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Thread: Orthodpedic Surgeon Recommendation

  1. #1
    Join Date
    Nov 2011
    Posts
    31

    Orthodpedic Surgeon Recommendation

    Hello, everyone. I am new to the board, although I read it often. I am amazed at the amount of information I have learned here. I was diagnosed with scoliosis when I was 16. I am now 57. I never had surgery because my orthopedist didn't think my curve was serious enough. I honestly don't remember the degree of my curve. The next time I went to an orthopedist was about 15 years ago. After he looked at my x-ray he was surprised at how significant a curve I had. Again, I don't remember the degree. The doctor said if my curve had been just a couple of degrees more, I would have problems (which I took to mean that I would need surgery). During the past few years I have had back pain and I noticed that my right shoulder blade (which always protruded) is protruding even more. I am self-conscious about it and my clothes never fit correctly because of my shoulder blade and un-even hips. I have also lost two full inches in height and I attribute this to a worsening of my spinal curve. I don't know any adults who have had scoliosis surgery and I was under the impression that it doesn't work well on someone my age. I recently moved to Colorado and was wondering if anyone on the board knows a good orthopedic surgeon in this state or knows how I can find one. Thank you so much.

  2. #2
    Join Date
    Apr 2010
    Location
    Waterloo, IL
    Posts
    1,704
    Welcome to the forum. Your story sounds similar to mine. I was diagnosed in high school with scoliosis and saw a specialist, but surgery was not recommended. I was self conscious of uneven hips and eventually a prominent rib hump. After surgery last January at age 60, I have had a smooth recovery. My surgery was with Dr. Lenke in St. Louis. I imagine someone on the forum will help you locate a surgeon closer to you. For this surgery, you must be selective. Good luck.
    Karen

    Surgery-Jan. 5, 2011-Dr. Lenke
    Fusion T-4-sacrum-2 cages/5 osteotomies
    70 degree thoracolumbar corrected to 25
    Rib Hump-GONE!
    Age-60 at the time of surgery
    Now 66
    Avid Golfer & Tap Dancer
    Retired Kdgn. Teacher

    See photobucket link for:
    Video of my 1st Day of Golf Post-Op-3/02/12-Bradenton, FL
    Before and After Picture of back 1/7/11
    tap dancing picture at 10 mos. post op 11/11/11-I'm the one on the right.
    http://s1119.photobucket.com/albums/k630/pottoff2/

  3. #3
    Join Date
    Mar 2005
    Location
    Ukiah CA
    Posts
    891
    welcome to the fourm. I was dianosed with school in middle school I wasn't offered surgery until my curve was around 53 degrees. I had my scoliosis surgery done with Dr Gupta in Sacramento.
    Kara
    25
    Brace 4-15-05-5-25-06
    Posterior Spinal Fusion 3-10-10
    T4-L2
    Before 50T
    After 20T

  4. #4
    Join Date
    Nov 2009
    Location
    Colorado
    Posts
    390
    Welcome, Carole!

    You have come to the right place....

    There is a doctor in Denver, Dr. Shay Bess. I have not yet had surgery, but I have seen him a couple
    times. Another young woman on the forum, Jesscv, had surgery with him and was very satisfied. You might want to PM her. I sent a friend who needed a couple levels fused and he was really happy with his outcome. You can read up a bit here:

    http://spinecare4you.net/about-us/st...-aea5f7fd6ceb:

    There is also Douglas Wong in Golden, and Linda has mentioned hearing of someone- I can't recall the name....maybe she will post here. You could do a search on Colorado doctors, and it would probably come up.

    All the best to you in your search. Ask lots of questions!
    Amy
    58 yrs old, diagnosed at 31, never braced
    Measured T-64, L-65 in 2009
    Measured T-57, L-56 in 2010, different doc
    2 lumbar levels spondylolisthesis
    Exercising to correct

  5. #5
    Join Date
    Nov 2009
    Location
    Colorado
    Posts
    390
    Ahh....I looked up Linda's reference and it was Dr. Kumar in Littleton. Her post from a couple years ago said she had heard good things about him...
    Amy
    58 yrs old, diagnosed at 31, never braced
    Measured T-64, L-65 in 2009
    Measured T-57, L-56 in 2010, different doc
    2 lumbar levels spondylolisthesis
    Exercising to correct

  6. #6
    Join Date
    Nov 2011
    Posts
    31
    I want to thank all of you for your replies. I feel so much better knowing that people my age have had surgery with great success. I have read so much about how surgery doesn't do much good if you are past your 20s. I looked up Dr. Shay Bess and he is affiliated with the Rocky Mountain Scoliosis and Spine Center. I have heard good things about this center and its doctors. Thank you again for your help.

  7. #7
    Join Date
    Oct 2010
    Location
    Bend, Oregon
    Posts
    265
    Welcome!

    I am so glad you found this forum. Unfortunately, one tends to hear only the horror stories about surgeries. Most of the people with success stories go on about their lives and you don't hear much about their great outcomes. Keep reading here, where there are real people with real stories. It should help you a lot! Read a bit each day. (Warning-it can get addictive!!) Everyone will become familiar to you, and help you in whatever way they can.

    There are many of us older people on the forum who have done quite well, many times life-changing. I will be 50 in a few days, and am 11 months post op. Karen (golfnut) and I have had truly great successes and have no regrets about having the surgery. Our surgeries were only a few days apart, so we were a perfect support team. Everyone here is so unbelievably supportive and helpful. Most importantly, they understand.
    Jenee'-52
    Bend, Oregon

    Braced 3 years in high school
    Lumbar 70'+ Thoracic 70'+
    I had 3" shrinkage in 6 months...

    Surgery Jan 10, 2011
    9 hours
    T3 to S1 with pelvic fixation
    Both curves now 35'

    Possible revison for Flatback Syndrome
    Non-fusion
    Loose/broken hardware-awaiting CT results

    Here is the link to my before and after pics..
    http://www.scoliosis.org/forum/showt......&highlight=

  8. #8
    Join Date
    Nov 2011
    Posts
    31
    Thanks so much, Jenee. I looked at your pictures. Your before pic looks just like my back is now. I'm amazed by your after pic. Your back looks perfect.

  9. #9
    Join Date
    Oct 2008
    Location
    Sunshine Coast, Queensland, Australia
    Posts
    3,263
    Hello Carol and welcome! I'm another who had surgery at a few weeks shy of age 58 and it went really well. I regained 2 of the 2.5 inches I'd lost and went from a 68 degree curve to 22. It's barely noticeable now. Look at my links and you can see the huge difference. I have no pain and can do anything, though there are a few chores I do with awkwardness but that's small bikkies compared to the way things were.

    The most significant improvement has been that pre-op, I could only stand for about 30 seconds before the pain became bad and I'd be looking for something to lean on (not that leaning helped!) But now I can stand as long as I want. The cosmetic improvement has been a huge bonus.
    Surgery March 3, 2009 at almost 58, now 63.
    Dr. Askin, Brisbane, Australia
    T4-Pelvis, Posterior only
    Osteotomies and Laminectomies
    Was 68 degrees, now 22 and pain free

  10. #10
    Join Date
    Nov 2011
    Posts
    31
    Thank you for your story, Jennifer. I can't believe how straight your spine looks after the surgery! I am so glad I came to this board. I'm finding out that people over 30 can definitely have successful scoliosis surgery.

  11. #11
    Join Date
    Feb 2011
    Location
    Lilburn, GA
    Posts
    201

    So true!!

    Quote Originally Posted by jeneemohler View Post
    Welcome!

    I am so glad you found this forum. Unfortunately, one tends to hear only the horror stories about surgeries. Most of the people with success stories go on about their lives and you don't hear much about their great outcomes. Keep reading here, where there are real people with real stories. It should help you a lot! Read a bit each day. (Warning-it can get addictive!!) Everyone will become familiar to you, and help you in whatever way they can.

    There are many of us older people on the forum who have done quite well, many times life-changing. I will be 50 in a few days, and am 11 months post op. Karen (golfnut) and I have had truly great successes and have no regrets about having the surgery. Our surgeries were only a few days apart, so we were a perfect support team. Everyone here is so unbelievably supportive and helpful. Most importantly, they understand.
    Jenee is so right about plenty of successful surgeries. Mine is one of them.
    50 years old!!!!!
    Wore Milwaulkee Brace 1976-77
    Original curve 36 degrees ( measured in the 70s)
    Advanced to 61 degrees 01/2011
    Surgery 07/11/2011
    Fused T1-L2 (curve now in the 20s!)

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