View Full Version : Question about height

12-28-2009, 10:23 PM
Hi..this is a silly question I am sure but.....does everyone get taller after their surgeries? I would think it is dependent on how severe the curve is. Mine is 62 degrees and I would think I would gain about 2 inches? Does that sound right? For those who did get taller....your gain comes from your torso/abs stretching out and not from your legs. So, do your jeans/pants still fit even though you are taller? Also...has anyone noticed what happens to the abdominal area? I am hoping for some fringe benefits here and the abs appearing tighter!???

Any insight would be very helpful! Thank you!

12-28-2009, 10:36 PM
Hi--I gained about 1 & 1/2 inches. My curve was pretty severe as you can see below. I suppose it would have been greater but I also had several osteotomies that chips off the uneven tops of vertebrae so they can line up better--I think I explained that right. I always looked like I weighed way more than I did since my torso was literally squished down. It brings you up and straighter so you'll look leaner. Ab muscles will have to be worked on--eventually as you can do more exercises. Yes, I feel & look stretched out now. Many thought I had lost weight. After getting rid of the initial 20 pound swelling gain, I did lose about 15. Unfortunately, it has all returned but I still look slimmer. Janet

12-28-2009, 10:45 PM
I went from 5'4 to 5'5.I am really pleased to have a perfect waistline.Looks the same on both sides.Be happy to get this brace off so I can go clothes shopping:)

12-28-2009, 11:20 PM
Janet - what do you mean about the 20 lbs from swelling? Is that normal? I hadn't heard of that! How long does that last?


12-28-2009, 11:32 PM
Man, I'm 6'9" now with a pretty twisted up spine. I'm guessing I'll be pushing 7 feet after surgery. WOAH.

12-29-2009, 01:02 AM

I gained 2 inches.

Your jeans won't look much different unless you lose weight on your bum. It's the torso which changes. I didn't recognise myself. I hadn't actually realised I was so squished down, but after surgery, I could see I must have been.

For me, the cosmetic improvement was secondary. But I'm thrilled with it. My weight is unchanged but I do look taller and slimmer.

12-29-2009, 01:10 AM
Hi there! I had surgery September 30 and my curve was at 59 dsegrees and I gained about 2 inches in height. My torso feels longer and all my clothes fit so much better :} Its weird because I never really felt like I had a strong mid section because of my back being so curvy and now my abs are stronger and straighter :} :} It was very weird but it makes sense because my muscle composition was not even and now it is. My torso will no grow anymore because of the fusion but that doesn't mean my legs and arms can't :}
Hope that helps!

12-29-2009, 06:27 AM
Not everypne gets a large change in height after surgery. My daughter's curve was only 46* at the time of surgery and she only gained 1/2". She was so disappointed! She is only 4' 10 1/2" after surgery, and she was hoping to make it to 5'. She too had osteotomies which took away some of her added height, but it was the best surgical procedure for her.

Mary Lou

12-29-2009, 06:38 AM
am wondering whether surgery for thoracic vs/for lumbar adds more height...i would need T11-S1 & L4-sacrum, with "bilateral pelvic fixation"...so i would be having lumbar only (though i do have a 40 degree thoracic curve).....of course, my next nyc surgical consult could decide that needed to be changed...but at my last consult in october, that was pretty much the range of correction needed (which was in agreement with the other 2 surgeons i have seen)....

i am going to fly out to see dr anand end of january, to see whether less invasive would be a real possibility for me...every (excellent) nyc doctor i have consulted with has said minimally invasive is not for me...so we shall see what we shall see!

hope everyone's holdidays were merry..
wishing all a good 2010...


12-29-2009, 08:48 AM
Kid "A" - T58* -> ~5* gained about 1 inch

Kid "B" - T57* -> ~0* gained about 1.5 inches

Very approximate.

12-29-2009, 08:54 AM
I gained 1.5 inches. Of course, I had lost 1 inch over the years, but I still ended up taller than I had ever been. (that's a whole 5'3".) :)

12-29-2009, 08:57 AM
I gained an inch and a half after surgery -- would have gained more if I hadn't had my lumbar disks removed. More importantly, my waistline went from bunched-up and folded-over on one side to a symmetrical, hourglass shape. My hips are now even for the first time in my adult life. I've been having a great time slowly replacing my old baggy wardrobe with new, form-fitting clothes.

12-29-2009, 09:52 AM
I had lost almost 2 inches before I finally had the surgery. After the surgery I gained back 1.5 inches and I'm pretty happy with that.

Like several others, the biggest change I have noticed is the return of my waist line. Because I was so squished in the torso before the surgery I thought I always looked fat even when my weight was okay.

My jeans fit a little differently now. I did loose a little weight (on purpose) but I think it is more that my abdomen is flatter because everything is not so squished.

Everyone is different. You might ask your doctor what he expects. Mine said he thought I would gain some height but he did not want to predict how much since it depended on how things went when he got in there. After surgery he told me that he was able to get even more correction than he expected.


12-29-2009, 06:07 PM
whoops..hope everyone's holidays were merry..i type so fast i mis-spell just from fingers flying....

i am trying to envision straightening upper back vs lower back, & still wondering which would add more height...i know i have shrunk 2 inches as i curve more...& the doctors tell me i would probably regain at least an inch & a half, so i'm guessing a body gains height whether thoracic or lumbar is straightened...or maybe it is the mid back that is straightening out...i do know that my waist is exaggerated now on my right side, & nonexistent on my left...i know that would be fixed with surgery...

i guess i am waiting to see what dr anand has to say about MY back in particular...i thought minimally invasive could not be done on lumbar problems...especially those that go to pelvis...so it should be really interesting to see what he thinks...

wishing everyone a new year that is happy, healthy & pain free...

12-29-2009, 10:21 PM
Well I didnt gain much at all...maybe a 1/2 of an inch and I was fused from l4 to t5...so I dont know if the Lumbar -vs- Thorasic is the determing factor. I was advised that it depends on whether or not a filler was used in between each vertabra during the fusion? Or maybe I had a dream about that? Who knows? All I know is that I got a little bit of my waist line back...Im still alittle crooked but not as bad as been...

Anyone else not gain much height after a 12 level fusion?

12-29-2009, 11:27 PM
I think most have a certain amount of swelling after surgery. My face was really swollen from lying flat for 10 hours. All the surgical areas and abdomen seemed to be swollen too which accounted for the gain. I had heard from another person who had it that she gained a lot from swelling. The good news is most of that weight gain went away on its own in first few weeks. Janet

12-30-2009, 10:04 AM
I measure 4 centimetres taller!!

12-30-2009, 02:36 PM
:D It's wonderful, isn't it?!

12-30-2009, 02:49 PM
Hi Laura

We took my daughter to Dr. Lenke. We are very pleased with the results, he's an amazing surgeon. She's gained 2.5" after surgery, she had a lot of rotation in her lumbar that was completely straightened out. You can see the results in the link to her before and after photos/xrays.

Good luck

12-30-2009, 04:13 PM

When you say in your signature that your daughter got a "great correction," that is an extreme understatement. That is beyond medicine and well into art in my opinion. The side shot really shows how he took out virtually all the rotation. Balance. These surgeons are amazing as are pedicle screws which are the little miracles that made that result possible. :)


12-30-2009, 05:23 PM
Hi Sharon

I would totally agree with you. I can't say enough good things about Dr. Lenke. Even though we've had to travel back and forth to St. Louis 5 times, I am extremely pleased with our decision to use him. You can't put a value on your health and happiness.

BTW, I'm very glad your 2 daughters are doing so well. I can't imagine going through this twice. It's nice to be able to put this behind you and move on.

Happy New Year!

12-30-2009, 09:10 PM
Hi Sherie

Just curious to find out what the results of the surgery for your daughter in the photos is? My curves are very similar to that, and I also have alot of rotation in my thorasic area. Thanks!

12-30-2009, 10:23 PM
My son was fused 8 levels and gained maybe 1/2 inch of height. He still has curves in the 20-30 degree range though, because of his hemivertebra. He is very short, only around 5' tall and I keep hoping he'll have another growth spurt. His one and only growth spurt was right before his surgery and since the surgery he's grown at most 2", very slowly.

12-30-2009, 10:46 PM
Hi Sherie

Just curious to find out what the results of the surgery for your daughter in the photos is? My curves are very similar to that, and I also have alot of rotation in my thorasic area. Thanks!

Well, as far as actual measurements, I was never given a number, but it looks <10 on both to me.

Pain wise, pain free at 2 years. She's had occasional flare ups the past year but usually a result of over exertion. Also, most of her preop pain was in her lumbar area whereas post surgery, it's been in her upper back and shoulder area which seems to be pretty common.

She's doing well on all points. She's not and has never been a very physically active person (although she says she can outrun most of the girls in her PE class) so can't comment on that.

12-30-2009, 11:02 PM

You must be thrilled with your daughters correction. I am so happy to see such great results from Dr. Lenke's work! I know I chose the right guy! And you are right, or whomever said it...it's almost as if he has an artful eye, mixed with his medical knowledge!

One question..why did you have to make 5 trips? I was thinking just the 3...the initial meeting, the pre op, then the surgery. I thought I would follow up with someone in my hometown....no?

Thank you for sharing, Sherie! :) (sorry for the bad pun!)

12-30-2009, 11:26 PM
We had the 3 you mentioned, plus 2 followups at 1 and 2 years. I had thought about following up with someone local but decided to just go ahead and make the trip. It is just a little more reassuring to have him look at her. The upside, she doesn't need to go back for 3 years and then every 5. They said with this amount of hardware, it is just a precaution to get it checked periodically. I think he is also academically interested to follow his patients throughout their lifetime.

You have definitely made a good decision. He was the 4th surgeon we'd consulted and right away felt he was the one. ("THE ONE", sounds like some sort of god, he is in my eyes, surgery god at least.)

good luck!

01-01-2010, 11:51 AM
I didn't gain any height (grrhhh!!). I had lost about 2 inches and my sagittal imbalance was corrected but he didn't really straighten my curve, so I am still a stately 5 footish. On the other hand, I did gain some weight and what woman doesn't love that!! So I didn't regain any height but now I stand straight and don't always look like I am leaning to the right and about to fall on my face. Who needs to be tall anyway?
Happy New Year everyone.

01-01-2010, 12:49 PM
Hey Doodles,
Before you had surgery with Dr. Lenke, with my 90 degree curve, did you experience a lot of pain, muscle spasms and to be frank it just seems my stomach doesn't have as much room as it used to. My jeans are significantly tighter in the middle than they used to be recently and when I look in the mirror - WHOA!!!! What a mess! Sitting here right now and muscle spasms abounding in my back - I can feel my back literally jumping. I hate to consider muscle relaxers as I have experience with thos ein the past and only makes you feel goofy, doesn't really alleviate the spasms. And, with pain pills, I hate to take any more medicine - I'm not a medicine person anyway. I used to think being in pain was better than taking pain pills, but it has gotten to the point now that I just cannot exist without them, so I stretch them out as much as I can and still be able to function. I just started with the muscle spasms in the last month and have a lot of numbness and tingling down into the legs. Surgery is not until July with Dr. Lenke so I could really use some encouraging thoughts here....
Thanks much.

01-01-2010, 11:26 PM
I had pain that I managed with Aleve and several different homeopathic-type things that I used after much trial and error. Yes, my middle and whole torso was a mess. Mine is definitely better. Janet

01-02-2010, 10:00 AM
I had pain that I managed with Aleve and several different homeopathic-type things that I used after much trial and error. Yes, my middle and whole torso was a mess. Mine is definitely better. Janet

Janet - what homeopathic stuff did you take? What worked and what didn't? I'm into that type of thing and would love to switch to that kind of pain relief from the hard drugs asap after my surgery with Lenke in March. Also, I wonder if there are any homeopathic things we could take before the surgery to prevent swelling, bruising, etc. I had some surgery done (not on my back) a few years ago and was told to take bromalain to reduce the bruising. Bromalain is also found in pineapple...so I ate TONS of pineapple and never bruised! ... Any ideas???


01-02-2010, 02:39 PM
I took about 3 fish oil capsules, A, E, etc. I haven't taken it for so long I can't remember. I took Synthovial Seven it's hyaluronic acid--1 ml. in water each day. I had taken glucosamine for years and gave up until a chiro suggested what is now called Total Joint Support from Nutri-West. I think I was taking 3-4 a day. I had to stop all this stuff and Aleve--2 in morning, 2 at night a few months? before surgery. But previously it helped get me through most days. If I'd stop, I'd pay for it in about a week. None of it other than Aleve is fast acting of course. Hope this helps. Janet