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  1. #1
    Join Date
    May 2011
    Location
    Connecticut
    Posts
    25

    New to the Forum Surgery set for 5/27/11.

    Hi everyone. I'm new to posting here; although, I've been reading for a while. I am having surgery on 5/27/11. I'm at 48 thorac and 31 Lumbar, but I'm only having a thorasic correction. So, I'm having a lot of anxiety about the surgery and find myself hoping I'm not making a mistake. i went from a 31 degree curve to 48 in two years time. I wore a Boston brace when I was younger but was told that it would not increase once I stopped growing... In any event, I have a lot of spasiming as a result of the change and am starting to have rib and lung restriction, so I know in my head that I have to have the surgery but I am still really anxious.

    Also has anyone here had surgery with Dr. Sharma in NY? If so how did it go and what were your thoughts about him???

  2. #2
    Join Date
    Jan 2009
    Location
    Ames, Iowa
    Posts
    1,250
    Carole--
    Welcome to the forum. Of course, I'm sure you would rather not have to have a need to come here! I'm afraid I don't know this doctor but I'm sure some of our East Coast people can be of more help. Does he specialize in scoliosis surgery--that's awfully important. Good luck to you with surgery and all. 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.

  3. #3
    Join Date
    Jan 2008
    Location
    NC
    Posts
    9,204
    Do you have the radiographs from two years ago to show the surgeon?

    That's a remarkable progression rate (~8.5 degrees per year) for a mature spine. I would make sure you in fact did progress that quickly rather than there being some misunderstanding.

    ETA: This is especially jaw-dropping given that 31* at maturity is thought to be protective against further progression to surgical range. Do you have radiographs that show you at a 31* after about 16 or 17 years old and at least several days out of brace?

    I don't mean to question you... I am just saying your case seems so far from the paradigm.
    Last edited by Pooka1; 05-09-2011 at 02:34 PM.
    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."

  4. #4
    Join Date
    May 2010
    Location
    Indianapolis area
    Posts
    966
    Carole,

    I'm sure you know, of course, that degree measurement varies quite a bit from place to place, surgeon to surgeon and time of day. That said, it is possible to progress rapidly. I was 33* when I graduated from college; now 70-80*, depending on who measures (age 39). Not a two-year progression, but a major progression after skeletal maturity.

    Good luck sorting through the issues. You've come to the right place!

    Evelyn
    age 44
    80* thoracolumbar; 40* thoracic
    Reduced to ~16* thoracolumbar; ~0* thoracic
    Surgery 3/14/12 with Dr. Lenke, T4 to S1 with pelvic fixation
    Not "confused" anymore, but don't know how to change my username.

  5. #5
    Join Date
    Jan 2008
    Location
    NC
    Posts
    9,204
    Yes it is not impossible. There are three cases that I know of, one being Confusedmom, of people in the low 30*s at maturity who nevertheless progressed to surgery territory as young adults or thereabouts. Another is the "collapsing spine" situation in that one Dr. Hey blog post.

    Still, we bunnies are given to believe that these are incredibly unusual cases. Maybe they are and maybe they aren't given the number that have popped up just in the last few years on this one forum.
    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."

  6. #6
    Join Date
    May 2011
    Location
    Connecticut
    Posts
    25
    I know it is hard to believe, but I have had rather extensive testing x-rays and cat scans and have been to two different surgeons specializing in scoliosis. The rapid progression is what made both of them say I should have surgery soon rather than wait. I know that it is unusual, both surgeons were quite surprised too at the difference.

    Dr. Sharma does specialize in scoliosis and studied under Neuwirth at Beth Isreal he has his own practice now.

  7. #7
    Join Date
    Sep 2010
    Posts
    13
    I had a similar experience. I had a 20ish degree curve at the age of 18 (I had used a Scolitron, and then wore a brace for several years as an adolescent). Then in my mid and late twenties started having sporadic back pain. When I had my back checked at age 27 my curve was 45 degrees. I had my back rechecked periodically, and it held for a while then it progressed 15 degrees in 3 years, bringing it to a 59-60 degree curve.

    I had surgery 3/31/11 my curve went from 60 degrees to 30 degrees. I was hoping for better correction, but I was told my back was very arthritic and the surgeon had a hard time getting the screws in and actually had to use some hooks. I gained about an inch in height.

    Surgery was tough, but the pain was managed well. I am struggling more now that I have stopped taking pain meds, and have been trying to do more around the house. (I have two young boys -ages 9 and 5). I have to wear a hard brace for 4 months post-op too...I am not enjoying trying to find summer clothes that fit over it.

    Overall, I am glad I had it done.

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