View Full Version : Success Story. Hang in There

01-06-2009, 01:04 PM

Thought I would help out all those who have just undergone, or will be have Scoliosis Spine Surgery.

My surgery was back in 1991 for a progressive curve measuring about 50 degrees with pain. I had old films that showed it was definately still moving. Now let's go back a little to when my scoliosis was found, and the doctor told my parents that boys don't really have scoliosis so don't worry.

By the time my curves had progressed, it was too late for a brace of any kind (the new doctor said he would have put me in a Milwaukee Brace even a year earlier). The next choice was a posterior spine fusion with 6 months in a plaster body cast.

Well that was enough to scare my parents, and that was all that was said.

I continued having intermittent pain, and spasms in my neck, but a few days rest etc usually took care of it.

When I got married, my wife was not up for me not being able to do some stuff since my back was bothering me so...

Having just got married I chose to have surgery at the age of 26.

After 3 opinions (including Dr. Neuwirth who I DID NOT like) I underwent and Anterior Spine Fusion using my own rib and Zielke instrumentation at NYU.

I will not lie to anyone, it was painful. I was forced to lay flat in bed for 7 days before they came to make the mold formy brace. (Making the mold was interesting too as it was done on the bed.)

The brace arrived the next day, and basically looked like a body cast with buckles.

It took a lot of getting used to, but I was finally sent home with specific instructions. Lay flat. Get up every morning, get dressed, and lay on the couch. No sitting up for more than 15 minutes, and try to walk a little.

Sounds easy, but it wasn't.

Long story short, I was allowed back to work (travelling subways) after 8 weeks, and continued to wear the brace full time for 6 months. (During this time, no driving, and sitting longer than 45 minutes required getting up and moving around).

6 Months I was released and that was it. Come in for follow-up etc, but your good to go.

Well it's been almost 18 years, and no problems. I have been able to go about life without any limitations including lifting the kids, basketball, and working out at the gym.

So keep your head up and don't let your heart be troubled.

Each surgery is different, but there is a light at the end of the tunnel.

43 y/o Male
Surgery @ 26 in 1991
Curve before 50 deg
Curve after 18 deg
3 Kids (1 conceived while in my brace)

01-06-2009, 11:20 PM
Thanks for sharing your positive story. I'm very happy for you. Do you remember what levels were fused during your surgery?

01-07-2009, 03:05 AM
It's great to hear another success story!

01-07-2009, 07:47 AM
That is good to hear. As I go back to the doc next week and anticipate what treatment I will need, it is good to hear a success story.