View Full Version : Having no pain...

10-07-2009, 01:27 AM
Hi all. I am 57 years old with a 90 degree thoracic curve, but I don't have, and have never had pain! I have pretty good posture so most people say they hardly notice my scoliosis. I have two sons and have had a very normal life, and have experienced very little, if any, limitations due to my scoliosis.

Two years ago I began to feel my curve progressing; I felt as if the muscles around my spine were working harder to hold my body "up," as it were. With great hope I went to see Dr. Woggon of the Clear Institute in St. Cloud. I was pleased when I left, but I began to feel that my scoliosis actually worsened, that my back muscles were not working at all and my rib hump was more to the side and more prominent.

I saw Dr. Boachie and he advised that I go with the more conservative posterior only surgery, and not aim for a "home run" but try to get some improvement of the deformity and stop the progression. I am a teacher and have good insurance. I plan on seeing Dr. Lonner for a second opinion.

Dr. Boachie will not give me the names of any patients to speak with until I book the surgery, which is frustrating...

It is difficult to undergo such a drastic surgery when I am in no pain. Does anyone have any thoughts or experience with this? Of course, Chris, I don't want to be the lady in the church! Does the surgery lengthen your life? I was told by the chiropractor in Minnesota that research indicates that scoliosis shortens your life by 15 years!

I'm just starting to learn what the surgery actually entails, and this forum is so helpful! I am worried about having pain for the rest of my life.

I wonder if negative outcomes are filtered out of this site.

Thank you so much for taking the time to respond.


10-07-2009, 01:54 AM
Seems like a bit of a tough call if you have never had pain related to your condition, but if it is progressing you may need the surgery. You have avoided surgery this long, so it might be an idea to get it done and reap the benefits.

"Does the surgery lengthen your life? I was told by the chiropractor in Minnesota that research indicates that scoliosis shortens your life by 15 years!"

I believe if the spinal curvature starts to impact on vital organs such as the heart and lungs it can shorten one's life. Also the psychologocal stress could shorten one's life, but you seem to have deal well with it!

And negative outcomes are not filtered out of this site, I have read plenty of them. I believe you can find many of these in the Surgical (Revision) section.

10-07-2009, 05:00 AM
Hi Joy. I was 57 when I had my surgery in March. I didn't have much pain, but it was getting more and more difficult to stand for very long and lifting and carrying weights caused a low ache in my back. I lost 6 cm in height and my GP sent me for a bone density scan and x-rays. By the time I had surgery 9 months later, I'd lost another 2 cm. So I knew my curve was progressing quite rapidly.

My surgeon said I should consider surgery within 12 months. He said it would be done mainly to halt the curve but that he could get a 60% correction and rib hump reduction which I was happy with. He also told me that those patients with little or no pain, tend to have better outcomes. I have to say, I am very happy with mine.

He got rid of my rib hump entirely and corrected the curve to 22 degrees, from 68. He gave me back my sway back. My hips are not quite even but I couldn't be happier with the cosmetic result, because I did not have the surgery for that reason. I was never particularly bothered by my curve, though I did hate my late, unlamented rib hump!

It was the best thing I ever did for myself. Good luck!

10-08-2009, 09:15 PM
Hi Joy,

Welcome and wow!!! Where to begin? There are plenty of post-oppies here that have had Dr. Boachie, and I have never heard any one of them have a negative thing to say about him.

My Dr. has referred several potential patients to call me before they commit. I'm somewhat confused. I would imagine that when one of them sees this thread, they will be happy to talk to you. That's why most of us are here. To learn and share any and all experiences, good or bad.

As far as lessening you lifetime, it may as the progression increases it can pinch nerves and constrict organs. I breath easier now than before my surgeries.

But again we all have scoliosis, but none of us are the same. I don't think that any of us has had the exact same surgery(ies) we have different doctors and different curves. Our age is a factor, as well as physical fitness and flexibility.

I'm glad you don't have pain now, that's a great thing to hear.

Be patient, someone here will see this and help you with your worries and questions.

Best Wishes,

10-09-2009, 04:24 PM
I wonder if negative outcomes are filtered out of this site.

Why? I never got that feeling at all. There are definitely some instances of folks with negative views of certain surgeons.

ps. Welcome. I hope some of Boachie's patients respond.

10-09-2009, 04:57 PM

I never heard that 15 year thing. I do know that my grandmother had severe scoliosis (she never knew until she was elderley and it progressed, but she did have it her whole life.) She lived till 89, but the last 15 years of her life were very painful, and mostly all crunched up in a wheel chair. I didn't want to end up like her. FOr me it was a little easier to decide, because the last year or so I had started having pain. Bad nerve pain, down one leg that just wouldn't stop for anything. That's all gone now, post surgery. Aside from pain, you have to start wondering if the progressing curve will impact your heart and lungs.

I sincerely doubt that negative outcomes are removed from the forum.

For myself, I couldn't be happier with my results. I feel "just about" normal. Sometimes when I wake up in the morning, I forget that I ever had this. I never thought I would feel like this.

Good luck with your decision,

Karen Ocker
10-09-2009, 05:03 PM
My curve was 80 deg before Dr. Boachie reduced it by 50%. Dr. Lonner is also a very good surgeon so go with your gut/insurance. The larger the curve the least correction possible as one gets older. It only gets worse.

There is no way a person with curves over ~ 60 deg have normal pulmonary function and will get it back to totally normal after surgery. Once the rib cage gets that deformed it just doesn't get it repaired.
That being said, surgery for me has given me my life back. I am still able to work, pain free and straighter. Although I got a 50% correction I look and feel a lot better. Without the surgery I would definitely, by now, be disabled by pain and needed oxygen. Not a pleasant way to go and a burden on my family.

Once I scheduled surgery Dr. Boachie gave me the name of patients willing to share their experiences. Because of privacy concerns names are not just given out. Also, they try to match up the particular surgery/age group with the patient.

10-09-2009, 05:05 PM
there was an article a few years ago...maybe people magazine, i'm not sure...& a documentary on TV...if you check the internet you can probably find both...about dr boachie...he is supposed to be one of the best in the world!!! he does surgeries as charity back in his homeland....for children who are so twisted the photos of them are heartbreaking!! and they showed a girl from america who had surgery with him for a 90 degree curve...she was standing straight in the "after" pix in the magazine...

also, my internist in nyc...his daughter had boachie for her scoli surgery...she loved him...she was back to school in a month (of course, i think she was only 25 when she had the surgery)...i would have loved to go to him, but my insurance company only covers doctors in network...luckily for me, that includes neuwirth & lonner, so i still have excellent doctors to choose from if/when i have surgery...

best of luck

10-09-2009, 05:10 PM
P.S. re: "boachie"... ny daily news 2005 article... & Discovery Channel on TV..dont remember magazine ...might have been People...

check internet if interested...