View Full Version : New to the forum, needing some help.

12-04-2008, 06:22 PM
Hello everyone,
I have been watching this forum for a couple years. I have seen comfort given, information, and comradery. So here I am.
I was in an accident in 1990 at work, A psychiatric Institute. Playing badminton with my patients in activity therapy. We were running backward full speed for the shuttle cock, we collided and I fell on my tail bone. when I got to the hospital ER they informed me I had scoliosis as well as a severe strain sprain to the whole back. I could not move for six weeks. My friend took me to a chiropractor and he at least got me walking. I started acupuncture and got off of most of the pain pills. 3 weeks later I went back to work full time without restriction. I did hurt after the days end and spent a lot of time in the jacuzzi............1994 at work, a 6 foot 2 inch patient weighing about 180 pounds, fell in the middle of my back hyper-extending it. I was on the dementia unit and he was trying to walk and was falling and I grabbed him and my foot go caught under a recliner and I fell across the chair kind of diagonally with my head towards the floor and front of the far arm of the chair. My lower back was towards the back of the closer arm of the chair. He fell in a sitting position on the middle of my back. Then slid to the floor. Severe strain sprain to the whole back. I have never healed or since then,had a normal activity level.
I have been steadily deteriorating since then. My curves have increased to 60+ degrees on top and 50+ degrees on the bottom and a small 20degree curve towards the tail bone. I have been in court with work comp 2 times. The third time is coming up after a 3 and a half year controversion. I need medical documentation, reports on the fact that scoliosis can be caused by trauma. Does anyone have any I can have a copy of or know of a sight where I can go buy one, with the specific report locations. I read a comment from structural75 about spinal rotation and falls causing scoliosis from a couple years ago and was wondering if there was any more information about this theory?
I have been under several physicians care for this since the 1990 accident and have a very well documented case. For the Dr's. that treat me however, the Attorney Generals office, that is who represents the state, where I worked and the insurance carrier are a pain to deal with and say the documents I have supplied have no references to establish credibility.
I have not worked since the 1994 accident and have have surgery postponed twice. I have 17% disability rating from the first accident. I have a real hard time sitting, standing, walking and just about anything else a person normally does. I can do things for small amounts of time and I do lay down when and where I can as often as I can. I do take pain medication daily.
The reason I don't think I had scoliosis or much of a curve before the accident was because I had never been diagnosed or treated for even a backache. When we were younger my sister had polio and then hepatitis and so we were always at the Dr's office as a family getting tests and being examined. My mother was a nurse and I worked in the health care industry for my whole working life. I had an active life, my father raised quarter horses and we had a store we skied and did all the things people do in winter and summer without any problems. The first mention of the scoliosis was after the compression accident in 1990. In 1990 I was 33 years old.
That is my delima in a rather large nut shell, maybe even a acorn. I would appreciate any help or comments.
Sincerely, useto"B"strait

12-05-2008, 12:52 AM

I assume when you ask about the possibility of trauma causing scoliosis, you're asking in reference to the first accident. I don't recall ever reading about scoliosis caused by trauma, but it seems to me that it could be, but not in the way you're suggesting. Structural scoliosis isn't something that happens overnight. It usually develops over a period of many years. I suspect that trauma could cause soft tissue damage that resulted in a temporary scoliosis, but a good orthopaedist would be able to tell if that was the case. In any event, I just can't imagine how one could prove it without the presence of full spine xrays prior to the trauma.

Why has your surgery been postponed?


12-05-2008, 07:46 AM

Wow, I'm sorry to hear of your travails. That's such a shame that you were hurt on the job.

In re the 1990 ER visit when you were told you have scoliosis, how did they determine that? Was it from a radiograph or just eyeballing your back?

If there is a radiograph from the immediate period of the first accident showing a large enough scoliosis, then I think that rules out trauma-induced scoliosis. If a large scoliosis could result from accidents like that, it would be well documented by now and plenty of folks would "acquire" scoliosis that way if true.

If they just eyeballed it then it must have been large already at the time of the accident. Again, that is consistent with it being preexisting.

So even if you can't prove the trauma induced the scoliosis, you still have pain dating to those accidents and there is going to be a physiological reason for it. I hope you win on this point.

Good luck.

12-05-2008, 11:50 AM
Just thinking about your post some more...

The reason I don't think I had scoliosis or much of a curve before the accident was because I had never been diagnosed or treated for even a backache.

My one daughter's curve got to at least 50* before she had any pain whatsoever. And even then, the pain was where the rotation was putting too much tension on certain muscles, not anything associated with a disc or nerve problem to my knowledge. And my other daughter is at least at a 40* at the moment and has never had any pain, muscular or nerve or whatever, in her back.

Also, I think you will find plenty of testimonials here where other folks have a large curve and no pain. I think this is how surgeons can claim that scoliosis, per se, does not cause pain. That is not to say that scoliosis CAN'T cause pain. Also, as far as I know, the pain of disc/nerve problems in folks without scoliosis is identical to that in folks with scoliosis. If that is true then surgeons clearly have lots of ground to stand on when they say scoliosis per se doesn't cause pain (absent some disc/nerve issue). I don't think it's just semantics.

The bottom line is that you obviously have a back injury that is dogging you still. Hopefully, you can get a diagnosis as to what that injury was. The scoliosis appears to be a red herring at this point and mention of it in light of the absence of any medical proof that trauma can cause a large scoliosis might delay your otherwise deserved compensation.

Again, good luck.

12-06-2008, 07:40 PM
I was x rayed after the first accident and was told I had scoliosis. The Dr said that had I not had some curve I most likely would of sustained several compression fractures. The diagnosis at the time was Scoliosis with severe stain sprain. After the second accident I was again diagnosed with a severe strain sprain of the whole back. Their was no significant change in the scoliosis at that time. At the time of the second accident I had not recovered from the first. I had a 17% disability and was still being treated. As the muscles deteriorated the curves went crazy. The pain went crazy. I do have very good documentation of the accidents and the progression of my case. That is why I have won twice, but you never know what will happen the third time around. There are no x rays of my back prior to the 1990 accident. I almost wish there were because then we would know what the compression did for sure. At the same time I'm glad I had 33 years pain free. There is no law that says you can't work if you have scoliosis. They have tried to blame it all on the scoliosis saying the accidents have healed. We will seeeeeeeeeeee! If anything comes up please keep me in mind.
Thanks again,

12-06-2008, 07:54 PM
The surgeries were postponed when we would request them. The insurance carrier would send me for a second opinion from of course one of their Dr's. After the report came in I would be controverted. My spine surgeon says that the surgery is to try to reduce the constant pain. That the pain was in sighted by the accident to the scoliosis the scoliosis was not painful obviously prior to the accidents. The way to try to resolve the pain is to straighten the scoliosis as much as possible. Basically they are fighting the treatment for the pain relief stating that the progression of the scoliosis is the culprit. My Dr. says the damage to the muscles and their inability to heal have contributed to the curvature. However you can not prove or disprove it any way. That is why a report on trauma and scoliosis would be so helpful.
Thanks useto"B"strait

12-22-2008, 06:43 PM

It's been awhile since I've been around these parts, but in response to your request here's my two cents.

Although I do believe that a scoliotic curvature (lateral bend and rotation of the spine) can be induced or prompted by an accident, it doesn't sound as though that is the case with yours. Those that develop from trauma are difficult to objectively quantify because typically most people do not get x-rays of their spine prior to an injury, pain or problem. Therefore it's tough to say whether it was present to begin with but simply asymptomatic. Also, when we talk about inducing a scoliosis from trauma it doesn't mean that one second your spine is straight and the next second you have a 20 or 30 degree curve. Rather, the injury sustained to the spine, pelvis or legs will create compensatory responses in the body's attempt to adapt and manage the injury in question. For instance, maybe a soft herniation develops on the posterior left side of L3/L4 disc. To adapt and minimize the pressure on the inflamed disc and avoid further protrusion of the herniation, one might develop a lean/bend to the right (accompanied by an inevitable rotation to the left usually, as they are always coupled together). Over time this compensation will cause bone deformation as the cells within the bone break down and build according to the change in forces acting on them. So what starts as an injury with postural compensations, develops into a structural and progressively worsening scoliosis. Or ideopathic non-structural, but progressive and debilitating none-the-less.

I don't feel that you could have developed a curve of such significance, if at all, immediately following the accident. So my guess would be that it was pre-existing and therefore left your spine more susceptible to complications from injury, or severity of injury.

Scoliosis can clearly exist without painful symptoms present. However I disagree with the ideological method of thinking that prevails from Drs. stating that scoliosis does not cause pain. Yes, the same types of conditions (herniations, stenosis, degenerative disc disease, etc.) can present in non-scoliotic spines, but they still have a cause for occurrence. So scoliosis can be the cause of pain or conditions that end up causing pain such as a stenosis. Not to mention the physiologic load on the soft tissues that scoliosis imparts... It is far greater than in a neutral, non-curved spine. Remember, scoliosis is merely a description of the spatial positioning of the spine. With that positioning comes a variety of conditions and circumstances that develop as a result, which may lead to the presentation of pain generating scenarios... Just like a 'straight' spine is not painful in and of itself until decompensating factors induce specific or non-specific pain generation.

I don't know of any studies showing what you're looking for... but that's not to say it doesn't exist. I still think you should have a case as the accidents took place at work and clearly brought about a dysfunctional state for you. I don't even see the need to bring the scoliosis into question given that even someone without a scoliosis would have been injured by such scenarios. It happens everyday to non-scoliotic people too.

Hope some of that is useful, although it seems like much of it has been said before. All the best to you.