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Thread: How is range of motion, quality of life affected if T11-L3 is fused?

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  1. #1
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    Jun 2013
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    How is range of motion, quality of life affected if T11-L3 is fused?

    I am looking for people who have had experience with fusion into the lumbar (to L3 or below).

    My 13-year-old daughter dreams of singing and dancing on Broadway. Will a fusion like this be the end of her dreams?

    Alternative practitioners tell us that if she has fusion surgery, she will live a life of pain and disability.
    Orthopedists say that if she does not have the surgery, she will live a life of pain and disability.
    It is so confusing!

    I don't think she is a candidate for tethering because she appears to be done growing.

    Thanks for sharing your experience.

    Mary

  2. #2
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    Jan 2008
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    Oregon
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    Hi Mary,

    That's a relatively short fusion. Are they talking about going anterior or posterior?

    I doubt that having a fusion (especially one that short) would hurt her ability to dance and sing at all. But your questions would be best answered by a highly-experienced scoliosis specialist orthopedic surgeon. I am so bothered that you are being told that she will live a life of pain and disability if she has surgery, especially coming from alternative practitioners (are these chiropractors?). Sure, surgery is a last resort, something every parent wants to avoid, but I believe most if not all surgeons would agree she needs surgery for a 60 degree curve.

    If this were my daughter I would stay away from the alternative practitioners. They have nothing to offer you at this point. I would focus on getting some opinions from experienced surgeons such as Newton, Skaggs, etc, then making your decisions from there.
    Last edited by leahdragonfly; 07-24-2013 at 11:13 PM. Reason: typos
    Gayle, age 49
    Oct 2010 fusion T8-sacrum w/ pelvic fixation
    Feb 2012 lumbar revision for broken rods @ L2-3-4
    Sept 2015 major lumbar A/P revision for broken rods @ L5-S1


    mom of Leah, 15 y/o, Diagnosed '08 with 26* T JIS (age 6)
    5/10 VBS Dr Luhmann Shriners St Louis
    5/16 6 yrs post-op, 24*T/ 22* L, mild increase in curves, watching

    also mom of Torrey, 12 y/o son, 16* T, stable

  3. #3
    Join Date
    Jan 2008
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    NC
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    8,901
    I would just like to agree with Gayle on all her points.

    I especially agree that 5 levels is among the shortest I have seen mentioned on this forum. It sounds like they might be considering an anterior fusion based on that but of course you have to ask. The only thing I will bring up is we have a member here who is a singer and I believe her ability to sing was compromised by the anterior approach. I suggest you ask specifically if she is having an anterior approach and if it will compromise her ability to sing.
    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."

  4. #4
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    Jun 2013
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    Thank you all! I really appreciate your feedback. I will definitely ask about the singing and the anterior method!

    You will NOT want to know that a woman I have known for many years told me a few days ago that she had healed her own scoliosis (serious enough that a doc wanted to put Harrington rods into her as a child) through another technique called "somatic healing," which enables a person to connect to their innermost self. Through this practice, she said she was able to de-rotate her spine. She also used it on her three kids with success.

    If I had read this story on the internet, I would deny it point blank. But I know her and trust her! I am not sure if my child and I are "evolved" enough to do this, but as a parent, I feel I must at least look into it. But all of this alternative therapy is exhausting (and expensive). We are still going to see the surgeons in S. California, and in fact, have added a third visit based on a contact's recommendation: Dr. Mundis, a very young doc who works with Dr. Ahkbarnia (sp) in La Jolla/Scripps.

  5. #5
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    Quote Originally Posted by laakea77 View Post
    You will NOT want to know that a woman I have known for many years told me a few days ago that she had healed her own scoliosis (serious enough that a doc wanted to put Harrington rods into her as a child) through another technique called "somatic healing," which enables a person to connect to their innermost self. Through this practice, she said she was able to de-rotate her spine. She also used it on her three kids with success.
    How does she know she de-rotated her spine? I notice she isn't claiming she reduced her curve so you might want to consider that. Simply having a curve over the years seems to damage the spine, something folks who like to mention adjacent level disease often (conveniently?) forget to mention.

    Also, I assume she has before and after radiographs proving this claim of de-rotation, yes? If not then there is no reason to believe it and every reason not to believe her.
    Last edited by Pooka1; 07-24-2013 at 09:37 PM.
    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
    Join Date
    May 2008
    Location
    reno,nevada
    Posts
    3,531
    I think that seeing Dr Mundis is a great idea as a next step. Go ahead and talk to him and see what he thinks. If you can get x-rays burned to disc that would be a great idea.......Having these dated digital records will come in extremely handy in the future, and will help other scoliosis surgeons in the future. A full x-ray should be shot of the whole spine. From the lower neck to the pelvis, from the coronal (front) and sagittal (side) plane.

    https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Sagittal_plane

    I know that you donít what to do with all of this, it can be confusing for someone, a patient or a parent to try to absorb all of this scoliosis stuff! Technical medical words are not the easiest things to absorb and remember! Itís a handful.....Try to relax and breathe. One step at a time.

    There is also quite a bit of wisdom on this forum..... Its hard for me to add when Gayle and Sharonís posts are right on the mark as we sit around this table discussing scoliosis. (smiley face)

    Your decisions on your daughters spine depend on your scoliosis education. Having a 60 degree curve is certainly not a curve that you can ignore since she is a surgical candidate. You will be told this. I waited till I was 49, did the alternatives, and maintained for many decades but my case and situation was different in a few ways. ďIfĒ you decide that you donít want to do surgery, she will need to be monitored with x-rays. Ask Dr Mundis about what frequency he would recommend. X-rays are the only way to monitor spinal shape.

    I think you are on the right path.....I like the forum, attending scoliosis meetings to talk to other surgeons and patients, and getting multiple opinions.

    My scoliosis surgeon went to 19 years of schooling, residency and fellowship. Orthopedic surgeons are top of the class in any medical school, scoliosis residency slots at UCSF, or HSS, or TCSC are extremely tight slots and only accept the best of the best medical students in the country. Hope I didnít make you nervous but just something to consider. (smiley face) MDís that want and easier route DO NOT become scoliosis surgeons, they become psychologists. (This is a med school joke BTW)

    Have you read Dave Wolperts book on scoliosis? This would be a good one to read....and can buy it here from NSF.

    I also want to remind you that you can PM anyone here, exchange phone #ís to chat if you wish.

    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

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