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Thread: Hysterical Scoliosis... Just an FYI

  1. #1
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    Hysterical Scoliosis... Just an FYI

    The woman who posted her xrays several days ago, and with whom Pooka1 and I discussed the possibility of "hysterical" or "functional" scoliosis deleted her thread. I hope she's still watching. I know her user ID and first name, but I'm going to honor what I conceive as a need for privacy.

    Unfortunately, people seem to think that issues such as this are less genuine than things like structural scoliosis. Just because it's termed "hysterical" or "functional" does not mean it's untreatable. It's just treatable by things other than surgery.

    I sent a copy of the subject xrays to the surgeon who Pooka1 mentioned. She thinks this xray looks remarkably like the ones from the patient whose spine straightened completely when she was put under anesthesia.

    --Linda
    Never argue with an idiot. They always drag you down to their level, and then they beat you with experience. --Twain
    ---------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------
    Surgery 2/10/93 A/P fusion T4-L3
    Surgery 1/20/11 A/P fusion L2-sacrum w/pelvic fixation

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    Excellent news!

    Wow Linda that is so great that you showed those radiogrpahs to the surgeon. That is a very atypical curve and met the description of hysterical scoliosis so I am not surprised it was similar to the other case.

    The poster might be one anesthetizing away from being straight again. I really hope you are right about her still reading the forum hopefully.

    Last, if hysterical scoliosis is a stigma then I wish both my kids had that stigma. Whatever you call it, it beats the hell out of structural scoliosis.
    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."

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    if hysterical scoliosis is a stigma then I wish both my kids had that stigma. Whatever you call it, it beats the hell out of structural scoliosis.
    Me too Pooka!!

    Linda, what's the connection between 'hysterical scoliosis' and being anesthetized? How does just putting someone under correct their curve? I'm not understanding that at all.

    I hope that member does stick around b/c I found her story fascinating, replied to the thread and tried to reply to it again but it was gone unfortunately.
    Son 14 y/o diagnosed January 20th. 2011 with 110* Curve
    Halo Traction & 1st. surgery on March 22nd. 2011
    Spinal Fusion on April 19th. 2011

    Dr. Krajbich @ Shriners Childrens Hospital, Portland Oregon



    http://tinyurl.com/Elias-Before
    http://tinyurl.com/Elias-After

  4. #4
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    Quote Originally Posted by Elisa View Post
    Me too Pooka!!

    Linda, what's the connection between 'hysterical scoliosis' and being anesthetized? How does just putting someone under correct their curve? I'm not understanding that at all.

    I hope that member does stick around b/c I found her story fascinating, replied to the thread and tried to reply to it again but it was gone unfortunately.
    Hi Elisa...

    In hysterical scoliosis, the spine is curved because the patient is holding it that way with their muscles. It looked to me like she was doing it by holding one shoulder about 3-4" low. When the patient is anesthisized, they cannot hold the curve, and it straightens.

    Regards,
    Linda
    Never argue with an idiot. They always drag you down to their level, and then they beat you with experience. --Twain
    ---------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------
    Surgery 2/10/93 A/P fusion T4-L3
    Surgery 1/20/11 A/P fusion L2-sacrum w/pelvic fixation

  5. #5
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    I understand what this is, but I think the word "hysterical" is a bit jarring, and ultimately embarrassing. That word makes it sounds like her problem is entirely emotional or psychological, when it might have a neurological component.

    On the other hand, .... who knows??
    Chris
    A/P fusion on June 19, 2007 at age 52; T10-L5
    Pre-op thoracolumbar curve: 70 degrees
    Post-op curve: 12 degrees
    Dr. Boachie-adjei, HSS, New York

  6. #6
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    Quote Originally Posted by Singer View Post
    I understand what this is, but I think the word "hysterical" is a bit jarring, and ultimately embarrassing. That word makes it sounds like her problem is entirely emotional or psychological, when it might have a neurological component.

    On the other hand, .... who knows??
    No the diagnosis is made in the ABSENCE of neuro findings if I remember correctly.

    Brain chemistry is complex.
    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."

  7. #7
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    I guess I prefer something like "postural" scoliosis better.....and I'm not usually a stickler for political correctness. "Hysterical" just sounds so Victorian to me.
    Chris
    A/P fusion on June 19, 2007 at age 52; T10-L5
    Pre-op thoracolumbar curve: 70 degrees
    Post-op curve: 12 degrees
    Dr. Boachie-adjei, HSS, New York

  8. #8
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    I agree. Hysterical definitely makes it sound like it's completely controllable just by not being hysterical.

    Actually, the surgeon says she thinks there might be a neuro component, and actually recommended the patient be seen by a neurologist.

    --Linda
    Never argue with an idiot. They always drag you down to their level, and then they beat you with experience. --Twain
    ---------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------
    Surgery 2/10/93 A/P fusion T4-L3
    Surgery 1/20/11 A/P fusion L2-sacrum w/pelvic fixation

  9. #9
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    Quote Originally Posted by Singer View Post
    I guess I prefer something like "postural" scoliosis better.....and I'm not usually a stickler for political correctness. "Hysterical" just sounds so Victorian to me.
    Exactly. And the term "hysterical" always seems to apply to women whose hormones are out of whack and are pm-essing and do irrational things. What about the men who have this disorder? I bet they hate that term even more. Definitely come up with a better term for sure.

    The whole 'holding your muscles' thing that causes spinal deformity is really interesting.
    Son 14 y/o diagnosed January 20th. 2011 with 110* Curve
    Halo Traction & 1st. surgery on March 22nd. 2011
    Spinal Fusion on April 19th. 2011

    Dr. Krajbich @ Shriners Childrens Hospital, Portland Oregon



    http://tinyurl.com/Elias-Before
    http://tinyurl.com/Elias-After

  10. #10
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    I'm sorry to hear there'd been an upset with the original conversation, I would have liked to read and see it. I hadn't heard of HS before, but it has certainly caught my attention- thanks for bringing it back into the light! My chiro has been telling me that I've been holding a lot of tension in my spine from bottling up emotions that I didn't feel comfortable expressing in my earlier years. I can feel it when I am in an unpleasant situation I can feel my whole back, stomach and neck compress and tighten. I see possibilities in what she suggests!

    So, I assume when the anesthesia wears off the old patterns would return with the curve?

    I'm a male, by the way, and though I can't say it's my first choice for an ailment's moniker, we can call it anything if it's a possible route to a straighter back. Thanks again for a new ray of hope!

  11. #11
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    Oh... what was distinct about the x-ray that suggested H.S.?

  12. #12
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    Quote Originally Posted by pmc View Post
    Oh... what was distinct about the x-ray that suggested H.S.?
    The individual vertebrae are not wedged, and one shoulder is maybe 3-4" higher than the other. Even in severely unbalanced curves, the shoulder difference is usually only about an inch.

    --Linda
    Never argue with an idiot. They always drag you down to their level, and then they beat you with experience. --Twain
    ---------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------
    Surgery 2/10/93 A/P fusion T4-L3
    Surgery 1/20/11 A/P fusion L2-sacrum w/pelvic fixation

  13. #13
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    The term HS really does need to be changed. A truly wicked case can present as a structural case. That makes it no less afflicting. What strikes me is that this may indicate that there is an emotional component (little understood) that could come into play in many non HS cases - we simply do not know how, or to what degree.


  14. #14
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    Quote Originally Posted by LindaRacine View Post
    The individual vertebrae are not wedged, and one shoulder is maybe 3-4" higher than the other. Even in severely unbalanced curves, the shoulder difference is usually only about an inch.

    --Linda
    Thanks, Linda! I'm not aware of wedging, but my shoulders aren't nearly as off (less than an inch, probably).

  15. #15
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    Quote Originally Posted by pmc View Post
    Thanks, Linda! I'm not aware of wedging, but my shoulders aren't nearly as off (less than an inch, probably).
    It can be hard to see wedging unless you have a really good A/P xray, and are looking for it. If you have a good film, and look at the apex of a structural curve, you should be able to see it. For example, look at Figure 6 on this page. If you look at the vertebrae that's right where the 60 degrees is marked, you can see that the left side of the vertebra is not as tall as the right side.
    Never argue with an idiot. They always drag you down to their level, and then they beat you with experience. --Twain
    ---------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------
    Surgery 2/10/93 A/P fusion T4-L3
    Surgery 1/20/11 A/P fusion L2-sacrum w/pelvic fixation

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