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Thread: Flexibility .. Why not?

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  1. #1
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    Flexibility .. Why not?

    I believe that a new kind of surgery may be achieved allowing flexibility, also in adults.

    I have read something about 1} a new kind of ‘bone’ used in fusions allowing the normal growth of the spine. Also that 2) the growth after surgery may be regulated through a remote control (Magec).
    I also know that 3) fusing only the vertebras according to one of the curves (in a double curve) lead to the straightening of also the other curves.
    Then I believe that something may be used allowing the spine flexibility also in adults and perhaps regardless the number of curves.

    I believe is possible because 1) a special kind of ‘bone’ (or some device accomplishing the same function) may be used to keep the vertebras straight, 2) their properties may change over time or be altered, in an external way and
    3) not all vertebras involved in a curve need to be fixed to remains straight. How may it be, I'm not sure but is a fact and it seems to says about the capacity of the body to activate some changes in the properties or behavior of some parts (not bones or discs) allowing the spine to remain straight.

    Then, since we are living in the 21 century, I’m sure that nobody may say that would be impossible to do some kind of surgery fixing some or all the vertebras in an stiff way, (so the spine has not other alternative that remaining straight as with a traditional surgery), but after some time, the properties of the device, special bone.. used, may be altered, even in an external way, so the flexibility may be reached again.
    There are so many reasons to believe that after the flexibility setting, the spine could remain straight. And if for any reason it not works.. stifness may be set again.

  2. #2
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    You have to remember that not just bone and discs are involved, which you acknowledged. Even IF you could do this, you would have to have corrective hardware so strong as to be able to take the forces exerted by the ligaments, tendons and muscles. We aren't there, yet. They do have artificial discs for people without scoliosis as an alternative to fusion. These patients are able to remain flexible. But with any moving parts, they wear out over time. I think that would be the biggest obstacle to overcome.
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  3. #3
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    Quote Originally Posted by rohrer01 View Post
    You have to remember that not just bone and discs are involved, which you acknowledged. Even IF you could do this, you would have to have corrective hardware so strong as to be able to take the forces exerted by the ligaments, tendons and muscles. We aren't there, yet. They do have artificial discs for people without scoliosis as an alternative to fusion. These patients are able to remain flexible. But with any moving parts, they wear out over time. I think that would be the biggest obstacle to overcome.
    Total disc replacement may be an option (if the problem you mentioned may be solved) if it would possible to not allow flexibility immediately.
    I'm talking about a time with a spine stiff (at least vertebras involved to achieve correction) and then, when stability seems to be possible (because adaptation of muscles, ligaments, fascias, neuromuscular system, ,..disc decompression (if it was not replaced by bone or a device)..) , flexibility may be gradually allowed again . . and who knows..

  4. #4
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    Hi,

    I'm not sure if I understand this thread but my thinking is that a rod is used to correct a curve. I wouldn't like to have a rod straighten my spine then move it and hope that the rod corrected the spine and there is no longer a need for it. What if it doesn't work and then you end up having a third operation to put rods back in?

    My lower curve was corrected in 97, the rod improved the curve but it didn't go away. It also did not correct my top curve as the surgeons hoped it would. My spine was stable until I was 21 years old so I no longer had to attend hospital for check ups.

    Since Oct 2010 I have been experiencing severe pain and movement in my spine. My top curve that was approx 20-30 degrees has now moved to 104 degrees and the pull of this curve is making my lower curve that has a rod get bigger too. I therefore wouldn't like to have rods to straighten my spine for a short while, remove them and hope that the curves don't come back. I personally would prefer to get the correction from rods and keep them there
    27 yr old Female.
    Scoliosis since 12yrs, fusion to lower curve in 1998, costioplast 2001 and further corrective surgery 26 July 2012.
    Now the proud owner of a very straight spine. T1- L5 fusion.
    Mr Dunsmuir, Orthopaedic Surgeon, LGI Leeds.

  5. #5
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    Quote Originally Posted by Jenna.KB View Post
    Hi,

    I'm not sure if I understand this thread but my thinking is that a rod is used to correct a curve. I wouldn't like to have a rod straighten my spine then move it and hope that the rod corrected the spine and there is no longer a need for it. What if it doesn't work and then you end up having a third operation to put rods back in?
    You are thinking from the perspective of an adult who has no growth left.

    Surgeons are loath to fuse the spine in a growing child because that stops growth and the torso will forever be noticeably short if that is done. Growth rods try to keep the curve in check while allowing the spine to grow as much as possible. In fact they use the remaining growth to help direct the spine straighter. The operations to put them in and and remove them are not considered worse than having a short torso with potentially not enough space for the lungs and heart as far as I can tell.
    Sharon, mother of identical twin girls with scoliosis

    No island of sanity.

    Question: What do you call alternative medicine that works?
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  6. #6
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    Quote Originally Posted by Pooka1 View Post
    You are thinking from the perspective of an adult who has no growth left.

    Surgeons are loath to fuse the spine in a growing child because that stops growth and the torso will forever be noticeably short if that is done. Growth rods try to keep the curve in check while allowing the spine to grow as much as possible. In fact they use the remaining growth to help direct the spine straighter. The operations to put them in and and remove them are not considered worse than having a short torso with potentially not enough space for the lungs and heart as far as I can tell.
    I get you. I didn't know they did surgery like that. I thought the thread was about rods to force the spine straight then once your body gets used to it being straight the rods can be removed and the spine should stay straight.
    I thought braces were used until the surgeons can measure the final growth so they know when to operate. I was diagnosed at 12 but wasn't allowed surgery until I started my periods. I was told the surgeons could then measure my height against my pelvis and work out if I was to grow anymore. I then had my surgery.

    Its definately clever if rods can be used to minimise the curve whilst children grow.
    27 yr old Female.
    Scoliosis since 12yrs, fusion to lower curve in 1998, costioplast 2001 and further corrective surgery 26 July 2012.
    Now the proud owner of a very straight spine. T1- L5 fusion.
    Mr Dunsmuir, Orthopaedic Surgeon, LGI Leeds.

  7. #7
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    Quote Originally Posted by flerc View Post
    Total disc replacement may be an option (if the problem you mentioned may be solved) if it would possible to not allow flexibility immediately.
    I'm talking about a time with a spine stiff (at least vertebras involved to achieve correction) and then, when stability seems to be possible (because adaptation of muscles, ligaments, fascias, neuromuscular system, ,..disc decompression (if it was not replaced by bone or a device)..) , flexibility may be gradually allowed again . . and who knows..
    Without the discs, the spine becomes much less stiff. That is one way that they do a release, but then need to put a person in traction or immediately fuse the spine via rods. IF they could replace the discs with ones that would not allow the spine to return to it's formerly curved state (limit the range of motion of the disc), then some flexibility could be maintained. However, the discs would likely wear out and I can NOT see that as a probable solution to fixing scoliosis, as there would have to be multiple surgeries as the prosthetic discs wore out. Could such a device even be invented that could hold up under the strain of a spine that wants to curve? Not likely. I can't imagine any other device that would ever allow for flexibility as rods are only put in place to hold the spine straight until fusion can take pace (except with growth rods). The rods would simply break due to metal fatigue.
    Be happy!
    We don't know what tomorrow brings,
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  8. #8
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    I believe is very difficult to say what may be impossible in a century where miracles beyond imagination are done all the time. Nor roads neither TDR where done to achieve what I'm saying. If it seems possible to get some kind of bone that may grow and roads that can be altered in an external way, sure is possible to get something absolutely stiff in the begining and then turning flexible according external orders. What may be impossible even in this century (I don't discuss that), is to get someone trying to get that.

  9. #9
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    Quote Originally Posted by flerc View Post
    I believe is very difficult to say what may be impossible in a century where miracles beyond imagination are done all the time. Nor roads neither TDR where done to achieve what I'm saying. If it seems possible to get some kind of bone that may grow and roads that can be altered in an external way, sure is possible to get something absolutely stiff in the begining and then turning flexible according external orders. What may be impossible even in this century (I don't discuss that), is to get someone trying to get that.
    I agree that if you could get people to say, "Let's try the impossible", they may be able to figure out a solution. I, as an individual, just can't see what that solution may be.
    Be happy!
    We don't know what tomorrow brings,
    but we are alive today!

  10. #10
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    I've been wondering about the Magec technology... After the rods are fully extended, or however they determine to stop extending, can the rods be removed? I have been trying to find that answer, but haven't found anything.
    Katie

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  11. #11
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    Quote Originally Posted by braceyourself View Post
    I've been wondering about the Magec technology... After the rods are fully extended, or however they determine to stop extending, can the rods be removed? I have been trying to find that answer, but haven't found anything.
    The Magec growth rods are exactly like the other growth rods in that they are meant to be removed after growth has ceased. If they worked, the child will only have a short fusion at the apex of the curve as I understand it. If the child will be fused they remove them and put in more screws and regular rods and fuse all the levels in the curve. Now it also can be considered to have "worked" if the child ends up with a smaller curve after growth and the spine is fully grown. The point is to allow growth in the spine while not allowing the curve to get out of hand.

    Someone correct me if I'm wrong.
    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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