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Thread: 40 degrees curve

  1. #1
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    Jun 2013
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    40 degrees curve

    Hello,

    I went for my first appointment a few weeks back and the doctor recommended me to go for a MRI scan, which is scheduled this Thursday (2 more days for me) after my first xray.
    After taking the xray and measuring the curve, he said that it's near 40 degrees and would recommend me for surgery if it continues to worsen.

    So I'm 17, soon 18 (in December) currently, what other options do I have? I'm thinking of trying chiropractic after my second appointment (which is scheduled 2 weeks after my MRI scan) depending on what my doctor says. I'm referring to this: http://www.orchardclinic.com/chiropractic/scoliosis.php

    I'm living in Singapore and there's no local forum mainly about scoliosis so I'm coming here since there's a larger community.

    I've read about articles saying what to avoid doing, but some seems contradicting. For example, some say that swimming may help in scoliosis, but some says the opposite.
    Is there any full list of what not to do (and perhaps even what not to eat)?

    Thanks!

  2. #2
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    Hi and welcome.

    You are posting in the under 18 section as per your age but only other people under 18 can post in this section. Since there are very few people in that category on the forum, you will need to re-post your question in the any of the adult sections if you want some responses.

    Thanks.
    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."

  3. #3
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    Quote Originally Posted by Pooka1 View Post
    Hi and welcome.

    You are posting in the under 18 section as per your age but only other people under 18 can post in this section. Since there are very few people in that category on the forum, you will need to re-post your question in the any of the adult sections if you want some responses.

    Thanks.
    Thanks for your feedback. I thought that since I'm still not 18, I should post here.

  4. #4
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    Quote Originally Posted by denzel View Post
    Hello,

    I went for my first appointment a few weeks back and the doctor recommended me to go for a MRI scan, which is scheduled this Thursday (2 more days for me) after my first xray.
    After taking the xray and measuring the curve, he said that it's near 40 degrees and would recommend me for surgery if it continues to worsen.

    So I'm 17, soon 18 (in December) currently, what other options do I have? I'm thinking of trying chiropractic after my second appointment (which is scheduled 2 weeks after my MRI scan) depending on what my doctor says. I'm referring to this: http://www.orchardclinic.com/chiropractic/scoliosis.php

    I'm living in Singapore and there's no local forum mainly about scoliosis so I'm coming here since there's a larger community.

    I've read about articles saying what to avoid doing, but some seems contradicting. For example, some say that swimming may help in scoliosis, but some says the opposite.
    Is there any full list of what not to do (and perhaps even what not to eat)?

    Thanks!
    Hi Denzel...

    If your curve is really 40 degrees, there's a decent chance that you'll be able to avoid surgery, maybe forever. If you don't have a lot of pain, you would probably be told by the top specialists here in the U.S., to get on with your life. Chiropractic is very unlikely to help (there's never been even a single case study published that showed that chiropractic can do anything to affect curve progression). I work for surgeons who do complex spinal surgery, and I'm fairly certain they would tell you to do whatever you like, but include some exercise to keep your core muscles strong.

    Good luck!

    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.

  5. #5
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    Hi and welcome

  6. #6
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    Quote Originally Posted by LindaRacine View Post
    Hi Denzel...

    If your curve is really 40 degrees, there's a decent chance that you'll be able to avoid surgery, maybe forever. If you don't have a lot of pain, you would probably be told by the top specialists here in the U.S., to get on with your life. Chiropractic is very unlikely to help (there's never been even a single case study published that showed that chiropractic can do anything to affect curve progression). I work for surgeons who do complex spinal surgery, and I'm fairly certain they would tell you to do whatever you like, but include some exercise to keep your core muscles strong.

    Good luck!

    Regards,
    Linda
    Hi Linda,

    Why do you say that there's a chance that I'm able to avoid surgery? I've read articles saying that surgery would be an option for 40 degrees or more.
    What kind of exercises would you recommend?

    Thanks.

  7. #7
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    May 2009
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    hi denzel..
    welcome to forum...there are many kind people here who offer help
    and support...not doctor help, as we are not medical people. but
    patient to patient support...

    i think the key words are "....if it worsens..."
    i would urge you to go slow, not panic, and remember those words...
    perhaps you should think of it as you can avoid surgery if it does NOT worsen....
    and there is no rush...you are young...in general, young people do better recovering from surgery...BUT you are so young that there is plenty
    of time to think about surgery....having it at 19 or 20 or 25 is still considered very young, with good recovery prospects...
    in that sense, waiting would be wise...

    are you in pain??? i did not see any mention about pain in your posting...

    jess

  8. #8
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    Jun 2013
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    Taken from my report:
    Lumbar scoliosis
    The spine has been numbered with reference to C2, and as such the last unfused vertebral body has been designated L5. The conus ends at L1. No extra or intradural pathology is seen.
    There is lumbar scoliosis noted with convexity to the left, centred at L2. The vertebral body and disc heights are grossly preserved. There is normal T2W signal arising from the intervertebral discs.
    At T12/L1 to L5/S1, there is no significant disc bulge or protrusion. The spinal canal, subarticular zones and neural exit foramina are patent.
    No focal paravertebral mass lesion is encountered.


    0005_0.jpg

  9. #9
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    Quote Originally Posted by denzel View Post
    Taken from my report:
    Lumbar scoliosis
    The spine has been numbered with reference to C2, and as such the last unfused vertebral body has been designated L5. The conus ends at L1. No extra or intradural pathology is seen.
    There is lumbar scoliosis noted with convexity to the left, centred at L2. The vertebral body and disc heights are grossly preserved. There is normal T2W signal arising from the intervertebral discs.
    At T12/L1 to L5/S1, there is no significant disc bulge or protrusion. The spinal canal, subarticular zones and neural exit foramina are patent.
    No focal paravertebral mass lesion is encountered.


    0005_0.jpg
    My question to you would be does scoliosis affect your life? Are you experiencing pain? When mine was discovered in my teens and I had progressed too late for a brace, surgery was an option, but I was not having any interruptions in my life to justify it. I played sports, did household activities and did heavy work just fine. The only reason I would have ever considered is for cosmetic and that was out of the question.

    So, only you can evaluate what is best. You can find probably any doctor that would want to operate but if it is not running your life, I think you have the right course of action in mind....alternative methods of therapy. I did YEARS of massage, chiropractor, PT, pain management and self management when I first start experiencing pain in my twenties. (This was after my first child). I firmly believe that the younger you are the better you do with surgery but I am almost 40 years young and recovering just as well as a twenty year old.

    Find yourself a very knowladgable Chrio or PT that can help strengthen your back and keep your core strong. But in the end, only you can decide if and when surgery is on the table.

    Best wishes.
    *Jen
    Fusion surgery with Dr. Chang May 7, 2013
    Pre-T:50 L:48
    Post-T:20 L:0
    Degenerative disk disease through spine and neck with bulging disks as well. Spinal cord deformity in the area of C5-6.
    {On the road to a lifetime of forever with a back not holding me down!! Vacations, playtime with the kids, adult excursions! Life is moving forward not holding me back }

  10. #10
    Join Date
    Aug 2006
    Posts
    46

    Welcome!

    I started chiropractic therapy when I was 17, with the hopes that it would not only alleviate some pain associated with my scoliosis, but also to help with the flexibility of my spine. My scoliosis was discovered at 19 degrees when I was 12--by 17 my spine was severely rotated & around 70 degrees and progressing. I ended up having surgery when I was 19 but overall, I felt better after each chiro session but it didn't have any positive long-term success. It might be beneficial for you if you're experiencing pain.

    In terms of nutrition...I also went to a nutritionist & was told by many holistic practitioners that I needed to take hundreds of supplements & completely eliminate gluten. Never tried that, but I would caution you from wholeheartedly believing these things as I don't think there are any published studies regarding the effects of nutrition on scoliosis (please correct me if I'm wrong). I'm Italian & love homemade pasta...there's no way I could have EVER done that.

    Did your doctor say when he wanted to see you again? Also, do you have a noticeable rib hump that bothers you? It sounds like you're open to other avenues before jumping into surgery...I would approach them with caution, keep a eye on progression, and keep us posted!

  11. #11
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    Jun 2013
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    Quote Originally Posted by curvycakes View Post
    I started chiropractic therapy when I was 17, with the hopes that it would not only alleviate some pain associated with my scoliosis, but also to help with the flexibility of my spine. My scoliosis was discovered at 19 degrees when I was 12--by 17 my spine was severely rotated & around 70 degrees and progressing. I ended up having surgery when I was 19 but overall, I felt better after each chiro session but it didn't have any positive long-term success. It might be beneficial for you if you're experiencing pain.

    In terms of nutrition...I also went to a nutritionist & was told by many holistic practitioners that I needed to take hundreds of supplements & completely eliminate gluten. Never tried that, but I would caution you from wholeheartedly believing these things as I don't think there are any published studies regarding the effects of nutrition on scoliosis (please correct me if I'm wrong). I'm Italian & love homemade pasta...there's no way I could have EVER done that.

    Did your doctor say when he wanted to see you again? Also, do you have a noticeable rib hump that bothers you? It sounds like you're open to other avenues before jumping into surgery...I would approach them with caution, keep a eye on progression, and keep us posted!
    During the period when you're 17 to 19, where you went for chiropractic, did it help? Or does it only reduces pain?
    I'm not really experiencing much pain, so pain isn't an issue for me.

    If I take off my shirt, then it's quite obvious that my body is slanting towards one side (my left side is "fatter" than my right).
    I feel that my current doctor isn't knowledgeable about scoliosis, so I don't think I'll visit him again. But at least he didn't recommend me for surgery and even recommended me to another hospital for a second opinion.
    My next appointment is 3 months from now.

  12. #12
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    Sep 2003
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    Northern California
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    Hi Denzel...

    Unfortunately, if you have surgery, it appears to me that you'll need to be fused to L4 distally. The chance that you'd need additional surgery to fuse to the sacrum in the future is very high. One of the surgeons I work with is super conservative, and I can guarantee he would tell you to avoid surgery at this point. There's a good chance you'll eventually have to have surgery, but fusing so low in your spine at this point will limit your ability somewhat, especially in terms of being athletic.

    My personal recommendation would be to get on with your life at this point, and find a way to do something that strengthens your core muscles. As far as I'm concerned, chiropractic may help with pain, but has no benefit otherwise.

    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.

  13. #13
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    May 2008
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    Denzel

    I had worse curves back when I was your age and waited……I was a surgical candidate when I was 15. Surgery at a young age needs careful consideration, especially if not progressing at a rapid pace. Many scolis reach the 17-18 yr age, their curves stay stable and continue on without surgery.

    I didn’t have to visit a Chiropractor for pain till I was 27 and that worked well for pain control for 20 years. Not for correction.

    Since you have scoliosis, you will have to have x-rays done to monitor your curves. Keep copies of these x-rays and date them.

    Staying in shape, staying active is crucial with scoliosis. I have always kept extremely active all my life, and my surgeon noticed it in my blood work before my surgeries. It made all the difference in the world.

    So, get out there and have some fun! I think you are supposed to have more fun at your age, but this isn’t written anywhere….. I try to have as much fun at my age and am writing about this now.

    Hope this makes some sense. (smiley face)

    Ed
    49 yr old male, now 58, the new 53...
    Pre surgery curves C12,T70,L70
    ALIF/PLIF T2-Pelvis 01/29/08, 01/31/08 7" pelvic anchors BMP
    Dr Brett Menmuir St Marys Hospital Reno,Nevada

    Bending and twisting pics after full fusion
    http://www.scoliosis.org/forum/showt...on.&highlight=

    My x-rays
    http://www.scoliosis.org/forum/attac...2&d=1228779214

    http://www.scoliosis.org/forum/attac...3&d=1228779258

  14. #14
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    Aug 2006
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    Quote Originally Posted by denzel View Post
    During the period when you're 17 to 19, where you went for chiropractic, did it help? Or does it only reduces pain?
    I'm not really experiencing much pain, so pain isn't an issue for me.

    If I take off my shirt, then it's quite obvious that my body is slanting towards one side (my left side is "fatter" than my right).
    I feel that my current doctor isn't knowledgeable about scoliosis, so I don't think I'll visit him again. But at least he didn't recommend me for surgery and even recommended me to another hospital for a second opinion.
    My next appointment is 3 months from now.
    When I went for chiropractic during that time, the chiropractor was part of a program claiming to correct scoliosis. I was hopeful, but it did not work. We took dozens of X-rays over a year period & my curve decreased about 10-12 degrees but it didn't hold up...my spine went right back to its curvature. Plus I think it's important to note that the X-rays were always taken after very intense chiropractic therapy.

    The only doctor I felt was knowledgeable about my scoliosis was my orthopedic surgeon. After my experiences, I don't trust chiropractors but yes--it alleviated the pain. Not all of it, but a nice portion. but when I went away to college & stopped getting adjusted, the pain came back and my curve continued to progress.

    Second opinions are important and I think you're right in getting one. You need to be able to trust your doctor.

  15. #15
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    Denzel: if you are NOT in a lot pain, my suggestion: get very physically active, especially mid body core strength, walking, etc. Forget chiropractic care, I think that it is a waste of your money as it has not been shown to decrease curves as Linda mentioned. Have a life, but follow up with your doctor to assess changes in your curve every year or two, maybe even less often if no pain. Use heat or cold to your back if it hurts.

    Have a wonderful life! 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

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