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pearlgirl
01-12-2010, 02:24 PM
Hi everyone Im 16 years old. I have scoliosis 23-18 degrees. its not that severe but it sucks. I get shorter than the girls i used to be taller than...
I want to know one thing... WILL SCOLIOSIS EVER STOP PROGRESSING?
Because I swam it got better, and i stopped swimming and now im like how i was before.
this is a torture!!!????
I just dont swim for a week and i become crooked again....
I just wanna know if at 18-20, when i swim, it wont be worse anymore. it will stay better, that way.
I just need to know the TRUTH.
And when I get older, will it get WORSE? why? how
:(
thanks

Pooka1
01-12-2010, 03:53 PM
Hi pearlgirl.

Have you asked your orthopedic surgeon that question? I think he is the best guy to answer it.

That said, if you are 16 and at 23/18, the prevailing thought is that it is highly unlikely that you ever progress to needing surgery.

Do you wear a brace? Is the 23/18 in brace or recently out of brace?

pearlgirl
01-12-2010, 04:49 PM
No I dont wear a brace and my doctor is the best in the country but he is too busy he only saw me for 5 seconds. lol so i guess he is not MY doctor really.. he was in a hurry and he is always busy. blah... well he said i dont need a brace and he didnt care that much and went away

Pooka1
01-12-2010, 04:56 PM
Well!

I understand why he said you don't need a brace. At 16, and 23/18, you are not likely to benefit from bracing. You are almost certainly done growing and you are at a point in your curves where it would be extremely unlikely you will ever progress to needing surgery. Very good news!

Do you have pain?

I'm sure it's not that your surgeon doesn't care. It appears he doesn't think you need any treatment. Does that seem like it could be the case as opposed to not caring? Not everyone needs treatment you know.

When was your last radiograph?

pearlgirl
01-12-2010, 11:38 PM
really??! it was 5 months ago. Doctor said come again in A YEAR.. do you know if i swim, why does it go back to how it was after a while? it never stays good like after I swim.

Pooka1
01-13-2010, 06:37 AM
really??! it was 5 months ago. Doctor said come again in A YEAR..

If that's what your surgeon said then that is the thing to do.


do you know if i swim, why does it go back to how it was after a while? it never stays good like after I swim.

Can I ask how you know your curves are changing when you swim? You would need before and after radiographs to show that.

Is it that you swam for a 6 month period and your curves were smaller on radiograph and then didn't swim the next 6 months and they were larger on radiograph?

The prevailing opinion is that if PT halts or reduces a curve, it is never permanent and you have to keep doing it the rest of your life. Some people with pain or who are edging near surgery territory think PT the rest of their life is a rational choice and it is for them. The main issue would be something out of their control that prevents them from exercising.

With curves as small as yours, it doesn't seem like you would need to do PT to avoid progression but nobody can ever guarantee that... there are people who progress in maturity starting from moderate curves though I haven't read of anyone starting with curves as small as yours ending up with surgery due to progression. Some with smaller curves may eventually get surgery for pain but I think surgeons stress conservative approaches for pain absent progression in smaller curves.

Good luck.

pearlgirl
01-13-2010, 02:49 PM
thank you so much for your help.
I know it because after I swim 3 times a week, the next week im taller than my friends and my hips are more even.
but after 2 weeks of not swimming, i become EVEN SHORTER than them and my hips become awful...
When I swim i dont have that much back pain but with more curves comes more pain i gues.. =(
I guess I have to swim for the rest of my life...

Dingo
01-13-2010, 03:30 PM
Pearlgirl

Video/Story: Torso rotation strength training for Scoliosis (http://www.wcsh6.com/news/health/story.aspx?storyid=92954&catid=8)

This PT was developed by a spine surgeon in California about 10 years ago. It's designed for children with Scoliosis but it might help adults as well. You can go to a gym or buy a used torso rotation machine for a few hundred bucks.

If you are on a tight budget you can do this movement without a machine.
Tie an exercise band to a doorknob, hold the other end, sit in a chair with your back to the door and twist left/right. It's basically the same thing.

This is the first study on torso rotation (2 others produced the same results). Scroll to page 4 to see the different curves it worked on.
The Role of Measured Resistance Exercises in Adolescent Scoliosis (http://www.medxonline.com/downloads/articles/measuredresistanceinscoliosis.pdf)

Pooka1
01-13-2010, 04:11 PM
thank you so much for your help.
I know it because after I swim 3 times a week, the next week im taller than my friends and my hips are more even.
but after 2 weeks of not swimming, i become EVEN SHORTER than them and my hips become awful...
When I swim i dont have that much back pain but with more curves comes more pain i gues.. =(
I guess I have to swim for the rest of my life...

Did your curves get worse in-between the last visit 5 months ago and the one before?

It seems like your curves are very flexible and that there is some range that they hold on a time scale of a few weeks that can be affected by swimming.

Have you mentioned to your surgeon about the range in your height that can be achieved by whether or not you swim?

As for torso rotation exercises that have been suggested to you, NEVER do ANY exercise unless you clear it through your surgeon. You might also want to ask your surgeon what exactly he thinks of torso rotation for people with scoliosis. He may tell you NOT to do it. NEVER take any advice about exercise from people on groups like this who have no training or expertise. They shouldn't be recommending specific exercises to you, especially ones that have no long term outcomes. It could be dangerous and has a good chance of being useless.

Good luck and stay safe.

mariaf
01-13-2010, 05:17 PM
Hi Pearlgirl,

Sharon is correct - at 16 you are most definitely done (or almost done) growing! Both my daughter (18) and I were done growing by about 14.

I also agree that it's not that your surgeon didn't care, but he felt - fortunately - that you didn't need any treatment or I'm sure he would have spent more time with you.

In any event, this is great news and I'm happy for you. Hopefully, scoliosis will not be an issue for you in the future. I know lots of folks with small curves who have never had a problem - I hope you are one of them as well.

p.s. As for being shorter than folks you used to be taller than, that was the case with me as well. Like I said, I'm the same height now (about 5'1") that I was when I was 14. I wouldn't worry too much about that, as good things come in small packages :)

Syd
01-13-2010, 05:33 PM
Hi pearl ,

Hi im syd im sorry to hear about that but when you stop growing your spine will stop growing into a curve . Well I hope it gets better!:) Also think about the brace too while your growing it will get more straight:)

jillw
01-13-2010, 06:32 PM
Hi Pearl, I'm sorry that your surgeon didn't spend any time with you. I would have been frustrated if I were in your shoes. Even though you don't require treatment in your situation, he should have spent time with you to answer your questions. He probably has a busy practice and unfortunately sometimes the "simpler" cases are just glossed over. Next time go with a list of your questions and tell him the second he walks in the door that you have questions- then he should give you a chance to talk about them even if he is trying to rush through the appointment.

I can't answer your questions although I have heard 2 stories of girls who showed improvement in their curves once they joined swim team (curve improvements were documented by xrays). However, I don't know if they will revert if and when these girls stop swimming. Swimming is great exercise, not just for scoliosis - if you have access to a pool year round it would be a healthy activity throughout your life.

Good Luck!