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Thread: Questions about rod surgery

  1. #1
    Join Date
    Feb 2009
    Posts
    14

    Question Questions about rod surgery

    Hello,

    I am fairly new here, I am 29 years old and have a a 40 degree curve in my upper back and approx. 47 degree curve in my lumbar area, which has cause a herniated disk and sciatica. I also have a fractured vertebrae in my lumber (L3 I think), and when my new dr. had an MRI done last week, he told me that one of the vertebrae in my lumbar area has shifted backwards.

    I am now all of a sudden having severe pain in my upper back, just underneath my right shoulder blade, which I can only assume is caused by the curve at the top of my back. I have seen a neurologist as well as an orthopedic surgeon, the O.S. is my new dr. now and I feel very comfortable with him; next week I have an epidural spinal scheduled, but I expect to probably have the rod surgery within the next 8 months or so.

    I am wondering about so many things, any info that you have would be helpful to me, I have been reading around this forum and have learned some things. I know that the surgery doesn't work for everyone, some people end up worse off, and that's what really scares me.

    On top of it all, I have a 20 month old son so this will be hard on all of us if I end up with this surgery. I am wondering if anyone else out there has had this kind of surgery at a young age such as 30-ish, and any tips or advice is much appreciated.

    Thank you for reading/listening. =)

    Ryanne

  2. #2
    Join Date
    Jun 2011
    Location
    Southern CA
    Posts
    2,224
    I am not in your position but I wanted to welcome you to this forum. Someone or someones will write to you that are in your position.

    Have a good day
    Melissa

    Fused from C2 - sacrum 7/2011

    December 8, 2014 - Another Broken Rod Surgery

  3. #3
    Join Date
    Oct 2008
    Location
    Sunshine Coast, Queensland, Australia
    Posts
    3,261
    Get your hands on this book: Scoliosis Surgery: The Definitive Patient's Reference

    So much valuable information in there, many of us here benefited from reading it. Best of luck!
    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

  4. #4
    Join Date
    May 2010
    Location
    Indianapolis area
    Posts
    966
    Welcome to the forum! If you can put your surgery off until your 20-month old is three, it will be a lot easier on all of you. You will not be allowed to left him/her at all -- into car seats, crib, etc, and you will not be allowed to bend to change diapers. I would guess these restrictions would be in place for you for at least six months, if not a year. I was advised to have surgery at age 30 and waited until I was 40 primarily for these reasons. My youngest was 5 when I had the surgery, but I think I could have done it when she was three. If you need to go ahead because of pain, I would arrange for full-time care for your child for several months. It's a difficult situation for all of us. I hope you find good advice here.

    Best,
    Evelyn
    age 44
    80* thoracolumbar; 40* thoracic
    Reduced to ~16* thoracolumbar; ~0* thoracic
    Surgery 3/14/12 with Dr. Lenke, T4 to S1 with pelvic fixation
    Not "confused" anymore, but don't know how to change my username.

  5. #5
    Join Date
    Sep 2003
    Location
    Northern California
    Posts
    6,797
    Hi....

    Welcome.

    I agree with Evelyn, but actually suggest you try to put the surgery off at least until your child no longer needs to be put into a car seat. Lifting a child is hard enough for the first 3-6 months postop, but having to bend and put them into a car seat is really difficult.

    In general, scoliosis patients seek treatment in their adolescence, teens, and in the 40s-80s, although it's not unheard of that someone around 30 needs treatment.

    Hope that conservative treatment (injections, physical therapy) can help you, at least for awhile.

    Regards,
    Linda
    Never argue with an idiot. They always drag you down to their level, and then they beat you with experience. --Dilbert
    I'm sarcastic... what's your super power? --Unknown
    ---------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------
    Surgery 2/10/93 A/P fusion T4-L3
    Surgery 1/20/11 A/P fusion L2-sacrum w/pelvic fixation
    ---------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------
    If you've signed up and are having trouble posting, please check your spam folder. An email was sent to the email address which you subscribed. You have to follow the instructions in that email. Done that and still having trouble posting? Contact Joe O'Brien at jpobrien@scoliosis.org.

  6. #6
    Join Date
    May 2012
    Location
    United Kingdom, Leeds
    Posts
    128
    Hi Ryanne

    Welcome to the forum!

    My situation is different to yours but I do agree with the other comments hear that you wont be able to lift or bend for 6mths or so and won't really be able to help with your son/daughter, maybe a carer or waiting for surgery would help.

    I have an S shaped curve, rod at the bottom but my top curve is now 104 degrees so I'm awaiting full fusion with possible pelvis fusion. I get a lot of pain at the biggest part of my curve under my right shoulder and under my left shoulder where my shoulder sinks down a lot.
    I have regular physiotherapy and massages to try and loosen the muscles and tightness in these areas so you could try that.

    I also find sitting upright and stretching one arm straight out in front of you with fingers pointed as far as you can (so the shoulder pushes out a little) then relax and again about 5 times then the same with the other arm helps to stretch the muscles near the shoulders.
    Alternatively I sit upright and bend my neck to the side (ear towards shouder) about 5 times on each side, this seems to strentch the neck and shoulder area. Maybe you could try these.

    Jennifer- Thank's for the suggestion re the book, might take a look myself.

    Jenna
    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
    Join Date
    Apr 2012
    Posts
    83
    Quote Originally Posted by andromeda441 View Post

    I am wondering if anyone else out there has had this kind of surgery at a young age such as 30-ish, and any tips or advice is much appreciated.

    Thank you for reading/listening. =)

    Ryanne
    I am 29 and currently weighing the pros and cons of surgery. I have met with 2 surgeons and have my 3rd and last opinion scheduled for tomorrow. My biggest reason for having surgery now, versus later is that they wouldn't need to fuse as many levels if I do it now, and that is really important to me. Although, I am pretty much pain free now, I have to think about what I will be like in the future... So although I haven't had surgery, I do not plan on waiting until I do have pain to do something about it... hope that helps.
    If I were you.... I'd do as much as i can now for pain, and put off surgery so that you can care for your baby. GOOD LUCK!

  8. #8
    Join Date
    Jan 2012
    Location
    Yacolt, WA
    Posts
    1,525
    Welcome! Try all of the conservative treatments before considering surgery. If and when you do have surgery, check about when you should wait to have more kids [in case you want more, that is].

    Susan
    Adult Onset Degenerative Scoliosis @65, 25* T & 36* L w/ 11.2 cm coronal balance; T kyphosis 90*; Severe disc degen T & L stenosis

    2013: T3- S1 Fusion w/ ALIF L4-S1/XLIF L2-4, PSF T4-S1 in 2 surgeries
    2014: Hernia @ ALIF repaired; Emergency screw removal surgery for Spinal Cord Injury at T4,5 sec to PJK
    2015: Revision Broken Bil T & L rods and no fusion: 2 revision surgeries; hardware P. Acnes infection
    2016: Ant/Lat Lumbar diskectomy w/ 4 cages + BMP + harvested bone + prayer

  9. #9
    Join Date
    Feb 2012
    Location
    USA
    Posts
    29
    Hi Raynne,

    I have not had my surgery yet but I am 29 years old as well with Lumbar 45 degrees. I think we all have some big decisions to make and many pros and cons. My daughter is almost 9 years old so I am actually hoping in my case she will be more of a help. But there are still different concerns for each of us, different ones in different areas, it's not a easy decision. I would take the other's advice about waiting a bit till your son is 3 or so. By the time you actually searched for the right Surgeon, got it all together and did research he probably be in the proper age, it's a process that takes time.

    I find the best way to handle this is to do the constructive side of things, like go to the gym and strengthen some needed muscles which would help with recovery ( I believe stronger muscles= less stress on bones). Maybe start putting savings aside for recovery time too. Even if you end up not having surgery those things won't hurt to have.

    I personally have a friend who had scoliosis surgery, now in her 20th, had surgery as a teen. You could never tell till I saw her scar at the pool. She said she is doing great, no pain or irritation. Just some flexibility restrictions when turning her body, like when driving.. etc her scar is almost not seen.

    Than I met a woman in her 50th who had surgery as a teen, she said she is not regretting but it can come and be more of an issue at a later age, as your body growing older and start breaking down. I met her at the gym, she said because she works out she is doing pretty well. Her scoliosis is pretty severe, it was only partially fixed. Not sure if now days surgeries have better promising future with aging than they used to. As I found our body can start causing more problems with scoliosis at a later age if surgery was done or not, I also found it is not a guarantee either, some of us age just fine.

    I also met another lady in her 50th who have had surgery few years previously, I think she also had disc problems. She have been taking extra calcium for years knowing she have weak spine and calcium is what nourishes the bones, she said she felt she needed stronger bones because of it. Now her bones are in an unusual excellent shape, test results showed it too. She is doing very well after surgery thanks to her strong bones.

    If this helps.. I know it is a big decision, I have been waiting for a magic wand that can answer all my concerns, unfortunately it doesn't work that way. Good luck with everything!
    29 years old Female
    45 Degrees Lumbar Scoliosis T12-L4

  10. #10
    Join Date
    Feb 2009
    Posts
    14

    Book

    Quote Originally Posted by JenniferG View Post
    Get your hands on this book: Scoliosis Surgery: The Definitive Patient's Reference

    So much valuable information in there, many of us here benefited from reading it. Best of luck!

    I can't find this book at my local library, and it isn't available on Kindle. I can't afford to buy the book, I was wondering if anyone here would possibly be willing to let me borrow a copy, if I paid for the shipping? Just a thought...

    Anyhow, thank you for the info, I will definitely try to get hold of a copy of this book.

  11. #11
    Join Date
    Feb 2009
    Posts
    14

    Thanks Evelyn!

    Quote Originally Posted by Confusedmom View Post
    Welcome to the forum! If you can put your surgery off until your 20-month old is three, it will be a lot easier on all of you. You will not be allowed to left him/her at all -- into car seats, crib, etc, and you will not be allowed to bend to change diapers. I would guess these restrictions would be in place for you for at least six months, if not a year. I was advised to have surgery at age 30 and waited until I was 40 primarily for these reasons. My youngest was 5 when I had the surgery, but I think I could have done it when she was three. If you need to go ahead because of pain, I would arrange for full-time care for your child for several months. It's a difficult situation for all of us. I hope you find good advice here.

    Best,
    Evelyn

    Thank you for your reply! I told them that I'd like to put the surgery off for 4-5 years, but my doctor told me he's afraid I would become dependent on my pain meds before then and end up an addict (he may be too late). So, I am going to try to put off the surgery until next Winter/Spring, my father lives with me and is retired, and during those seasons he is here at the house; during the summer he stays at his home in another state. But between him, my Mother and my husband, they can take my son while I'm recovering. Thanks again!

  12. #12
    Join Date
    Feb 2009
    Posts
    14

    Thank you for welcoming me

    TO Susan, Linda, & King -- thank you so much for welcoming me and your encouraging words. The support is much appreciated, as I'm sure you already know.

    TO YB1125 & Jenna - thank you for all the info, I really feel better just knowing I'm not the only one out there...

    I will take every reply that I have been given serious consideration, I really appreciate it everybody! I'm waiting for my insurance company to approve my next epidural injection, should happen sometime next week...but I know that's for another forum.

    Thanks again guys, talk to you soon, and I hope you all are doing well and pain-free.

    Ryanne

  13. #13
    Join Date
    May 2012
    Location
    United Kingdom, Leeds
    Posts
    128
    Quote Originally Posted by andromeda441 View Post
    Thank you for your reply! I told them that I'd like to put the surgery off for 4-5 years, but my doctor told me he's afraid I would become dependent on my pain meds before then and end up an addict (he may be too late). So, I am going to try to put off the surgery until next Winter/Spring, my father lives with me and is retired, and during those seasons he is here at the house; during the summer he stays at his home in another state. But between him, my Mother and my husband, they can take my son while I'm recovering. Thanks again!
    Hi Ryanne

    While addiction should be a concern, I wouldn't worry too much about it. I was given Tylex (similar to Tramadol) and anti inflamatories soon after my surgery when I was 13yrs old. I'm now 27 and am still taking the same. I was admitted to hospital last year and my doctors then were concerned about me taking the pain meds long term and asked if I thought I was addicted. Whilst I normally take the max dose each day, 2 every 4 hrs (max 8 per day) but I do tend to get to 4 hours and think- do I need more or can I wait a bit. Sometimes I then only end up taking 4.

    Good idea to hold off for a bit if you can, you can then look after your son and save some money for after care.

    Good Luck

    Jenna
    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.

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