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Thread: Flatback AFTER Revision

  1. #1
    Join Date
    Jan 2013

    Flatback AFTER Revision

    Hi everyone,
    I've been reading a lot about Flatback Syndrome because I think I have it; however I believe I got it AFTER my revision surgery/adding new hardware surgery. A part of my Harrington Rods were removed to be able to install titanium ones from approximately T11-S1.

    If anyone has any information, I'd greatly appreciate it. Like I said, I've read about people developing it before the revision and it's why they needed it but not in my case. In my case my lower curve had gotten progressively worse and needed it corrected since it was going so low.

    I'm trying to concentrate on walking and standing correctly and my PT helps but I was just wondering if anyone developed it after their revision surgery and what they did to correct it.


  2. #2
    Join Date
    Sep 2003
    Northern California
    Hi Christyne...

    Unfortunately, no one here is going to be able to help you unless you can post a photo of a full spine lateral xray.

    It is entirely possible that you have flatback. Even the best surgeons occasionally end up with too little lordosis.

    Never argue with an idiot. They always drag you down to their level, and then they beat you with experience. --Twain
    Surgery 2/10/93 A/P fusion T4-L3
    Surgery 1/20/11 A/P fusion L2-sacrum w/pelvic fixation

  3. #3
    Join Date
    Jan 2013

    Thanks for the info. Unfortunately, I don't think I'll need any doctor to confirm it; it's too much like what I see and read on all the scoliosis sights.

    I have my 3 month appointment on Wednesday and that is on my list of questions to ask; alone with the hardware protrusion I have. I know what can be done and I'm absolutely scared out of my boots.


  4. #4
    Join Date
    Jan 2012
    Yacolt, WA
    Hi Christyne, Just saw your post. There are many people on this blog that have had flatback after a surgery. Let us know what your doctor says and I am sure that someone can support you.
    I will send positive thoughts your way! 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 2 surgeries
    2014: Hernia @ ALIF repaired; Emergency screw removal Spinal Cord Injury 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
    2018: Removal L4,5 screw

  5. #5
    Join Date
    Mar 2010
    Oklahoma City, OK
    Hello Christyne,
    I'm so sorry you are having diffuculties. Our situations are similar yet a little different. In 2008 I had my first surgery to correct and stabilize by scoliosis curves. I had hit menopause and the curves began progessing rapidly. By the time I was 18 months post op, I was still having lots of pain issues and had begun having trouble standing upright. My first surgeon was very dismissive so I began getting additional opinions. I had indeed developed flatback (due to lack of lordosis) along with a couple of other issues. In 2011, I had revision surgery with a different surgeon (much better doctor) to address all my back problems, and now my posture is great. I am still dealing with very significant pain issues and am probably facing another surgery to find the cause of the pain, but the flatback was resolved.

    I'm sorry I couldn't offer any answers, but I do send my support and will be happy to answer any questions you may have.
    51 years old
    Married 28 years
    3 kids ages 23, 21 and 17
    Fused T-10 through L-5 June, 2008
    Developed junctional kyphosis, flat-back and sagittal imbalance
    Revision Surgery June 27, 2011
    Fused T-4 thru S-1 with pelvic anchor screws
    Take 2 revision October 15, 2013 to locate source of continued pain
    Pseudoarthrosis at L-3, 2 screws removed

  6. #6
    Join Date
    May 2010

    Flatback ~~~

    Hi Christyne, I had Flatback(saggital imbalance) starting after a small fusion of L3/4 L4/5 back in 2006.
    It started the onset of adult scoliosis. Although Dr. Lenke says I'v always had scoliosis sense childhood. Anyway, I started to bend over to the right side of my body, my ribs hitting my hip bone. Then I started leaning forward and my ribs were crushing my pelvic bones. I was bent so all I could do is look at the floor. I used a walker. I went to a surgeon here in S. Dak. And he failed twice. I looked for one in Minniapolis to no avail. The surgeon there insisted that because of osteoporosis the surgery would fail and put me on
    Forteo ($1200.00 a month) for a yr. I kept it up and made two more trips to Minn. and had bone scans. He kept saying it wasn't helping ang finially I quit Mr. No Hope!! I read about Dr. Lenke in St. Louis and he worked only on the most serious and you had to qualify to get an appt. with him. I qualified and am here to tell you I am standing straight and tall. I had a bump in the road. But it was my doing, as I fell very hard several times and broke a rod. He had to go in an revise this. But I am good as new. I now have a different way of doing things to avoid any chance of falling. But anyway, I wish you the best finding someone to help you. My surgeon say no physical therapy for at least a yr. if even then. He doesn't trust them to know how to handle all the hardware and says walking is the best excersises there is for this surgery. Hang in there. And don't give up till you find someone that knows what they're doing. Warmly, Linda
    Linda Brozik~~60 yrs. old at time of Lenke's first surgery. 62 now!
    Surgery 2006 L3/4 L4/5 double fusion/ instumentation/ With 2 cages
    This started adult onset scoliosis
    July 1st, 2010/ surgery ~~fused T10 to pelvis (long rods/ screws)
    Oct.20th 2010, extended rods to T4 / did osteotomy at L3
    Oct. 29th 2012 Dr. Lenke St. Louis Mo. T4 to sacrum osteotomy anterior cage L3/4 titanium rods
    May 30th 2013 revision
    May 8th cervicle surgery 2016
    May 31st Dr. Gupta revision 2017

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