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

  1. #31
    Join Date
    Jun 2005
    Posts
    4

    what does flat back syndrome refer to???

    I'm new here...what is flat back?

  2. #32
    Join Date
    Oct 2004
    Location
    massachusetts
    Posts
    20

    flatback is..

    also known as iatrogenic flatback syndrome or fixed sagittal imbalance and is the progressive loss of lumbar lordosis, i.e., "flattening" of the lower spine's normal outward curvature. Most individuals with it underwent posterior spinal fusion some time between 1960 and 1990, and usually had Harrington rod installed low in the lumbar spine. Flatback can also develop after lumbar surgery for other reasons. Signs/symptoms often include forward-leaning or hunched-over posture; need for physical support (shopping cart, walker); standing with knees slightly bent in order to stand upright, compensatory hyperextension (craning) of neck; inability to lie flat. Pain and disability may be progressive over time as the discs below the fusion wear and stenosis and other arthritic type changes occur in concert with the forward leaning posture.

    The "cure" is a complex revision surgery, where wedge shaped pieces of the old fusion are removed to re-align the spine/body, new hardware is added, and fusion is often to the sacrum.

    Hope this helps..hope it doesn't apply to you! Cam

  3. #33
    Join Date
    Apr 2006
    Posts
    227

    Disc Degeneration at 34

    I'm 34 and new here...I had my harrington rod inserted when I was 12 (s-curve; 70 degree curve). I have had excruciating pain this last month...all the way down my right arm and back. Like most of you, I never even gave my back a second thought until recently...have been active and am in relatively good shape...but this last month has been horrible. I've been to a physical therapist (which exasperated the problem) and a chiropractor (who is no longer treating me as she thinks I have disc degeneration and is afraid that if I don't get treated soon I will have permanent nerve damage). My general physician gave me pain meds that I cannot tolerate...I go back to my primary physician on Monday. I also was afraid of chiropractic but she was very professional and gentle. Deep muscle massage also pained the area more. I also notice lower back pain when I sit on a hard floor (I'm a teacher and mom )and try to get up or if I'm in cold or wet weather...never gave it a second thought but am now wondering if I shouldn't have lower discs checked as well. Wow! I thought I should be home free after all I went through in my younger years.

  4. #34
    Join Date
    Sep 2003
    Location
    Northern California
    Posts
    6,802
    Hi Always...

    I'd like to encourage you to ask for a referral to a scoliosis specialist. You can find a list of specialists here:

    http://www.srs.org/directory/directory.asp

    Regards,
    Linda

  5. #35
    Join Date
    Apr 2006
    Posts
    227

    Spine specials

    Linda-

    Thank you for that connection...I have written to my spine surgeon with no response at this time...do you think it would be appropriate for me to make an appointment with him...I see he's on your list...he normally treats adolescent or juvenille...met with my primary physician today...have an MRI scan planned for tomorrow...he does want me to get a second opinion.

    Thanks so much...this site is truly a Godsend!

  6. #36
    Join Date
    Sep 2003
    Location
    Northern California
    Posts
    6,802
    Hi Always...

    I'm guessing that the MRI will be relatively useless. The metal attached to your spine will distort the image, so they won't really be able to tell anything unless the problem is relatively far from the implants.

    If your surgeon treats kids, you're going to need referral to someone who treats adults... hopefully someone who has a lot of experience treating patients with prior fusions. Where are you located?

    Regards,
    Linda

  7. #37
    Join Date
    Apr 2006
    Posts
    227

    Smile location

    Reedsburg, Wisconsin (near WI DELLS) but have traveled to Fairview in the Twin Cities, MN. (Who are the "leaders" these days for the midwest...in '82 I think it was fairview?)

    I really do appreciate you taking time to personally connect with me...WOW!

  8. #38
    Join Date
    Sep 2003
    Location
    Northern California
    Posts
    6,802
    Hi...

    You should be seen by the Twin Cities Spine Center:

    http://www.tcspine.com/default.asp

    Regards,
    Linda

  9. #39
    Join Date
    Jul 2007
    Posts
    10

    Deb

    i too had surgery at 13 im now 42 read my thread under madnsn2 under surgery revision, u seem to be in early stages read on a nd good luck

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