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  1. #1
    Join Date
    Jan 2011
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    What to Expect Post-op? Recovery Time?

    After two years of unsuccessful bracing, we learned last week that my 14-year-old daughter will need surgery. We have yet to meet with the surgeon (waiting for a call) but hope to have the surgery at the end of January. I have some questions that I am sure the surgeon can answer for us, but since we have yet to meet him, I thought I might post a few here. -- We expect my daughter will be in the hospital for five days. How long might it be until she can return to school? Also, she is an athlete--volleyball and basketball. Her doctor said she would be released to play sports in six months. I'm wondering how strong/able she will be in six months, if during that time she will be able to work on rebuilding strength and developing skills? Finally, does the surgery require cutting into any muscles? Her scoliosis is a C-curve primarily (compensatory lumbar curve had developed but I understand that is still flexible and will correct itself when the thoracic curve is corrected???). I wonder, too, how much range of motion she will lose. Her curve is located between her shoulder blades. I appreciate learning of anyone's experience with any of the above issues. And I would like to clarify about the sports . . . The sports are not important to "me," but they are to my daughter. My hope is that her life be interrupted as little as possible, that the surgery not interfere or prevent her from having her "normal" life. Also, with the bracing (because I realize it's such a controversial issue), my daughter has been part of a nation-wide (and Canada) study of 600 patients, the purpose of which is to determine if bracing is an effective treatment or not. Her brace had a computer chip in it that monitored her body heat and by that recorded the number of hours she wore the brace (minimum 20 hours per day). At each doctor visit, they downloaded the information from the monitor. Her doctor said she was one of the most compliant patients he ever had. The brace just did not work for her. The doctor also included my daughter in a genetic study. They hope to identify genetic factors that might predict if bracing will be more or less effective for certain individuals. Thanks in advance for any information and/or encouragement!

  2. #2
    Join Date
    Jan 2008
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    NC
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    8,901
    Quote Originally Posted by #3's Mom View Post
    [COLOR="darkorchid"][B]After two years of unsuccessful bracing, we learned last week that my 14-year-old daughter will need surgery. We have yet to meet with the surgeon (waiting for a call) but hope to have the surgery at the end of January. I have some questions that I am sure the surgeon can answer for us, but since we have yet to meet him, I thought I might post a few here. -- We expect my daughter will be in the hospital for five days.
    How long might it be until she can return to school?
    Your surgeon will have the best idea about this. We were given written material on this and other points. The range I have noted on the group is 3 to 6+ weeks.

    Also, she is an athlete--volleyball and basketball. Her doctor said she would be released to play sports in six months. I'm wondering how strong/able she will be in six months, if during that time she will be able to work on rebuilding strength and developing skills?
    That's a surgeon question.

    Finally, does the surgery require cutting into any muscles?
    Another surgeon question. It seems to definitely entail at least detaching muscles to expose the spine.

    Her scoliosis is a C-curve primarily (compensatory lumbar curve had developed but I understand that is still flexible and will correct itself when the thoracic curve is corrected???).
    That is the claim and the reality but just based on my two daughters seems to depend on the particular type of T curve. My one daughter has no measurable L curve post op but the other one does. The radiographs are in the thread "Got the radiographs" if you want to see what I mean. Ask your surgeon what type of T curve your daughter has and then ask what is reasonable to expect by way of spontaneous lumbar correction for that curve.

    I wonder, too, how much range of motion she will lose. Her curve is located between her shoulder blades. I appreciate learning of anyone's experience with any of the above issues.
    It seemed like my daughters had no loss in range of motion based on just watching them for all this time. But I did ask one directly and she said she can't bend to the side as much as she used to but that was the extent of the difference. She bent to the side and she can still bend but I guess not as much as usual.

    And I would like to clarify about the sports . . . The sports are not important to "me," but they are to my daughter. My hope is that her life be interrupted as little as possible, that the surgery not interfere or prevent her from having her "normal" life.
    The claim and the common reality is that she will return to a normal life including sports. That is the point of the surgery... to get back to that point. At least that is what surgery accomplished for my kids.

    Also, with the bracing (because I realize it's such a controversial issue), my daughter has been part of a nation-wide (and Canada) study of 600 patients, the purpose of which is to determine if bracing is an effective treatment or not. Her brace had a computer chip in it that monitored her body heat and by that recorded the number of hours she wore the brace (minimum 20 hours per day). At each doctor visit, they downloaded the information from the monitor. Her doctor said she was one of the most compliant patients he ever had. The brace just did not work for her. The doctor also included my daughter in a genetic study. They hope to identify genetic factors that might predict if bracing will be more or less effective for certain individuals. Thanks in advance for any information and/or encouragement!
    Wow that is spectacular about being part of the study!

    Your daughter was very good to be compliant. It sounds like her genetics were against her as they seem to be in the cases of my daughters.

    Good luck.
    Sharon, mother of identical twin girls with scoliosis

    No island of sanity.

    Question: What do you call alternative medicine that works?
    Answer: Medicine


    "We are all African."

  3. #3
    Join Date
    May 2009
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    i do not think there is any scoliosis surgery that avoids cutting into muscles completely...

    is minimally invasive approach a possibility for your daughter? that would minimize the trauma to muscles, but even that would not eliminate it completely...
    that is per what the surgeons who do minimally invasive for scoliosis surgery have told me...
    and minimally invasive approach for thoracic has been around longer than the same approach for lumbar...

    best of luck
    jess

  4. #4
    Join Date
    Sep 2003
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    Northern California
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    Hi mom...

    With the a few rare exceptions of kids who had bad outcomes, all of the kids that I've known have been back to full activity in 6 months. That usually includes everything with the exception of full contact sports (football, extreme fighting, etc.).

    Regards,
    Linda
    Never argue with an idiot. They always drag you down to their level, and then they beat you with experience. --Dilbert
    I'm sarcastic... what's your super power? --Unknown
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  5. #5
    Join Date
    Apr 2007
    Location
    Seattle, WA
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    My son was able to do almost all his activities within 3 months and back to everything within 6 months. Good luck with the surgery and her recovery. Don't hesitate to keep asking questions of us and your doctor(s).
    Laurie

    Mother of Alexander & Zachary:
    Alex is 16 years old and in the 11th grade. He has congenital scoliosis due to a hemivertebrae at T10. Wore a TLSO brace for 3 1/2 years. Pre-op curves were T45 & L65; curves post-op are approx. T31 & L34. Had a posterior spinal fusion from T8 to L3 on 7/12/07 at age 12. Doing great now in so many ways, but still working on improving posture.
    Zach is 13 years old and very energetic.

  6. #6
    Join Date
    Apr 2011
    Posts
    2

    Successful Surgery

    My daughter Sarah had surgery at 15 years old, competive soccer player, was back playing soccer at 7 months. She had a S surve T4 to L3. Dr. Paul Rubery did her surgery in Rochester NY, Strong Golisano Hospital. She was week in the hospital(longest week of my life), month out of school. She had her surgery 11/23/09.
    Good Luck Sarahs Mom

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