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Thread: I saw the surgeon

  1. #1
    Join Date
    Jan 2005
    Location
    Northern California
    Posts
    9

    I saw the surgeon

    Well, I saw the ortho surgeon today, who said my pain isn't bad enough, my curve is balanced and my life isn't impaired enough for surgery. His recommendations were to take OTC meds for pain, continue with weight-bearning exercise and yoga, and whatever helps the pain.

    So the questions are:

    Is the risk/pain of surgery & recovery WORSE than a lifetime of mild but chronic back pain??

    If the surgeon that my insurance covers says he *doesn't* recommend it, but I still want it, can I ask him to do it?


    I still plan on getting a second opinion...Anyone else been through this??

    Marian
    28 year old female, 68T and 43L degree curves considering surgery

  2. #2
    Join Date
    Sep 2003
    Location
    Northern California
    Posts
    6,951
    Hi Marian...

    If you push it enough, I'm sure you'll get one of the Kaiser doctors to agree to do your surgery. I'm not sure, however, if that's the right thing to do.

    It's just a draft, but I'm working on a webpage to help people consider all of the elements that might go into making the decision about surgery. You can view the draft at:

    http://www.scoliosislinks.com/ShouldYouHaveSurgery.htm

    Let me know what you think.

    Regards,
    Linda

  3. #3
    Join Date
    Jul 2004
    Location
    Northern California
    Posts
    255
    Marian... That's odd. I would have guessed at 68 and with pain they would have agreed. My surgeons also commented on the curves "balancing" each other as a good factor in my situation (although my curves are much less than yours).

    I guess it goes to show that some surgeons will not have people undergo this risky procedure unless they consider it absolutely necessary.

    Having experienced terrible constant pain for over a year, and still restricted in activities on a daily basis, I appreciate your frustration with the pain. Did you quantify your pain on the pain scale with your MD or surgeon? I found it useful to keep a diary of my pain. When I showed my MD the piece of paper where I had noted that I was having pain between 2-7 on the pain scale every day for at least 30% of the day, she began to take a much more aggressive attitude to dealing with my pain. I had assumed I had been describing my pain, but obviously not in the terms that were needed. I've also come to the conclusion that the word "mild" is very dangerous when describing pain to doctors. One surgeon I saw seemed to completely forget that I still have bouts of extreme pain, after I told that at that moment I would describe the pain as "mild."

    Let us know what happens with the second opinion, and as always we're hear to "listen."

    Take care.
    Laura
    30y/o
    Upper curve around 55
    Lower curve around 35

  4. #4
    Join Date
    Aug 2004
    Location
    san diego
    Posts
    55
    Linda,

    The link you posted is really good.

    Letty

  5. #5
    Join Date
    Sep 2003
    Location
    Northern California
    Posts
    6,951
    Thanks Letty! Can you think of anything I should add?

    --Linda

  6. #6
    Mary Lou Guest
    Linda,

    I agree your link is great. Although my daughter is only 13 and has already had her surgery, we took the "quiz" and it turns out we scored 12 for surgery and only 3 towards not having surgery and most of the 3 didn't really apply to her. We already knew we made the right decision, but it was helpful to be reassured.

    Keep up the great work and thanks for all you do.

    Mary Lou

  7. #7
    Join Date
    Sep 2003
    Location
    Northern California
    Posts
    6,951
    Thanks very much Mary Lou.

  8. #8
    Join Date
    Nov 2004
    Location
    New York
    Posts
    19
    Linda,

    Link that you posted is really good.

    Thanks,
    Pal

  9. #9
    Join Date
    Sep 2003
    Location
    Northern California
    Posts
    6,951
    Thanks Pal!

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