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asccbodypro
01-21-2009, 08:30 PM
Hi to all,

My name is Susan and I am 36 years old and having surgery soon to correct a 50*lumbar curve with a 5 centimeter shift of the plumb line. I was diagnosed @ age 10 and wore the boston brace from age 12 to 14. The doctors had told my parents if I didn't have surgery I would have problems later in life.....well they right. I have been having serious problems the past five years. Constant pain(nerve and muscle), migraines because my head is not straight, all the discs in my lumbar region have herniated due to the rotation of my spine. I go back and forth everyday wondering if I am making the right choice to have surgery. I have three boys ages 14, 9, and 11 months(we were trying for a girl but got blessed with another boy:). I knew planning the third pregnancy would be a huge stress on my back but it was so very worth it. I will have plenty of help during the recovery process but am concerned with the outcome. I would love to hear how everyone feels now that they have had surgery. Are you glad? Would you do it again? Was it worth all the pain? I use to be a personal trainer and competed in bodybuilding. I feel like a shadow of the person I used to be. I just want to get my life back! I would appreciate any input! Thanks so much !

loves to skate
01-21-2009, 09:04 PM
I would have it done again in a heartbeat. I am almost 69 years old and was back to roller-skating at 10 months post-op. I have my life back.:) It isn't perfect because I still have some pain, but nothing like it was. Sally

asccbodypro
01-21-2009, 09:09 PM
Loves to skate,

Thank you for your reply! I have been reading through many of the posting throughout this message board and I'm seeing some very good stories that are building my confidence! :)

sccrm08
01-21-2009, 09:46 PM
I am very glad I had the surgery.

titaniumed
01-21-2009, 11:03 PM
Hi Susan,

Welcome. Do you have any idea what levels they will fuse? Will it be an A/P or posterior only?

I'm doing well at 1 year post and pain free! Its a long recovery you know. You are 14 years younger than me, which is advantageous, and being in shape helps out.

Do you have a surgery date? or mulling it over? Mulling it over is ok, it took me 34 years.Were all chickens you know, and were also some of the bravest people on the planet. I also had 4 herniated discs and suffered with sciatica for a few years. I was due.

Sometimes we get to the point where we really do not have a choice. Its also THE most important decision of your life.

Reading and posting here will give you some valuable insight.

Ed

asccbodypro
01-22-2009, 06:44 AM
Titaniumed,

First...love the screen name:) Thank you for responding. I must say I wish I had joined this forum along time ago. It's nice to communicate with people who are going through the same situation. Most people really have no idea what problems scoliosis really can cause.

The doctor wants to fuse from T3-L5. Even though my curve is a lumbar curve, when they took bending ex-rays I guess they could see the structural curve in the thoracic area. I wasn't surprised because when I was a child I had a "S" curve. I can't quite remember what the measurements where but 48*/68* seem to stick in my mind. The doctor said if he doesn't fuse all the way to T3 than I will be leaning to the right. Can't have that! My next appt. is January 27. This is when we will plan the actual date for surgery and start taking care of pre-opp necessities.

My biggest concern is that I have military insurance. If I choose to go to a civilian doc and the surgery doesn't go well the military docs will never touch me. However, we live near Portsmouth Naval Medical Center,VA, and the doctor that I have been seeing really seems to have all the qualifications that one would want in a doctor and I really like him. This particular hospital, although it is military, is suppose to be the best in this area.:)

Well, I gues I have rambled on far to long lol.......it's endless! Take care

Susan

titaniumed
01-22-2009, 08:10 PM
Susan

Thx on admiring my name selection. I thought it was appropriate since they used to call me "the man of steel" back in the day. Not due to my herculean body, (LOL) but due to being in the metals related industry.

And in talking about my herculean body,(LOL again) that reminds me of the days when I used to pump iron. Of course that was some time ago, but I had no problems getting "pumped up" and I'm sure you know what I mean. Being a pretty serious skier for 47 years also had a lot to do with it. When I was 25, my legs and abs were steel.

Lifting weights with scoliosis is a very tricky thing you know. You can build up back muscles and have a pronounced imbalance, and create problems. I found as I became older that it affected me more, and became very hesitant to overdo it. Moderate exercises seem to make more sense rather than trying to become "Fabio's twin" LMAO Notice I do not mention "Arnolds twin" which would be Danny Devitio.

Good luck with the Doc, let us know what he says
Ed

debbei
01-22-2009, 08:32 PM
Welcome Susan.

I'm 3 months post-op, and I am glad that I had the surgery. I am feeling better and better ever day, except for the times I think I feel so good that I over-do it.

If you're having that much pain, it sounds like the right decision. The pain didn't get too bad for me until the last year prior to surgery. It's different with everyone.

Good luck with the decision on the doctor. Has this military doctor performed this surgery on many people? Or does he do other orthopedic work? It's best to get a specialist who just works on spines and isn't distracted by other body parts :)

JamieR
01-22-2009, 09:09 PM
I am getting close to a year post op and I am glad I had the surgery now versus later. I had a great surgeon and I recovered fast and things are good. I still have some pain sometimes but it was worth it. The only thing I am disappointed in is that most of the middle of my back is still numb so I can't enjoy a good back scratch like I used to. Other than that, no complaints.

asccbodypro
01-23-2009, 01:07 PM
Thanks for all your replies. My confidence has certainly gone up in the past few days after reading through this forum and corresponding with you all. There are somethings you just need to hear from someone who has gone through this operation rather than from the doc!

My son plays travel hockey and this weekend we have games in N.C. 4 hours away.....which is NEVER good on the back and tail bone. Does anyone else has a lot of pain in their tail bone if they sit for to long? One time we came home from a four day tournament and I couldn't even walk because of the long car ride and sitting on the bleachers at the rink put my tail bone completely out of place. It took my chiropractor awhile to fix that one. I told him today I had decided on surgery. He understood although he would rather see me stick it out a little bit longer(I have been with him for almost a year 3 days/week). I have decided I am soooo done with all of this and reading all your stories lets me know that I can be strong and do it to. Thanks so much to you all. So by next Tuesday things will be in motion! My doc said he needed at least 6 weeks notice to schedule the ER for the day so hopefully they will be able to give me a date.

asccbodypro
01-23-2009, 01:13 PM
I am getting close to a year post op and I am glad I had the surgery now versus later. I had a great surgeon and I recovered fast and things are good. I still have some pain sometimes but it was worth it. The only thing I am disappointed in is that most of the middle of my back is still numb so I can't enjoy a good back scratch like I used to. Other than that, no complaints.

Jamie,

Congrats on the baby! Planning my third was tough on my back but he is wonderful! I had a really tough delivery and ended up with a c-section. Come to find out it was due to the scoliosis and he wasn't placed over the birth canal as he should have been. But all turned out well in the end! It's been a long road trying to return to normal. I started with the chiropractor 6 weeks after delivery. I could hardly walk by myself let alone with the baby. I thank god everyday for my husband! He is so awesome and so are my older sons. they are a great help! Take care and good luck!

asccbodypro
01-23-2009, 01:46 PM
Welcome Susan.

I'm 3 months post-op, and I am glad that I had the surgery. I am feeling better and better ever day, except for the times I think I feel so good that I over-do it.

If you're having that much pain, it sounds like the right decision. The pain didn't get too bad for me until the last year prior to surgery. It's different with everyone.

Good luck with the decision on the doctor. Has this military doctor performed this surgery on many people? Or does he do other orthopedic work? It's best to get a specialist who just works on spines and isn't distracted by other body parts :)

Debbie,

You had asked if my military doc had done scoliosis surgery before and to answer your question, he has. It's mostly what he does. He is the chief of orthopedic surgery and is also a neurosurgeon. He has done his fellowship in spinal deformities. I've had 3 appointments with him and I can promise you I went in well informed and full of questions. He was very impressed with the level of questions I had for him. What I needed at this point was to hear from those who had gone through it. I wish I had joined this months ago. I think I could have saved myself a lot of stress:) You had mentioned that you feel good until you over do:) That will be me.....I have a hard time stepping back and letting my husband handle everything. I am afraid that he really isn't understanding yet of how hard this will be. We will have help from family, but he tends to get stressed easy. I'm sure we'll get through it OK though. Hope your recovery continues to go smoothly:) Take care.

Susan

debbei
01-23-2009, 04:05 PM
Susan,

it sounds like you've got the right doctor then.

As far as stepping back and 'relinquishing control' to husband & family is very hard, especially for us take-control types. But it will be ok. I remember one day my husband and mom were cooking a big dinner (something I usually made), and I sat there at the dining room table giving them direction. My husband joked that I wasn't in charge, he was, and I told him that I was the foreman. :) Sometimes we like things done our own way....

It will be ok, you'll get used to it and before you know it be doing things on your own.

One other thing, before your surgery, have your husband read some of the posts here so he can know what he can expect. I remember that I posted questions prior to surgery so my husband could read the responses and know what to expect. I didn't want him feeling frustrated with me, having unrealistic expectations.

Susie*Bee
01-23-2009, 05:04 PM
Susan-- just a quick response to your tailbone question... yes, I have had tailbone problems, although not recently. I even thought maybe my ortho would tell me mine was too long or had some other problem, but he never did. It bothered me prior to surgery and also after... and he suggested getting one of those pillows to sit on. I bought a coccyx cushion that I use when I'm sitting on the couch in the evenings and that has been enough to do the trick for me. It's not the same as a doughnut type pillow. It has a wedge cut out at the back of the pillow. I think just that much less pressure has done me worlds of good. I got mine at one of those health aids stores-- CVS or Walgreens have those-- with some health specialty items like reachers, wheelchair supplies, you name it. Best wishes. I KNOW that can really hurt!!! :eek:

asccbodypro
01-23-2009, 10:14 PM
Susan-- just a quick response to your tail bone question... yes, I have had tail bone problems, although not recently. I even thought maybe my ortho would tell me mine was too long or had some other problem, but he never did. It bothered me prior to surgery and also after... and he suggested getting one of those pillows to sit on. I bought a coccyx cushion that I use when I'm sitting on the couch in the evenings and that has been enough to do the trick for me. It's not the same as a doughnut type pillow. It has a wedge cut out at the back of the pillow. I think just that much less pressure has done me worlds of good. I got mine at one of those health aids stores-- CVS or Walgreens have those-- with some health specialty items like reachers, wheelchair supplies, you name it. Best wishes. I KNOW that can really hurt!!! :eek:


Thank you, I will definitely look for a pillow. I never had this problem until we started spending so much time in the ice rink with my son playing hockey. That's where I need it the most. I was looking at your ex-ray pics and I must say wow! I am keeping my fingers crossed that I can get a good correction but was told I had a very stiff curve so I don't want to get my hopes up. As long as I can get rid of the pain I should be happy with that. Lets face it though we are all a little vain! I want to be as straight as I can be if I am going to go through all this lol! Take care....

Susan