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Thread: surgery at 13, now in my 40's what to expect?

  1. #1
    Join Date
    Jan 2005
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    Lancaster, Pa
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    surgery at 13, now in my 40's what to expect?

    Hi,
    I had surgery with harrington Rods and rib hump taken down at Shriners hosp. In Phila. Pa in 1976 when I was 13. ( 46 degree curve i think?) I am 42, fit and active and a massage therapist. In the past year i have noticed alot more stiffness and soreness. Is anybody else experiencing this at this age? Any suggestions besides loading up on advil?

    Debbie

  2. #2
    Join Date
    Jan 2005
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    13
    Debbie I am 38 had surgery around oh 26 years ago... harrington rods too... and yeah a bit of tiny issues in lower back - but honestly... no issues ever - any issue now i believe is because i have gained some extra baggage and need to get my butt in shape again.... also, i have recently thought after reading online "stuff" because of my daughter being diagonosed a few weeks ago... maybe just maybe i shouldn't not ride all the rollor coasters i ride every year... seems these darned rods sometimes don't hold out! any way.... with my daughter being diagnosed i have been forced to reconize what i always have just not even thougth about you know... I have freakin rods On my spine!!! I never really thought about until recently- what age and time woudl do - i suppose it shall be interesting - one good thing my daughter is going to the same surgeon I went to and he's awesome - trust me.... when we go back for her one month follow up after bracing i not only have aliswt of questions about her but me too! Wow ... unreal to realize the scope of folks this affects you know? I just always went with the flow and never thought much about it if ever thought about my very odd back any way will be fun to chat with someone who's is my age and has same thing i do

  3. #3
    Join Date
    Jan 2005
    Location
    London UK
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    2
    Hi Debbie and Swilkers,
    Debbie I posted a very similar message yesterday (I think) and what you have both describe sounds familiar to me. Apart from
    the year/eighteens months of my surgery and post-op braces the
    only "problems" I've had are those of body image - and now I look back and laugh at myself at how much time I wasted and opportunities I missed because I thought I had an "ugly" secret.
    Debbie I have noticed changes over the past several years - what I call mechanical problems relating to posture, especially seated. As work has become more sedentary it has become more of a problem. Although I don't think of myself as having pain, I am uncomfortable nearly all the time, which is driving me nuts. I'm now considering Alexander Technique as a way of maintaining/improving mobility and the postural mechanics of a body that is, or at least has been very flexible coupled with a spine that is severely non-flexible.
    My surgery was 33 years ago (aged 15) Harrington Rod & spinal fusion, in Hobart, Tasmania, Australia. After looking over this site I think I have flat back syndrome which has freaked me out a little after years of not particularly thinking about scoliosis.
    Last edited by darrell; 01-05-2005 at 04:51 AM.

  4. #4
    Join Date
    Jun 2004
    Location
    Ireland
    Posts
    35
    Hi all,
    I'm 37 and had my surgery in 1983.I had a fusion without rods from T3 to L1.I too find increasing stiffness and lack of flexibility a problem.Maybe I'm expecting too much of myself and maybe it's not so unusual to feel my body slowing and stiffening as I approach my forties.I don't have severe pain or flatback and I consulted two specialists over the last year. I have disc degeneration and bone spurs in the Lumbar spine but no severe symptoms. He told me that what I was experiencing was not unusual and he jokingly told me I was middle aged. (At least I hope he was joking)
    The advice he gave me was to join a gym and keep fit, but as I've
    worked in a sedentary job and have two small children this is practically impossible.
    Sins

  5. #5
    Join Date
    Jan 2005
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    13

    !

    Hey Darrell. - wow i can't belive that after all the years of like never ever thinking about it... It is so at the front of my mind - i always just well never really thought anything about it - till now... flat back syndrome - first i have heard - recently my lower back has bothered me .. but to tell the truth i thought it was becuase of my daughter having and me thinking about it - reason being my back never bothered me ever unless i was talking about it or listening about some one with back issues - seemed like mine got tight i know all in my head! But seriously - I think the lower back - not really pain just annoyance is due to job change sitting all the time and weight gain... I think I just need to do something to loose a tiny bit of weight not even a lot and get more physical you know? I am maybe just now at 38 coming to terms (not because i want to...just cuz my little girl has it) with what i went through for years - and the surgery and the fact I have like a couple freakin rods in my back - wow... talk about denial ! It's really cool for me to start just a day ago to people - and realize that it's so ok and I can talk about it you know? Thanks for the response

  6. #6
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    Jan 2005
    Location
    Toronto,Canada
    Posts
    5

    Also in denial

    I too have not thought about my scoliosis for 30 years more or less. I never dreamed that later in life I would run into problems with pain and disc degeneration. I had my Harrington rod put in in 1974 in Ottawa, Canada by Dr. Gordon Armstrong. I was 14 so I don't even remember the degree of curvature but it was mild to moderate. It's hard to find anyone even in the medical community who has any knowledge of what to do with someone like me. I'm gone to a physiotherapist, chiropractor and now a physiatrist (not to be confused with a psychiatrist although I need one of those eventually!) The orthopedic surgeon says that the surgery he could do to help me has a difficult long recovery time which is not warranted at this time. In the meantime I am looking for coping strategies. Anyone have any ideas?

  7. #7
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    Jan 2005
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    13

    a thought

    Hi Francine... My dr. and now my daughters... Dr. Alfred kahn III is wonderful and just in the past few weeks preformed a new surgery the only one in the country for degenerative disk (forgive my spelling!). Perhaps this is someone you should speak to.... He is and always has been in the "spine" b usiness and trained with one of the best... Just a thought...Let me know if you want more info h

  8. #8
    Join Date
    Jan 2005
    Location
    Toronto,Canada
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    I'm in Canada and need to stick with Canadian health care system. Also, now that I'm finding out how badly others are suffering, I realize my back and hip pain is relatively minor at this stage. Thank you so much for the help and concern.

  9. #9
    Join Date
    Jan 2005
    Location
    San Francisco
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    Hi Debbie,
    I was wondering if you could share with me how you are able to stay fit? For me, it has been a very long and bumpy roller coaster ride, especially after having 2 children (now ages 4 and 6). I just turned 30 and I am so uncomfortable and I know if I could just get more fit I would feel better. I'm 5'1 and 135 pounds. My goal is to lose fat, gain lean muscle and weigh 125 pounds. The problem is it hurts to work out. I have hip pain on my right side(I believe this is from the curvature of my spine). I also have knee pain and heal pain so I recently stopped running 2 to 3 miles every other day. I've just taken up walking on an incline trainer, but I really miss running. I was trying to get in shape and enter some races, just for motivation and sport, but I quit because of the pain. I am a mess. I feel double my age and it's really depressing, especially when I am self motivated to stay fit. Do you have any suggestions?

    Thanks,
    Judy

  10. #10
    Join Date
    Jan 2005
    Location
    Lancaster, Pa
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    3
    Dear Judy,
    I have a couple suggestions. I go to a chiropractor every 2 weeks and that really helps me. I also am a Reiki Master and give and recieve Reiki treatments regularly, that really helps me too. As for exercise running is the worst thing you can do for your body and back, very jarring on your joints. Yoga would be awesome. It helps with your flexibility, massages all your inner organs, and really tones your muscles and burns calories. I hope some of this info is helpful
    Debbie

  11. #11
    Join Date
    Jan 2005
    Location
    San Francisco
    Posts
    2
    Hi Debbie,

    I will definitely include more yoga and stretching into my workouts, as well as find an alternate to running for aerobic exercise. If things do not improve I will consider seeing a chiropracter. Reiki sounds very interesting...something else to consider in the future. Thanks so much for your advise!

    Judy

  12. #12
    Join Date
    Apr 2005
    Location
    Yardley, PA
    Posts
    1

    scoliosis surgery 31 years ago

    It is good to finally find someone who has gone through scoliosis surgery so long ago. I had my surgery 31 years ago. About three years ago I started to experience numbness down my one leg and weakness in my legs going up stairs. I had some similar things happen to my one arm and hand. I went to numerous doctors. One thought I had MS and I went through battery of test but nothing could be found. After a couple of years of going from specialist to specialist my doctor recommended me to do therapeutic massages along with seeing a chiropractor. This has truly changed my life. 2 to 4 times a month I get deep tissue massages and see a chiropractor. I will confess that I was scared about the chiropractor, what with the rod, but the doctor is very careful when doing an adjustment. It turned out that I am experiencing muscle spasms. I also was wondering if anyone else had had this happen to them. I still find it hard to sleep and can only do so comfortable in one position. I hope this can help you.

  13. #13
    Mary Lou Guest
    Hi Kim,

    Sorry, this has nothing to do with your actual post, but where is Yardley,PA? I have lived in PA all my life and I'm sorry to say I've never heard of Yardley.

    Mary Lou

  14. #14
    Join Date
    Apr 2005
    Location
    Hamilton, Waikato, New Zealand.
    Posts
    8

    Lightbulb Sleeping and numb leg

    [QUOTE=kim1962]It is good to finally find someone who has gone through scoliosis surgery so long ago. I had my surgery 31 years ago. About three years ago I started to experience numbness down my one leg and weakness in my legs going up stairs. I had some similar things happen to my one arm and hand. I went to numerous doctors. One thought I had MS and I went through battery of test but nothing could be found. After a couple of years of going from specialist to specialist my doctor recommended me to do therapeutic massages along with seeing a chiropractor. This has truly changed my life. 2 to 4 times a month I get deep tissue massages and see a chiropractor. I will confess that I was scared about the chiropractor, what with the rod, but the doctor is very careful when doing an adjustment. It turned out that I am experiencing muscle spasms. I also was wondering if anyone else had had this happen to them. I still find it hard to sleep and can only do so comfortable in one position. I hope this can help you.[/QUOTE=Mereana]Sometimes when I would lie on my left side that leg would always go numb, no trouble with my right side. My physiotherapist would find the trigger points to relieve the symptom until unknown to me how I cause it to come back. Sleeping positions are trial and error and once in a blue moon we can wake up in no pain and suprised we'd actually been to sleep. When my legs feel weak rest seems the only relief I've tried walking upstairs because medical advice is too keep walking, I found the more I walked the less I could move so after a rest which could be 2 days bed rest not all day spent in bed but more than usual, my legs are better. I think with scoliosis we need to recuperate and with normal people they need to keep on going. We need to recuperate to keep on going, to pace ourselves and do relaxing things like massage. We would be our best advisors I have also been to doctor to doctor, therapist to therapist. When you find the right one stick to them otherwise you waste alot of time and money and in my situation degenerated my body function by doing normal things that are not for scoliosis people.

  15. #15
    Join Date
    Apr 2005
    Posts
    1

    Spinal Stenosis Set In

    Hi,
    This Is My First Time To This Site. I Was Diagnosed With Scoliosis When I Was 3 1/2 Yrs Old. I Wore A Milwalkie (spelling) Until Age 12. At That Point They Thought It Was Time For Surgery. I Went Through The Worst Experience In My Life. I Had The Surgery, Then Had To Be Flat On My Back For 4 Months In A Body Cast. Not Allowed To Get Up @ All. Then Had A Body Cast For Another 6 Months Afterwards. But Was Allowed To Walk Around After That. It Was In The Dead Of The Summer, & Quite Honestly Not Being Allowed To Shower, I Smelled. (yuck). Then The Happiest Time Had Arrived & No More Casts Or Brace. (in A Cast For A Total Of 10 Months. Brace For 9 Yrs), I Was 12 Yrs Old At The Time & Now 42. I Did Not Have Any Pain For Almost That Whole Time. But Last Year, I Had Terrible Pain In My Lower Back ,& Pain Running Down My Leg. Very Hard For Me To Walk. Sitting Was Fine. I Did Finally Agree To Have An Mri & Was Told Spinal Stenosis Was The Diagnosis. & It Was Very Common For Some One With Fusion To Have It. The Ortho Wanted Me To Have Cortisone Shots Which I Would Not Agree To. I Told Him I Wanted To Try Physical Therapy. & Was Told By The Physical Therapist, He May Not Be Able To Help Me, I Told Him I Was Going To Make It Work. First He Had Me Doing Exercises Which Made Me Feel Worse. He Then Switched To Deep Massages & Stretching Me. & With In Weeks I Was A New Person & 1 Yr Later, Still Feeling Good. I Hope That Things Keep Up.
    Nancy

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