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View Full Version : Had 2nd opinion, now it's decision time...



lray
07-21-2009, 07:43 PM
I saw a scoliosis specialist today, Dr Gupta, and I have to say that he was simply awesome. He was able to answer all my questions, understood my problems and my history of living with my deformity. (My initial consult with another "spine specialist" did not go as well. He didn't have answers to all my questions, and he was not a scoliosis specialist.)

Dr Gupta discovered while looking at my x-rays that I have a double thoracic curve, the top is about 40 degrees, the lower at 53 degrees. He said that the decision to have surgery is all mine. I am not in constant pain, but I do have pain on ocassion. (During the exam today he had me lie on my stomach and he pressed down on my spine, looking to see if I had any pain. Uggggh, when he pressed down on my curve-area, it really hurt. I am still in some pain from that!) I told him that my main motivation is to stop my curve from progressing, and to rid myself of my rib deformity. I want to stop being a "freak" - I have felt this way my whole adult life.

He suggests that I think about it and see him again in a year's time, less if I want to. Because I have no earlier x-rays to compare to my recent films (March 2009), he can't determine how quickly my curvature is progressing. So I think that I will wait until the end of this year, have another set of x-rays, and see him again. I know that this is a big decision for me, and my family, and in the meantime I will continue to read articles and do my research, and of course, continue to read this forum. I have learned a lot here.

debbei
07-21-2009, 07:57 PM
I saw a scoliosis specialist today, Dr Gupta, and I have to say that he was simply awesome. He was able to answer all my questions, understood my problems and my history of living with my deformity. (My initial consult with another "spine specialist" did not go as well. He didn't have answers to all my questions, and he was not a scoliosis specialist.)

Dr Gupta discovered while looking at my x-rays that I have a double thoracic curve, the top is about 40 degrees, the lower at 53 degrees. He said that the decision to have surgery is all mine. I am not in constant pain, but I do have pain on ocassion. (During the exam today he had me lie on my stomach and he pressed down on my spine, looking to see if I had any pain. Uggggh, when he pressed down on my curve-area, it really hurt. I am still in some pain from that!) I told him that my main motivation is to stop my curve from progressing, and to rid myself of my rib deformity. I want to stop being a "freak" - I have felt this way my whole adult life.

He suggests that I think about it and see him again in a year's time, less if I want to. Because I have no earlier x-rays to compare to my recent films (March 2009), he can't determine how quickly my curvature is progressing. So I think that I will wait until the end of this year, have another set of x-rays, and see him again. I know that this is a big decision for me, and my family, and in the meantime I will continue to read articles and do my research, and of course, continue to read this forum. I have learned a lot here.

It sounds like a wonderful appointment with this doctor. You may not be sure when you want the surgery, but at least you made the decision on the Dr. It's so important to really REALLY trust the surgeon you go with.

lray
07-22-2009, 02:40 PM
Thanks Debbe. Yes, I'm really glad that I decided to meet with this specialist. It's a step in the right direction, I believe.

You and I are close to the same age. How do you feel now after having had the surgery? How has it changed your daily living?

dailystrength
07-22-2009, 07:23 PM
Yes, Debbe,

I noted a post of yours and looked up your public info - Dr. Neurwith (sp?) did you surgery - is he the author of the book on scoliois? I'm 43 and was also told my curve would not progress when I finished wearing a brace in 1979. Now I'm at 49 lumbar, 34 thoracic (new curve), and I am constantly aware of my scoliosis. PT helped and as of today I was happy to follow the "natural route", but a friend had a good experience with surgery, and I want to give it a second look. I've also been home sick today and have a chance to think and explore the forum. My Dr. here is very conservative (a good thing) and said he would not do surgery on me since in 6 mos. time he has seen stabilization. I keep up with the PT but always feel unbalanced when sitting and standing... and twisted while lying down. Please tell me of your surgery experience. I'm not that far from NJ. Thanks.

debbei
07-22-2009, 08:13 PM
Hi Lray and Dailystrength,

I am now 9 months post op. I have felt pretty good since about 4-5 months, with about 3 or 4 significant muscle spasm events since then. I wish I could identify exactly WHAT I do to cause the spasms, but I can't. THey tell me that with time that gets better too. All of my surgical pain has been gone since about 3 months post op. The pins and needles and numbness on my back has gone down quite a bit. Originally, it was on most of my back and thighs, now, it's just on certain areas, and those areas seem to get smaller as time goes by. There are days that go by and I don't think about the surgery and what happened to me. I'm back to work full time since May and am handling it. I can do anything I choose to do around the house, but the question is, why? LOL I have 2 teenage boys and a 10 year old girl who I ask to help me with chores (not to mention a husband).

At about 6 months post op I joined an exercise class, and I am able to keep up with the others, except for certain stomach exercises, which just aren't physically possible any more.

Has it changed my daily living?............at this point I think the answer is no. There for a while it did, but not any more. I am happy to report that I feel pretty normal.

As far as Dr. Neuwirth, I think he's a great doctor; very skilled and a good people person too. As a matter of fact, he did surgery on a work friend's daughter today, and I'm waiting to hear an update on her. I met the mother in May, her daughter needed surgery, I recommended Dr. N, and after visiting a total of 4 surgeons, they picked Dr. N. He happened to have a cancelation that worked with their timeframe, and they just loved him.

Feel free to ask any other questions that you have.

Editing to add, I can shop till I drop, I do grocery shopping by myself, I can vaccume, and clean bathrooms (if I feel like it :) ), I can walk 5 miles in 1 hour. Basically, I can do whatever I want. The trick is, I have to try not to overdo it sometimes.

dailystrength
07-23-2009, 07:00 PM
Debbe, Your progress is wonderful and inspiring. Thanks for sharing your experience; I appreciate it. Keep up the great work. --Christina