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View Full Version : Possibly going to have surgery..



curvycakes
02-17-2009, 01:48 PM
Hi everyone. I am posting on the Surgical part of the forum because I'm thinking of having surgery to correct my curves. A little background--I found out I had scoliosis when I was 11 at 13,57,and 30-something degrees, was advised to have surgery by at least two surgeons, but instead, I opted for the Copes brace. When that did not work, I tried the Clear Institute Program. I believe that the latter method works, but it just wasn't useful for my curvature. I believe that now my curves are probably the same, maybe a bit higher, but I am interested in having the surgery. I'll be 20 this year and I am a sophomore in college. The main concern I have is WHEN to schedule the surgery...I really don't want to lose a year of school. However, I don't want my curvatures to get worse, making the surgery even harder to undergo. Also, I plan on going to China from mid-May to early-June. So, even if I did have surgery this year, it would probably be right after I return from China..in mid or late June, leaving all of July and most of August for recovery. Is returning to school at the end of August an absurd thought? Keep in mind that I go to a residential college away from home. Another thing I'm worried about is how I will look after surgery. I've heard from various chiropractors that my body compensates for my curves quite well, and it's somewhat hard to tell I have a rib hump, although it is definitely there. I like the way my body looks though. In fact, I am more interested in having the surgery because I'm concerned about the long-term health effects of the curve rather than the actual deformity. Will my whole body look different afterwards, or just my back? This might sound miniscule compared to the other effects of the surgery, but I'm worried that I'll look STIFF or way too straight. I'm totally clueless on what will happen afterwards..did clothes still fit? Did you become a different size in jeans? I'm interested in your stories!
Anyway, I will most likely meet with a surgeon in a month, and hopefully, all of my questions will be somewhat answered. Until then, I thought I would come on here and gather some opinions. :)

dontcallmecass
02-17-2009, 07:05 PM
Hi, I'm 22, going to be needing surgery too so we are in a similar boat.

I think it would be ideal for you to have your surgery over the summer (and most definitely, before you graduate - in case you lose insurance if you are on your parents policy)

However, I would suggest trying to do the surgery in the beginning/mid June. That way you have most of June, July, and August to recover. You never know how your body will respond to the surgery and how long it will take you to bounce back. It's better to be safe and have the whole summer to recover, than to have to miss a semester of school.

pooh7243
02-17-2009, 07:24 PM
Hi curvycakes,

I am 25 and had my surgery last summer. I made the mistake of not keeping up with my scoliosis all that much during college because I, like you, did not want to take time off from school. Each summer I had some extravagant summer plan and never really thought about my scoliosis until I graduated. Anyways, it's a good thing that you are thinking of having the surgery done now. The only thing I'd say is that if you don't want to take time off from school, then make sure you take advantage of all the time you get off from school over the summer so that you have time to heal. If you are really motivated and generally a fast healer, then perhaps it may be feasible for you to have the surgery this summer. Thinking back on my surgery, there was no possible way I would have been able to go back to school in August after my end of May surgery. If I did manage to make it back, I would have definitely taken a lighter load than my normal 18 hrs. I guess, the best advice is to talk it over with your surgeon and think about a) not taking the China trip b) postponing the surgery until next summer when you can devote the entire time to healing c) the possibility of cutting back on hours when you return for the fall semester or taking the semester off.

Hope this helps...good luck

curvycakes
02-17-2009, 11:56 PM
Thanks for the advice! Pooh, do you think that your age (25) made a big difference in your surgery? In other words, would it have been easier if you would have had it done when you were 20? And did your body (shape?) look different at all, or just your back?

Lcoolj88
02-19-2009, 06:11 PM
hi curvycakes,

I am 20 years old and am trying to decided if I am ready to have surgery yet or not. I have an appointment Monday February 23 in St. Louis at Barnes Jewish with Dr. Bridwell to talk it over. I have been having alot of pain and discomfort for the past year probably. I was diagnoised with it when I was 12 and wore a back brace until I was about 15 and then my doctor took me out of it and said it wasn't helping. I had grown quit a bit off and on threw the summer and that didn't help much. I am kind of in your boat about what to do with school and the rest of your life, and kind of how long to wait.

sarah105
02-19-2009, 06:35 PM
Hi curvycakes,
I am also 20 and junior in college. I am having surgery this summer as well. I wanted to do it before I have a full time job and while I still have my parents insurance. My surgery is on June 1st and my doctor said I should have no problem returning to school for the fall semester. He seems pretty confident that I won't be too limited by that time. I will probably try to take a less intense couse load though (still the same number of classes but I'll try to take a few easier ones). I'm a little nervous because I go to school in downtown DC and there is a lot of walking and crowds but hopefully I'll be ok. Good luck with your decision!

LynnMarie74
02-19-2009, 06:47 PM
Hi. I am 34 , well ok we can just say 35(in April)...lol...and I had surgery 5 weeks ago. I wouldnt even consider going back to work/school at this point...if I was 10-15 yrs younger, would I? Maybe...maybe not...hard to tell as everyone is clearly different.

As far as your body question, yes, it will look & feel different, especially if you had a good correction. I had a 58*T & a 60*L S curve. My doc was skillful enough to correct both of them to about 10*. I had a slight rib hump but mainly my deformities were my uneven hips & my right side under the armpit area stuck waaayy out where the left was almost bowed inward. Looked weird to me and was noticable thru clothing. After surgery, I got taller(very cool) I have regained my wasitline(even cooler) & have some womanly shape to me now. The issue w/my pants, especially "Low rise" jeans....well, they were never really "low rise" pre surgery..they fit perfectly just below my bellybutton, but not to high up on my waist. Now....lol.....this still hurts to say...NONE of them fit me! It makes perfect sence....they used to fit a littl below my wasit, now they are where they were intended...on my hips...which are clearly wider than my waist! Ihave about 10-12 pairs of jeans, that ALL fit this way, along w/my dress and khaki pants for work!! Did you say shopping spree?? lol I was really upset about this becuz I loved my jeans and I loved the sized I *thought * I wore! Im too angry right now to find my real size...so in the intrim, Im using rubber bands and safty pins! lol

nervous
02-19-2009, 07:00 PM
Hi LynnMarie - I'm still learning about how this surgery can impact appearance, so, excuse this (potentially) stupid question. So, are you saying you are a bigger size now? I typically wear lower waisted pants/jeans and want to get an idea how this will impact me as well.

Thanks!!

Brooke87
02-20-2009, 08:21 AM
Hi All-

I am 22 with an 80 degree kyphosis curve and a 30 degree scoliosis curve. Like many of you, I have been dealing with "back issues" since I was 13. After seeing five spine specialists I finally am scheduled for surgery on June 2 with Dr. Boachie at HSS. He believes he will fuse T1-L2.

I have been mentally and physically preparing myself for June 2nd but my parents now are starting to get nervous about the procedure. They think I should keep waiting and monitoring the curve. My position is that I'm going to need the surgery eventually why not just "get it over with"?

For those of you have had or are considering surgery, was your pain level before surgery extremely high? Mine is more of a discomfort-- I cant sit through a movie or dinner without shifting around in order to try and get comfortable. I feel sort of strange wanting this surgery when my life isn't inhibited by my back-- it's just more of a nuisance.

Also, after a few months after surgery is your life back to relative normalcy? Can you sit through a movie without the backaches?

I guess this response will vary for everybody but are you happy that you did the surgery?

Thanks so much!
Brooke

LynnMarie74
02-20-2009, 08:23 AM
Hi LynnMarie - I'm still learning about how this surgery can impact appearance, so, excuse this (potentially) stupid question. So, are you saying you are a bigger size now? I typically wear lower waisted pants/jeans and want to get an idea how this will impact me as well.

Thanks!!

Yes, unfortunatly that is correct. All of my pants/jeans are a 5/6...which was intended for a woman w/size 5/6 hips. I dont know what size I will end up to be as I really dont want to get depressed! Bummer huh?

LynnMarie74
02-20-2009, 08:27 AM
Hi All-

I am 22 with an 80 degree kyphosis curve and a 30 degree scoliosis curve. Like many of you, I have been dealing with "back issues" since I was 13. After seeing five spine specialists I finally am scheduled for surgery on June 2 with Dr. Boachie at HSS. He believes he will fuse T1-T2.

I have been mentally and physically preparing myself for June 2nd but my parents now are starting to get nervous about the procedure. They think I should keep waiting and monitoring the curve. My position is that I'm going to need the surgery eventually why not just "get it over with"?

For those of you have had or are considering surgery, was your pain level before surgery extremely high? Mine is more of a discomfort-- I cant sit through a movie or dinner without shifting around in order to try and get comfortable. I feel sort of strange wanting this surgery when my life isn't inhibited by my back-- it's just more of a nuisance.

Also, after a few months after surgery is your life back to relative normalcy? Can you sit through a movie without the backaches?

I guess this response will vary for everybody but are you happy that you did the surgery?

Thanks so much!
Brooke

Brooke...did u mean T1 to L2?

Brooke87
02-20-2009, 08:36 AM
Yes! My mistake-- T1-L2

Thanks!

nervous
02-22-2009, 06:23 PM
okay, Lynn...excuse all of my questions about this. So, are you bigger because you gained weight....or because of the procedure...or what caused the "bigger size"?
Most of the posts seem like people have lost weight, but, I just want to know if this surgery could potentially make me larger. I have so many questions....


Thanks!
Rachel

curvycakes
02-23-2009, 12:22 AM
Rachel, I have the same exact question/worry! I don't think my hips are THAT uneven right now..and I'm a size 2/4 in jeans/pants. I couldn't really see the surgery changing that too much, since my main curve is the thoracic one. But who knows! And I'm not sure if I would lose my curvy-ness...not like spinal curves, but like hips and what not. I'm worried that the surgery will make me seem totally straight, back AND hips with absolutely no shape to me whatsoever! It's a weird question to ask but a really important one.

Singer
02-23-2009, 07:25 AM
Before surgery, my hips were extremely uneven, with my waist caving into my side, and I became very short-waisted. Now, my body is amazingly symmetrical and I actually have an hourglass figure for the first time in my life. I almost cried the first time I tried on clothes after surgery. That being said, though -- it took a good six months for residual swelling to go down around my belly, and for my body to relax into its new shape. So, LynnMarie, I wouldn't go on that shopping spree just yet. I wore yoga pants for months before I could even tolerate the confining feel of jeans.