View Full Version : 21 Years Old

09-18-2009, 12:01 AM
Hello Everyone!

My name is Jaclyn and I am new to the site. I have been dealing with scoliosis for as long as I can remember. After years of the constant mental debate of whether or not to go with surgery, I am finally set on doing it. I am not in much pain yet. My curvatures have been progressing even though I have not grown for several years. After reading everyone else's post, I thought I would give it a try and see what you guys have to say about a 21 year old going through the surgery. Most of the entries I have read were from women or men a lot older than me.

My top curve is 56 degrees and my bottom curve is 47 degrees. I have a significant rib hump that makes me very self conscious. I want to do the surgery now when I don't have much going on in my life. I made an appointment with Dr. Errico to discuss surgery after many great recommendations. I went to three different spinal specialists that said it would be best to do it now while my bones are most flexible considering my young age.

I would appreciate any advice or support. I am terrified of surgery and keep having nightmares that I become paralyzed!!

Thank you,


09-18-2009, 12:13 AM
Hello Jaclyn,
I hear your frustration. I am sure that you are aware that frustration comes along with having scoli! Where are you located? I am also interested in where you went for your 3 opinions. I am looking for additional opinions for my 8 year old daughter. We live in Florida and I am looking for a doc outside of Fl. I look forward to hearing from you....:confused:

09-18-2009, 01:07 AM
Hi Jaclyn

Welcome to the forum.

If you had 3 specialists recommend surgery soon, did they agree on which levels to fuse? Will they go to the pelvis?

I had twin 50s when I was your age, and the 5 level pain started when I was 28. My curves held till I was about 40. This is a situation where its not an emergency, if you wait, just shoot x-rays once a year. Keep your x-rays of course, and date them.

I waited for technology, and also the timing had to be right. There are a lot of factors in decision making, after all its serious surgery. Its something that should be thought out very carefully.

Keep posting, lots of great people here, even us older folks LOL


09-18-2009, 05:54 AM
Hi Jaclyn
welcome to the forum...there is much knowledge & wisdom to be found here....& kindness & compassion from fellow scoli-s

i sent you a private message concerning doctors...

my curves are 40 upper 61 lower...upper is taken care of with botox shots...lower will be operated on 2010 if/when i decide to go thru with it...pain didnt start til 5 years ago, when i herniated discs in my lower back, & all heck broke loose.....before that, the pain was easily tolerated 95%of time, & i went to gym 4 times a week!

best of luck to you

09-18-2009, 10:22 AM
Thanks for the welcome everyone!

Scolimomof1 - I am from New York. I'm sorry to hear about your daughter. I hope that everything works out.

Ed - Your message made me laugh with the older folk comment LOL ! I am so out of the loop when it comes to surgery. I don't even know what it means to have "levels fused". According to all three doctors, it would be best to get it now because I am the most flexible and it would be an easier recovery when I am younger. They were confident that at my age they could get my curvatures down to near perfection. As far as range of motion went, they assured me that I would have full range of motion after a 4 month recovery period. The dr I liked the best started the office visit with no surgery b/c I was young enough to not have to worry about it. After viewing my xrays, his opinion did a complete 360 and now he highly recommends it.

Jess - I sent you a message back. Thanks :)

Hope to hear from you guys soon,

09-24-2009, 06:07 PM
My name is Crystal and I am also 21 years old. I had about the same curves as you only reversed. My bottom curve was inching towards 60 degrees and my top curve towards 50. I had my surgeries May 26 and 27th, 2009 so I am about 4 months post op. I, too, was very worried about having this surgery so young. I was worried that I would lose my "freedom" or that I would be handicapped for the rest of my life. Surgery was probably one of the best things I could have done. I'm straighter, and I have less pain. In pictures, I don't lean anymore and I have no more leg pain.

It's totally your decision on whether you have surgery or not- but for me, I weighed the risks with the benefits and there were just too many overwhelming benefits then there were risks.

09-24-2009, 11:55 PM

Thanks for responding!! How is your range of movement? Are you able to do everything that you used to do?

I'm more worried about not being able to move the same. I am excited for being straight and able to wear clothes without worrying about my ribs sticking out!!

09-25-2009, 12:56 AM
same here mixasu. i found my curves are now 74 for the lower larger one and 49 for the top smaller one. i really want to do the surgery i think. But scared about the recovery and driving people crazy when im on meds and in pain. lol :rolleyes:

09-26-2009, 04:14 PM
Hi Jaclyn,
I am 20 and had my surgery in June. I was also nervous about having the surgery now since I am still in school, but I really wanted to get it out of the way while I was still young and before it got any worse. I was also fortunate enough to have my entire summer vacation to heal. I am almost 4 months out right now and I am feeling pretty close to normal again. I am able to swim, dance, and take yoga several times a week and I also babysit an 19 month old 2 days a week. At this point, none of this really causes any pain.

I wasn't in too much pain before surgery. I would just get sore/tired pretty easily. I have noticed in the past month or two that all of that pain is gone! My back is still sensitive in a few spots, but overall, I feel great. Let me know if you have any questions. Good Luck!

09-26-2009, 09:08 PM
Hi Sarah!!

Nice to meet you. That actually makes me feel a lot better. How was the pain directly after surgery? That's pretty encouraging that you are able to do Yoga!! I love to dance and I hope that I will be able to after my surgery b/c that is one of my favorite things to do.

How bad were your curves? Single or double curve?