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Thread: Uneven ribs one year post-op?

  1. #1
    Join Date
    Nov 2008
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    129

    Uneven ribs one year post-op?

    I underwent a T2-L1 posterior fusion on March 25, 2009, so I'm almost a year out... but still have uneven ribs - mostly in the front. While my right-side "hump" in the back has been greatly diminished with the surgery, the bottom part of my left ribcage still protrudes a bit in the front, and I can also see that the muscles on my stomach are almost "slanted", which I assume is due to the torso rotation from my scoliosis. Does anyone else experience this so far out? Do the ribs eventually make their way into a "straight" position? I know with having had scoliosis and a pretty significant thoracic curve for 12+ years of my life, my ribs aren't just going to magically align themselves overnight, but I AM hoping they will become more even with time, now that my spine is straight.... thoughts?? Any exercises I can do to help move this process along? Any feedback would be appreciated! Thanks!

  2. #2
    Join Date
    Nov 2007
    Location
    Houston, TX
    Posts
    1,757
    Jess,

    It's my suspicion that all the visible physical changes have probably occurred by one year post-op. At least in my case, Hanson told me most of the "settling in" would happen in the first 3 months.

    You might talk to your doctor about whether PT could help minimize the appearance if it bothers you that much: With a lot of ab/torso work, I was able to keep mine almost flat before surgery (when I needed to). It's worth checking into, anyway ...

    Good luck!

    Pam
    Fusion is NOT the end of the world.
    AIDS Walk Houston 2008 5K @ 33 days post op!


    41, dx'd JIS & Boston braced @ 10
    Pre-op 53, Post-op < 20
    Fused 2/5/08, T4-L1 ... Darrell S. Hanson, Houston


    VIEW MY X-RAYS
    EMAIL ME

  3. #3
    Join Date
    Mar 2009
    Location
    Sacramento, CA area
    Posts
    189
    Jess,

    When I met with my surgeon, he said that he would not be able to correct my ribcage that, like you, sticks out on my left front. He said he would be able to significantly correct my right rib hump however. Just curious, did your surgeon say he could correct your front ribs?

    Laurie
    Laurie
    Age 57
    Posterior fusion w/thoracoplasty T2-L3 Oct 1, 2010
    Thoracic curve corrected from 61* to 16*
    Lumbar curve, unknown measurement
    Disfiguring back hump GONE!!
    Dr Munish Gupta
    UC Davis Medical Center, Sacramento, CA

  4. #4
    Join Date
    Nov 2008
    Posts
    129
    nope, my surgeon didn't say anything about correcting my front ribcage asymmetry, but i just figured it'd be better than before! and it is...just not even by any means. and it's also accentuated because i'm pretty thin, and b/c my muscles are defined as well, it makes my muscles look uneven...haha. my mom tells me just to put on some weight to hide my ribs. but anyway, it's not that the physical appearance bothers me so much, but i just feel "crooked" and twisted still...and after all i went through with that surgery, i was hoping that wouldn't be the case! oh well.

  5. #5
    Join Date
    Nov 2008
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    129
    Quote Originally Posted by lray View Post
    Jess,

    When I met with my surgeon, he said that he would not be able to correct my ribcage that, like you, sticks out on my left front. He said he would be able to significantly correct my right rib hump however. Just curious, did your surgeon say he could correct your front ribs?

    Laurie
    laurie,
    just curious...did your surgeon say WHY he would not be able to significantly correct your front rib asymmetry? i am just wondering why they can usually correct the back rib hump to a great extent, but not the front?

  6. #6
    Join Date
    Nov 2007
    Location
    Houston, TX
    Posts
    1,757
    Odd. Although my rib hump wasn't totally corrected, the ribs in front are flat now.

    You'd think the two (back and front) would correlate more ...
    Fusion is NOT the end of the world.
    AIDS Walk Houston 2008 5K @ 33 days post op!


    41, dx'd JIS & Boston braced @ 10
    Pre-op 53, Post-op < 20
    Fused 2/5/08, T4-L1 ... Darrell S. Hanson, Houston


    VIEW MY X-RAYS
    EMAIL ME

  7. #7
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    Nov 2008
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    129
    I know! Very weird. Psh.

  8. #8
    Join Date
    Jan 2009
    Location
    Ames, Iowa
    Posts
    1,250
    Jess--
    I thought I was the only one. I can relate to all of your sentiments. I still have a fairly significant rib hump on right side and all those ribs top to bottom are prominent. Still better than before mostly because I was stretched out that it doesn't look so awful. More concave on bottom left. My front left ribs come out some but that isn't as bad for me. If you look at me from the left side that shoulder blade sticks up and then rest caves in. From right side it looks bowed. I also have a tilt to the left. I know I've posted about this before in various detail. Lately I've felt that it seemed worse many days. Sometimes the tilt is better then the hump is worse. Honestly, I think it changes with a little weight gain for me making it worse or if I've been carrying to much--little grandson, etc.
    I've definitely gotten lots of pt exercises and do them a lot and do my regular work out also. I was concerned at my 3 month but the doctor seemed to think that was all they could do with mine. I'm afraid that is true but I sure wish I had the results most on here have after going through it all. As long as it gets no worse I guess I can live with it. Little choice I guess--ha! Janet
    Janet

    61 years old--57 for surgery

    Diagnosed in 1965 at age of 13--no brace
    Thoracic Curve: 96 degrees to 35 degrees
    Lumbar Curve: 63 degrees to 5 degrees
    Surgery with Dr. Lenke in St. Louis--March 30, 2009
    T-2 to Pelvis, and hopefully all posterior procedure.

    All was posterior along with 2 cages and 6 osteotomies.

  9. #9
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    Mar 2009
    Location
    Sacramento, CA area
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    I didn't think to ask him why at the time - I was more interested in his description of how he was going to correct my back hump (thoracoplasty). I will ask him about my front ribs next time I see him.
    Laurie
    Age 57
    Posterior fusion w/thoracoplasty T2-L3 Oct 1, 2010
    Thoracic curve corrected from 61* to 16*
    Lumbar curve, unknown measurement
    Disfiguring back hump GONE!!
    Dr Munish Gupta
    UC Davis Medical Center, Sacramento, CA

  10. #10
    Join Date
    Sep 2003
    Location
    Northern California
    Posts
    6,797
    Hi Jess...

    In scoliosis, the rib cage becomes deformed. When the spine is corrected, the rib cage is moved into a more natural position, but the deformity remains. So, it's relatively common to see a prominent rib on one side.

    Regards,
    Linda

  11. #11
    Join Date
    Sep 2006
    Posts
    143
    Janet, I'm assuming that because your curve was so large and rigid, the correction was more limited. I'm sure that will be the case with me as well. My C curve is 85 - 90 degrees, depending upon who is measuring, and Dr. Lonner said he could get me 50% correction. I'll be very happy if I have some improved lung function and it doesn't get worse anytime soon. I am assuming that it will progress somewhat with age. I suppose we have to make peace with out bodies and thank G-d for the correction we have achieved. With clothes it is not that noticeable, and how many 57 year olds look that great in a bathing suit anyway?! Have you kept the added height? All the best, Joy

  12. #12
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    Sep 2006
    Posts
    143
    Linda, Regarding your comment, how would you describe the cosmetic correction even thought the rib deformity remains? Thanks, Joy

  13. #13
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    Nov 2008
    Posts
    129
    yeah, I guess I shouldn't complain...my back looks great post-op; it's just the bottom part of my left ribcage in the front that bothers me a bit. and when I "suck in" you can definitely see that my ribcage is still a bit rotated. anyone else notice this?

  14. #14
    Join Date
    Jan 2009
    Location
    Ames, Iowa
    Posts
    1,250
    Joyfull & Jess
    Yes, it isn't too evident except at the beach--where I am now for 2 weeks. Yahoo. So I'm probably more focused on it. My tanning is a little ridiculous as I tried to get down on the sand and turn over--will this ever get easier?? I walk around just fine but I have not even come close to doing that well. I just can't do the stomach thing unless my head is in a hole. I need to dig deeper. I'll have a tan front not back.
    Luckily my correction was very good--see signature. Good luck to us Jess as we hit our one year! Janet
    Janet

    61 years old--57 for surgery

    Diagnosed in 1965 at age of 13--no brace
    Thoracic Curve: 96 degrees to 35 degrees
    Lumbar Curve: 63 degrees to 5 degrees
    Surgery with Dr. Lenke in St. Louis--March 30, 2009
    T-2 to Pelvis, and hopefully all posterior procedure.

    All was posterior along with 2 cages and 6 osteotomies.

  15. #15
    Join Date
    May 2008
    Location
    long island, ny
    Posts
    233
    Have not been on for awhile, just pop in from time to time to see how everyone is doing. Yes I do have the same rotation thing with my ribs, in front on my left side, the ribs are more prominent than on the right, but still with the surgery my waist is elongated, and the back bump is gone. It is only noticed if I where a form fitting shirt, I where it proudly!
    Dolores A
    June 4, 2009 Anterior L3 - S1
    June 8, 2009 Posterior T4 - Pelvis
    Mark Agulnick, MD FAAOS
    NY Spine & Scoliosis Center

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