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Thread: unexplained progression of curve in last 2 years?

  1. #1
    Join Date
    Nov 2003
    Location
    New York - 10567
    Posts
    2

    unexplained progression of curve in last 2 years?

    I am 38 years old and have Idiopathic scoliosis. I started having backaches during my second pregnancy about 2.5 years back. My curve has progressed from 25 to 36 degrees in the last two years (after delivery). Has it to do with hormonal changes during pregnancy or the extra weight from lifting and carrying my son around? My orthopedic surgeon says I am a good candidate for surgery and referred me to a spine surgeon yesterday. Can someone recommend a good spine surgeon in New York/NJ/Conneticut area.
    My backache is bearable, I never had to take pain killers for it and donít have trouble sleeping. Just bending or sitting for an hour or more hurts my back. Would going through this major surgery be worth it? How does it feel to have all this hardware in your back? If only the curve would stop where it is!!!
    Thanks

  2. #2
    Join Date
    Sep 2003
    Location
    NJ
    Posts
    1,291

    recommendation

    I was helped by Dr. Boachie-Adjei at the Hospital for Special Surgery in New York City. They had the lowest infection rate and the highest nurse/patient ratio when I had my anterior/posterior revision in 2002'
    I needed the revision because my un-instrumented correction/fusion done in 1956 weakened and the curve was back up to 80+ degrees with breathing impairment. It was reduced by 50% and my breathing is better. I am back to work and very comfortable.
    There is a thread with recommendations on this site.

    Karen
    Last edited by Karen Ocker; 05-13-2005 at 07:19 PM. Reason: update old info

  3. #3
    Join Date
    Dec 2003
    Location
    Toronto, Canada
    Posts
    8

    The Alexander Technique

    Hello,
    I'm surprised that surgery is being considered at this stage. Usually curvatures are larger before surgery is recommended.

    As the curvature increased during and after your pregnancy, it could be related to something functional: how you carried the baby both in the womb and afterwards.

    I would recommend seeing an Alexander Technique teacher. You can find one by visiting www.alexandertech.org. Or if you live close to New York City I can recommend a great teacher. AT teachers can help you improve your habits of posture and movement. This could resolve the back pain and stop the curve from getting worse - as was the case with my own scoliosis and chronic pain.

    Good luck - Joshua
    www.moving-living.com

  4. #4
    Join Date
    Jan 2004
    Posts
    3
    hello,
    my older sister who is now 28 had surgery when she was a teen and has had two kids with the hardware in her back. she always told me that it has never bothered her and that she cant really tell any difference before, after, or durring pregnancy of whether the hardware bothers her to an extreme or not. im really surprised they are recomending surgery for you at your age. try getting a second opinion before going under the knife.

  5. #5
    Join Date
    Aug 2004
    Posts
    8
    Hi there, i've been doing a lot of research online for my daughter who is 14. She went from approx. 18 degrees to 51 degrees in 6 months for no reason. But from what i've read, with some women going through pregnancy, it can increase the degree but surgery isn't usually recomended until the degree is higher than what you have. I've heard doing yoga can help. I would get a second opinion, back surgery can have many complications and sometimes make things worse. Do as much research as you can before you make a decision.

  6. #6
    Join Date
    Sep 2003
    Location
    Fernley, Nevada
    Posts
    352
    Vansuper,
    At 38 degrees, I think your spine may have to be watched. However, I would diffenantly get a second opinion. Surgery is not usually recommended until your curvature is at least 40 degrees. Since you have no problems with pain or any neuro problems I would take a wait and see approach.
    SandyC
    P.S. Try to find an orthopedic that specilizes in adult scoli
    SandyC

  7. #7
    Join Date
    Jan 2005
    Location
    uk
    Posts
    5
    hi sandy, i'd just like to ask as to why surgery is not recommended if your curve is under a certain persentage??? i've only been to see my consultant once and after looking at my x-rays he's told me i had a curve of 20% in october and it's now 25% but i'm having loads of pain in my right leg,back and right hip. I'm awaiting an appointment for a mri scan but once thats done he wants to try and straighten my spine with surgery. A couple of my vertbra's are already starting to become miss shapped and are trapping nerves, do you think that could be why he want's to do this now rather than later as i'm already nearly fourty??????

    thanks san.

  8. #8
    Join Date
    Jul 2004
    Location
    Northern California
    Posts
    255
    Maybe your ortho suggested you were a good candidate because of the rapidity of progression of your curve? The reason /reasons is definitely something you need to be clear on, and I second everybody else who recommended getting a second/third/fourth opinion. Being in NYC you are ideally situated!

    I had a PT once who said she saw a few people whose curves progressed rapidly during/after menopause, which might suggest that hormones have something to do with it. The surgeon should be able to address this for you...

    Good luck! I would be interested in hearing about your next steps, as it is likely I will need the surgery around the same age (currently 29 years old with a 49 degree slowly progressing curve, surgery recommended around 55-60 degrees).

    Take care ~Laura

  9. #9
    Join Date
    May 2005
    Location
    Orlando, FL, USA
    Posts
    1

    Recent progression with impingement

    I a 58 year old woman, with long term minor scoliosis which never bothered me until it began rapidly rapidly progressing in the past couple of years. Curvature is now 28 degrees to the side; I have very little pain, the worst thing for me has been the deterioration in walking--my right hip is now quite a bit higher than my left. I have some left side nerve impingement at L3/4, and weakness in my left leg. I feel awkward when walking, and and I am now in physical therapy (aquatherapy and Williams exercises) in the hope of stopping the progression of the scoliosis; orthopedic spine doc will reevaluate in 6 months. I limp badly, much worse when I try to wear dress shoes with even a low heel, and I have fallen a couple of times when I haven't picked up my left foot far enough. I have always been a physically active person, and I find myself beginning to avoid situations when I know I will have a long walk.

    My doc says he never does surgery unless the curve is >50 degrees, and that my scoiliosis will not get better, but the progression may stop. He says most of the "recent progression" patients he operates on are ten years older than I am. How realistic is the expectation that the progression may be stopped? I worry that the nerve impingement will get worse if the curve worsens. Does anyone know what the symptoms of increasing impingement in L3/4 are?

    Thanks, Trish

  10. #10
    Join Date
    Sep 2003
    Location
    Northern California
    Posts
    6,797
    Hi Trish...

    I'm not a medical professional, but I'd bet anything that the increase in your scoliosis curve is actually a result of soft tissue injury in your leg or hip. I think that if you were able to find a really good physical therapist, s/he would be able to tell you why this is happening.

    Regards,
    Linda

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