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View Full Version : New Here- Trying to weigh the options



cherri0000
08-22-2004, 02:51 PM
26 yr old female. Generally have known I had scoliosis since age 13 but started progressing over last 5 years since moving to New York in 1999.

Two years ago starting seeing chiropractor 3x per week. That has helped to keep the pain and discomfort away but has not stopped the very slow progression of my 2 curves.

This week I found out my insurance won't support any more chiro- which is prompting me to start having conversations about the benefits vs. risks of the surgery.

Obviously teens and children are in a completely different category than myself- so I don't even read up on that side of the story. And for older adults (over 40) it seems to me that it just gets to the point where they have no choice but to go for surgery.

But what about younger adults 20 to early 30's? It seems like a bigger debate to me and that's what I am started to really get into- whether it is worth it to risk all the risks and negatives of even a low invasion surgery vs. having the surgery in 20 years (which seems like an inevitability and will be just as painful then)

Anyone have thoughts/discussion on waiting 10-15 years? Anyone here had the surgery at my age and wished they had waited?

Looking foward to learning more. Thanks!

LindaRacine
08-22-2004, 05:01 PM
Hi Cheri...

If you're fairly certain that you'll eventually have to have surgery, I'd definitely vote for having it sooner. Your recovery time at 26 will be significantly easier than it would be at 36, 46, 56 or beyond.

How large are your curves and how much progression has been documented?

--Linda

lrmb
08-22-2004, 05:22 PM
Hi there,

I am in the same situation as you, I am 28 and debating about waiting versus doing it now. (My curves are 46/30 but slowly progressing.) From everything I've read, everyone agrees strongly with what Linda wrote. In NYC you should be able to find somebody really good to do the surgery.

If you want to talk about this in more detail--about timing, carrying children, etc.--feel free to email me at lrmb24@hotmail.com.

All the best, Laura

jennyc
08-23-2004, 10:21 AM
I am 32 and just had surgery this year. I too was diagnosed at age 13. Before surgery my thoracic curve was 45 degrees (and the compensatory lumbar curve was over 30). I spent a lot of time talking to surgeons about whether it made sense to operate now. It is a bit like playing the odds--will surgery be inevitable? With my numbers it was difficult to tell, but my surgeon said that from what he saw it appeared that the progression would likely continue. His advice was the same as Linda's: if surgery is inevitable, it is better to do it sooner rather than later (recovery from any surgery is much more challenging the older we get).

Make no mistake: the surgery is rough. And I did have a complication that required revision surgery--which was quite devastating for me at the time. But I am feeling great now and have no regrets about my decision.

And I am in New York, too. Let me know if you want to discuss more....

Best of luck.

lrmb
08-25-2004, 07:48 PM
Hi there,

Jennyc, would you be able to say what the complication was, and how long it took to sort it out? It would be helpful to know an example. If it's private, I of course understand.

I'm so glad you're fine now.

Thanks for posting! Laura

nora
09-04-2004, 11:00 AM
Had to add my 2 cents here. I was also diagnosed in adolescense and told in my 20's to have surgery. I avoided it and now I'm 40 and still waiting and watching. I've had 2 pregnancies with very few back problems. Other than some pretty severe pain from carrying babies and toddlers, my back troubles are still not enough to warrent surgery in my opinion. I work and play as much as I want. However, the curves will worsen and I expect the likelyhood of surgery (at some point) is still high.

I'm not advocating either choice. Sometimes I wish I'd gotten it over with and other times I'm glad I held out because its so major and leaves you to degenerate other, unfused joints. Now that I've joined this forum and I've read posts from other women in their 40s and 50's who've done it, I have courage that its possible to get through it and I don't feel such tremendous regret for waiting.

Anyway, if you have any questions that may give you some perspective from a 40 year-old, please feel free to ask. -Nora