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Pooka1
12-03-2009, 01:27 PM
This was the appointment a year after the 8 month appointment when she was released from restrictions.

No change from the 8-month radiograph which itself showed no change from the 6 week radiograph. The sagittal balance is perfect as are her overall plumb lines. She is stable and has a solid fusion apparently. She got a good result.

He was going to release her if it was two years post menarche. Since it is only about a year, though, he wants to see her one more time in a year and then release her. If everything is fine at that point then that is the last time Savannah will see the surgeon.

Since maturity came up on the group recently, I asked about Risser, Whitehouse-Tanner, etc. and he again said that w.r.t. determining maturity and therefore growth remaining, it is still looking like good old chronological age is the best indicator. None of those radiographic methods are better. I guess age and being 2-years post menarche would be the gold standards at this point. Good to know.

One almost down, one more to go...

mariaf
12-03-2009, 03:39 PM
I don't think you could have asked for any better results for Savannah. I'm happy to hear how well she's doing.

Congrats!!

(And I'm sure her sister will follow in her footsteps.)

txmarinemom
12-03-2009, 03:46 PM
Awesome news, Sharon ... I hope Willow's recovery proceeds every bit as uneventfully. :)

It's hard to believe Savannah's 20 months post-op until I remember I'm just days short of 22!

Pam

Pooka1
12-03-2009, 03:54 PM
Thanks for the good thoughts, Maria.

I keep thinking of Paul Simon's song, "She moves On" when I think of Savannah and scoliosis. The song has nothing to do with scoliosis and is in fact about Simon's relationship with Carrie Fisher but I just can't get the title out of my head.

In fact Savannah moved on a few months after her surgery. She never thinks about it.

Neither does Willow apparently who is only 58 days out. She moves on.

It has been my great fortune in life to have found a great surgeon.

Pooka1
12-03-2009, 03:56 PM
Hey Pam!

Glad you are posting again.

Thanks for the kind thoughts.

It's amazing that you are coming up on 2 years!

sharon

WNCmom
12-03-2009, 04:09 PM
Excellent news about Savannah, Sharon. No doubt Willow will follow in her footsteps.

Mary Ellen

Pooka1
12-03-2009, 04:23 PM
Thanks Mary Ellen.

It used to seem like a lot to hope for that both of them would be okay. Almost too much. But it seems to be coming true.

What I lost of life in all the worry over this I am slowly gaining back as I see them move on. I'm thinking you might dig that too for your son, yes? :)

I hope others take hope in these testimonials.

jillw
12-03-2009, 05:42 PM
That's good news Sharon! And even better to hear that both of the girls have "moved on". Does the ortho recommend periodic xrays through adulthood and if so how frequently? (i.e. 5 years? 10 years?). Or as long as she is pain free, does he think it isn't necessary?

Pooka1
12-03-2009, 05:56 PM
That's good news Sharon! And even better to hear that both of the girls have "moved on". Does the ortho recommend periodic xrays through adulthood and if so how frequently? (i.e. 5 years? 10 years?). Or as long as she is pain free, does he think it isn't necessary?

Thanks, Jill.

I don't know what he will recommend. If he released her today I'm sure he would have said what should happen.

Savannah just turned 15 so he will release her when she is 16. That means at least that he doesn't feel she would need more radiographs for at least two years as he only does pediatric.

It will be interesting to hear what he says next year. Actually if I can remember I'll ask him what he will tell Savannah when we see him next June for Willow's 8 month appointment.

Now that I think of it, Willow's 20 month appointment (June 2011) is likely the last time either girl or I will see the surgeon. Funny to think about that.

titaniumed
12-03-2009, 09:35 PM
Sharon

Good news on Savannah. I hope Willow follows in her shoes.

Funny how we have to put so much thought into this, the stress, the worry,the planning, the logistics, and everything else that goes with scoliosis surgery.

Then you have the surgery, and have to come back down the mountain of recovery. And after your recovered after all of this interaction with your surgeon, he says, "good news, you no longer have to come in again to see me"

Yes, its good news.

Those of us who have built relationships with our surgeons through the years have to accept this good news.... its almost like being Edwin Aldrin, and after coming back from the moon, saying goodbye to Neil Armstrong.

Not great news, but good news.

Ed

Pooka1
12-03-2009, 10:13 PM
Those of us who have built relationships with our surgeons through the years have to accept this good news.... its almost like being Edwin Aldrin, and after coming back from the moon, saying goodbye to Neil Armstrong.

Not great news, but good news.

Ed

Ingeniously perfect analogy, Ed! Damn.

Yes that exactly captures it.

This surgeon arguably saved their life. How do you thank someone for saving both your kids? How do you express that?

It must be so beyond cool to be a surgeon.

He moves on and so do we. Our paths crossing has made all the difference to us. There is something so exquisitely beautiful about Savannah's correction. I don't know if it is just because it's the first I saw or that it was really just so perfect in alignment. I thought Willow's was very good looking also but I wasn't bowled over like with Savannah's.

I will never forget him or what he did for my kids.

mamamax
12-03-2009, 10:21 PM
Super news Sharon - very happy for you and your daughters & wishing you all continued success!!!!! :)

hope404
12-04-2009, 12:43 AM
All these posts have put a song in my heart and a skip in my step:)

So happy for you Pooka1, you have no idea!!!!!!

Your girls give me hope that there is light at the end of this long scoliosis tunnel......

Continued success...

Hope.........404

Pooka1
12-04-2009, 06:33 AM
Mamamax and Hope, thanks so much for the kind thoughts. :)

I came into this thinking this surgery was a science. In contrast it seems to have a large component of art to it. These guys are doing stuff by eye and feel.

I asked the surgeon if these T4-L1 fusions were pretty routine because they seem to be common levels fused for T curves. He took me to be asking if the decisions to operate were routine and said in my girls' cases there was no choice but that other people are not in emergency mode and it isn't clear whether or not to operate. I think we saw some of this in that one video of the three surgeons disagreeing on what they would do with particular 50* scoliosis cases. I am very glad to have escaped the doubt as we had no choice.

I clarified what I was asking and he said Savannah at least was not straightforward and routine. Don't know about Willow. I think he is referring to the amount of rotation she had but I don't know that. There is a universe of things I don't know about that he could be referring to.

And still he took out 95% of that rotation and she is at 5*.

You almost can't say enough about these guys.

Ballet Mom
12-04-2009, 12:46 PM
It's really great your daughters got such good results. I am happy to know that these orthopedic surgeons are there should my daughter for some reason continue to progress in the future.

I was astounded yesterday when my son called home from college and said he had decided to major in molecular biology. He really wants to become a battlefield surgeon. :eek: We'll see if he has what it takes...

Well, more power to these MDs, thank God they're around.

Pooka1
12-04-2009, 05:52 PM
Thanks Balletmom.

I hope you son achieves his dream!

pmsmom
12-04-2009, 09:07 PM
Congratulations to you both, Sharon!

laurieg6
12-05-2009, 12:35 AM
I'm so happy for you Sharon. The news about Savannah is great and you so deserve some relief after all you and your daughters have been through. Congratulations and best wishes for continued health and happiness for all of you.

Pooka1
12-05-2009, 08:10 AM
pmsmom and Laurie, thanks so much for your kind words. :)

txmarinemom
12-05-2009, 08:33 AM
I was astounded yesterday when my son called home from college and said he had decided to major in molecular biology. He really wants to become a battlefield surgeon. :eek: We'll see if he has what it takes...

Ballet Mom,

Like Sharon, I wish your son every success with his dream ... yet that hope is superseded by one that there's no need for his services. :)

Best regards,
Pam

txmarinemom
12-05-2009, 09:06 AM
Yes, Ed puts it very well.

His sentiment comes at a particularly relevant time for me. I just saw Hanson for my (almost) 2 year post-op on Tuesday: Things are holding, I'm solidly fused, and my return to clinic status is "Come see me in 5 years or so unless you need me".

How strange.

Whether a patient or a parent, watching a curve or waiting on surgery just *immerses* your world in scoliosis. Life goes on, of course, but you don't realize how much of it must be on some version of autopilot until one day you realize, "I haven't thought about my surgery (or my back) in weeks! What have I been doing all that time??? Living life? What?!?". :)

A post-op friend (a few years ahead of me with surgery) and I were on a trip around California and Utah - almost exactly a year ago. She told me "You aren't really recovered until 2-3 years out", and at the time (feeling great, mind you) I simply couldn't see how that was possible. It is, I now see, and a large portion of that has to do with "mental recovery" - and scoliosis/surgery fading from your daily thoughts.

We put so much faith in our surgeons, they almost become a bit god-like in our perception ... and while one of the goals of surgery is to sever that relationship (surely, of much more import on our end as a patient - laff), it's still strangely bittersweet when you're released.

It's certainly not a feeling I ever expected, but I'll gladly learn to deal with it. :)

Regards,
Pam

pmsmom
12-19-2009, 04:50 PM
Hooray! \o/