anyway, I am now 54, a spine specialist informed me that I will need spinal fusion -- and my regular ortho told me that if I did not have it done I might end up paralyzed. I was told that I have a 48* lumbar and a 38* thoracic. All of this is still confusing, but I need to know this stuff because it will help me decide whether or not to go ahead with surgery. Has anyone been told they could wind up paralyzed with the degrees that I mentioned above?

debbei
05-19-2008, 07:29 PM
hi everyone,
This is my first time ever online like this, but I loved this forum and already learned a lot from just reading the "threads". I'll just jump in as I have lots of questions that I believe the doctors just assume I know the answers. I probably was born with scoliosis, at least that is what my mom tells me. Anyway, I am now 54, a spine specialist informed me that I will need spinal fusion -- and my regular ortho told me that if I did not have it done I might end up paralyzed. I was told that I have a 48* lumbar and a 38* thoracic. All of this is still confusing, but I need to know this stuff because it will help me decide whether or not to go ahead with surgery. Has anyone been told they could wind up paralyzed with the degrees that I mentioned above?

Hi Dolores,

I am certainly no expert, although I have had scoliosis since I was a teenager. I just want to say that right now, my thorasic curve is 66 degrees and my lumbar is 62 degrees and I am not paralyzed now. I am just starting to have more than minor lower back pains and some thigh pain that is probably originating from my back. I am sure that if I don't have the fusion surgery, eventually I could be paralyzed, but not for quite some time. The Dr. told me that once you are past 50 degrees, the curves usually progress 1 to 1.5 degrees per year.

Did the Dr. say how soon he estimates this would happen? Like I said, I am no expert but it sounds odd to me that he would say that without giving more info.

Good luck,

dolores a
05-19-2008, 07:39 PM
Thanks for responding Debbie,

What the spine doctor said was that I am now at that window where the surgery would be successful, and if I waited until I was 60 or so the bones might not support the surgery -- I think I should call the dr's office and ask for my records so I can read them and maybe understand the situation better. I don't know if this would be reason enough to have surgery now then wait until it progresses more.
Dolores

debbei
05-19-2008, 07:43 PM
The Dr. did tell me that if I wated till I was in or past menopause, the surgery wouldn't be as successful.

It wouldn't hurt to get a few more opinions thought, right? I'm having 3. The first one was such a dope, he doesn't even count in my opinion. :)

Good luck and let us know what you decide.

JamieR
05-19-2008, 07:47 PM
I am not sure about becoming paralized. I think an issue also to consider is effects on your organs scoliosis can have once it gets 70 degrees plus. In addition, it wears and tears on your discs. I am only 27 and already have a disc that will need to be replaced due to stress from the curves. I had a 63 degree curve but I was progressing. That was the major factor in deciding to have surgery. I have been progressing pretty steady over the last eight years so we did decide to do surgery now to avoid a bigger surgery further down the road.

dolores a
05-19-2008, 08:25 PM
I think you are all right, I have been given a few referrals for other opinions, just have to call and make the appointments. It's just great that now I can come on this sight and gain some knowledge and experiences from people who have been there or considering this surgery.
________________________________________
Dolores Age 54

JamieR
05-19-2008, 09:35 PM
This is a great site to come to. I was able to ask questions and allthough everyone's story and experiences are different, it is nice to talk to people who understand what you are going through.

Singer
05-20-2008, 06:45 AM
Hi Delores,

and welcome. Please make sure you see someone who specializes in adult scoliosis. Telling you that you may become paralyzed is irresponsible, in my opinion. Plenty of people have had successful surgery past menopause with curves much bigger than yours (including me), although I don't know what other factors may be involved with your case.

CHRIS WBS
05-20-2008, 09:13 AM
I totally agree with Singer. You need to see an adult scoliosis specialist. And for the record, I have an 80 degree curve and am nowhere near being paralyzed. Just last night I went for a brisk 3-mile walk with no difficulty whatsoever. For a medical professional to make such a ridiculous and irresponsible statement is reprehensible.

Chris

debbei
05-20-2008, 10:20 AM
I totally agree with Singer. You need to see an adult scoliosis specialist. And for the record, I have an 80 degree curve and am nowhere near being paralyzed. Just last night I went for a brisk 3-mile walk with no difficulty whatsoever. For a medical professional to make such a ridiculous and irresponsible statement is reprehensible.

Chris

I agree with Chris. That Dr. sounds about as responsible as Dr. Dumbell who said to me "No one will touch you, you'll progress 1degree per year, come back next year, do you want pain meds?"

Just goes to remind us all that not all doctors are perfect. Some are far from it.

dolores a
05-20-2008, 04:36 PM
good evening everyone, thanks for the feedback.

Actually this is the scenario, I've always known that I had scoliosis, but never knew to what extent because when I went to ortho's complaining of back pain, none of them ever looked at the whole picture, only wanted to give me shots in the back. My last visit to an ortho who happens to be a friend of the family took an x-ray and came in to tell me I have a very serious condition, I thought he was going to tell me I ha MS or something like that. When he told me I had scoli, I reminded him that was what brought me to his office two yrs. ago. I could not believe that this doctor was not even looking over my chart for those two years. This is when I decided to go to a spine surgeon who specializes in adult scoliosis, and this is the doctor who explained that I needed the surgery, and not wait until I am in my sixties. My regular ortho is the one who said if I don't do it, I'll wind up paralyzed. This is also when I started searching the internet for some understanding of all this. I am going to call the spine specialist to see if I can have a copy of my chart.

Thanks