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Thread: Dr John Greyhack in Chicago

  1. #1
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    Dr John Greyhack in Chicago

    I am new here. My son is 16 and has been diagnosed with a 54 degree curve(second opinion said 56 degrees) and is in need of surgery. We are planning to go ahead with Dr Greyhack at Lurie Children's in Chicago. Has anyone used him here or have any expreience. This whole thing has been a big rollercoaster ride for us and has been very difficult. My son is very athletic and is crushed by this. We did get an opinion at shriners in chicago as well, but are leaning towards Lurie because we know more about the hospital and are more comfortable at a larger scale hospital due to the kind of surgery he will have. Any advice would be so helpful! Thanks.

  2. #2
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    Hi...

    It sounds like you have already made up your mind, so if you don't want to hear any concerns about the physician, please feel free to ignore my post. I definitely do not want to undermine your confidence.

    There's very little information available on Dr. Grayhack, but it appears that he didn't do a fellowship. Between that fact, and the fact that I don't recall hearing his name before, I have a little bit of concern. If you haven't already done so, I would ask his office to "introduce" you to at least 3-4 of his other patients' parents. If you're getting referrals from a doctors' office, they're almost certainly not going to give you families with bad outcomes. But, talking to the other parents can reassure you, or potentially give you more to think about.

    Whatever you do, I hope your journey ends with a great outcome.

    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
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  3. #3
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    I would also ask him what percent of his surgery cases are adolescent scoliosis surgeries and how many does he do in a year? Where did he do his fellowship in spine surgery? How many years has he been in practice?
    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

  4. #4
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    there have been several reports of excellent care and outcomes (on this forum) for scoliosis surgeries at several of the Shriners Hospitals for Children thruout the country....
    i would suggest taking a second look there....

    jess

  5. #5
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    Ask him how many scoliosis fusions he has done in his life and how many he does in a given year. If it's a small number then you probably want to go with someone who has done many hundreds or thousands.

    An intern assisted on both my daughters but there was an expert surgeon right there. I can't imagine going to someone who did not do a fellowship in spine with plenty of scoliosis fusions or otherwise was a known expert doing this surgery.

    A good start is an SRS surgeon. We went to one but was referred to a non-SRS surgeon by him because my daughter's case was complex. So there are some, probably rare, exceptions to sticking with an SRS surgeon. The other thing is the other guy at our hospital was an SRS surgeon and then dropped that affiliation. He would obviously be okay too since he probably did so many of these fusions.

    Good luck.
    Last edited by Pooka1; 10-13-2012 at 10:36 AM.
    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."

  6. #6
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    Pooka how does one find information on if a doctor has a spine fellowship. He is on the list of docs we got from SRS, and I was told by his nurse that he has done thousands of these surgeries. I know she thought he had done about twenty in the last six months. However, he does also do other orthopedic work as well.

  7. #7
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    Sorry meant to direct that question about spine fellowships to linda, I was trying to find that information but was unable to.

  8. #8
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    Small world. Dr. Grayhack is also our doctor. We see him for consultations while receiving general check ups through the local orthopedist. We like him very much. I cannot attest to his skills as a surgeon, but can tell you that my friend's wife, who is an orthopedist, said if her children needed surgery she would recommend him. I think you are in good hands.

    I don't believe whether or not you have heard his name mentioned on a forum which, to be honest, receives little traffic and has few posters beyond a frequent few, is necessarily a negative thing. Dr. Grayhack is the chair or co chair of the pediatric orthopedic department at one of the largest children's hospitals in the US.
    Last edited by cello_mom; 11-26-2012 at 08:45 AM.

  9. #9
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    Thanks for the input! We seem to be hearing the same things and are learning of many people who have had this surgery with him.

  10. #10
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    Quote Originally Posted by tkare View Post
    Thanks for the input! We seem to be hearing the same things and are learning of many people who have had this surgery with him.
    I agree the bottom line is how many surgeries they have done and how much expertise they have accumulated. Our surgeon is not an SRS (to my knowledge) nor do I think he did a spine fellowship. But we were referred to him by someone who was an SRS and did do a spine fellowship as I recall. Our surgeon also was named as one of the surgeons in our area that other doctors would most likely go to themselves or for their family.

    We got two great results... I've posted the radiographs and we are several years out with no problems. So there are no hard and fast rules but that doesn't mean it isn't always best to START with an SRS member or an SRS-referral. We started with an SRS member for example. Of course you are not just starting out so it doesn't necessarily apply.
    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."

  11. #11
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    Just sharing what I've heard (or haven't heard).

    I can't say that I've heard of Dr. Greyhack or of Lurie Children's Hospital. I'm not from Chicago so that could mean absolutely nothing. I am wondering if Lurie is a hospital that is known for and specializes in pediatric orthopedic surgery, with scoliosis as one of its specialties.

    I do know that the above is true of Shriners Hospital in Chicago. As Jess mentioned, Shriners is very well known for treating children with scoliosis. I know many patients (including my own son) who have received excellent care at a Shriners Hospital. Among the 22 hospitals in their network, Chicago is regarded as one of the best. I don't think you could go wrong seeking surgery for scoliosis there.

    Of course, this is not to say that Dr. Greyhack isn't also excellent - I just have no personal knoweldge of him.

    Best of luck to you and your son!
    mariaf305@yahoo.com
    Mom to David, age 17, braced June 2000 to March 2004
    Vertebral Body Stapling 3/10/04 for 40 degree curve (currently mid 20's)

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  12. #12
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    Quote Originally Posted by tkare View Post
    Sorry meant to direct that question about spine fellowships to linda, I was trying to find that information but was unable to.
    I usually start with a Google search of the MD's name and the term CV or BIO. You can also try searing on the MD's name and the term FELLOWSHIP. If possible, you want someone who has done a spine fellowship as opposed to a pediatric or general orthopaedics fellowship.
    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.

  13. #13
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    If you don't feel comfortable with Grayhack, schedule a consult with his co worker, the department chair, who is undeniably qualified.

    http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/John_F_Sarwark

    http://fsmweb.northwestern.edu/facul....cfm?xid=14050

    you might also find this useful, it's Dr. Sarwarks "what you can do and when following surgery" patient sheet. www.scoliosislinks.com/JohnSarwarkChart.doc
    Last edited by cello_mom; 11-29-2012 at 04:45 PM.

  14. #14
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    Hi, The hospital is very noted in Chicago area. I have another name of a very excellent doctor, also in Chicago area. His name is Dr Kamal Ibrahim. He is the president of the scoliosis reasearch society. He teaches ,practices this surgery. You can find him at M&M Orthopaedics in Downers Grove.I can give you more details if you want.

  15. #15
    Join Date
    May 2011
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    update?

    Was curious if you went through with the surgery and your experience as Grey hack is also our surgeon.

    Thanks

    Feel free to pm me also.

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