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Thread: HELP!!! Lost my sagittal balance.....did anyone find it?

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  1. #1
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    HELP!!! Lost my sagittal balance.....did anyone find it?

    About 2 weeks ago, I noticed that I was slumping forward and that I needed to crank my neck back far to see. A few family members said that I "looked different". In the morning, at first I walk straight up with my head held high. Shortly thereafter when I walk, I begin to slump over and after a while I am looking at the ground when I walk.

    Has this happened to anyone else....slumping over or increasing your sagittal imbalance in such a short amount of time?

    HELP!!!!

    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

  2. #2
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    It's probably because of the broken rod. I wouldn't worry about it yet.

    --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
    ---------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------
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  3. #3
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    Hi Susan, Saggital imbalance was my problem after my first back surgery in 2006.it started about six months after that surgery. Slow but sure. I had other health problems and had to address it first. It consisted of opening up my stomach to open the hole your food drops into. It was too small from a botched stomach surgery in 2003. Anyway,it seemed like after they split my stomach open, my imbalance got worse. Needless to say, I got to the point I had to hold on to anything to hold myself up. The surgeon that took my case in 2010 was a spinal surgeon~~~ fast forward.~~ the surgery didn't work, and to top it off I let him try to fix it. ( to no avail). He never used any anterior instruments and because I had so much scar
    tissue. I just went home and got worse and worse until I was bent over 45degrees and bent to the left. I had to use a walker Nd the pain was beyond trying to explain. I kept reading the posts on here and kept hearing how Dr. Lenke had a technech of reinforcing the fron of the spine from the posterior. He would slipp his hand under and insert the instruments in the right places.!! I finically called his office and was told he only took the nost serious. Wasn't a problem. Now it was set for Oct.29th.2012. It worked great. Like all of you the recovery took a long time~~~~ now this is where you will be really interested with this story Susan. AroundMarch of 2013 I fell really hard on my rush. And I kept falling. I felt some terrible pain in my lower back. The on terrible bad their and I started to tilt forward . And walking became harder. I felt like I couldn't stand up straight. I sent an X-ray to Dr. Leake and there was a fractured rod down by L3/4 L4/5. Dr. Lenke decided that it would best to do surgery right away, as he could see the Saggital imbalance getting worse, and he wanted to fix it before it progressed further!!!! It had been seven months since my first surgery with him. So on May 30th Dr. Leake took all the instruments out completely, and revised everything. It was a tough surgery because it was too close to the other one. But it worked and when I got home I did some revising of my medicine, as I felt it was the reason I was falling at night. It worked, as I am much better about walking in my sleep. I still take a tumble now and then. But not as hard .
    It has been two and a half years now. I can say I walk without any help. For some reason I lost 6 inches during all those surgeries. My hip bones are where my waist was. Anyway~~ Susanthis got awfully long, but I just wanted to let you know that Dr. Leake didn't want to wait one more day to fix thr broken rod as it was creating Saggital imbalance and he didn't want it to get any worse I hope there is some help in this post. Ask anything you want. Bye and good luck!!!
    Last edited by babyboomer16; 10-09-2015 at 11:58 PM.

  4. #4
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    Babyboomer Linda, You are a wonderful teller of your life story! When I told Gayle about my sagittal imbalance, she immediately said, "That's what babyboomer had!" I said that I knew your story well as you and I had become scoliosis friends when you were so down about your collapsing and I sent you a card.

    Thanks for re-sharing your story. You found some humor in your story after all. I am not sure what the outcome will be for my sagittal imbalance, but I dream of a possible PT/non-surgical option. Let me dream....

    I have an xray and CT of the lumbar on Monday and follow-up according to what is found. I find it very difficult to shop as I cannot see any of the top shelves in the store. At home, I cannot see or reach any of the top shelves in the kitchen. I am already disabled by my spinal cord injury in that I am either in a wheelchair or on 2 crutches, but it is difficult to live life, as you well know, when one spends time looking at the ground. I was outside this evening walking on a path with fast speeding bikes hoping that I did not get run over as I hugged the R side of the path. I could not see the bikes speeding toward me and dodge them in time if necessary.

    My #2 surgery [the emergency spinal cord injury from hardware pressing on my spinal cord with a 2 week delay in diagnosis] and my #3 surgery [redo of the thoracic hardware which had not fused and was painful and a broken rod] were 6 months apart. It has now been 6 months since #3 surgery and I need a time out for a while from having surgery. I am just beginning to get stable on my crutches and am enjoy some semblance of independence. I always fear that I will lose ground with another surgery....but then again, having my nose looking at the ground is losing ground. Seems that most recently, I am living my life in 6 month increments.

    So, the next drama in my life will be to break the second rod, if I have not already done so. Needless to say, I will be eager to hear the results of the xray and CT and Dr. Hart's read on everything. All that I want in life is to get back to living it. I am tired of hospitals and physical therapy. When I dreamt of my retired life, I did not figure in such an intimate relationship with hospitals and surgeons and PT. I envisioned Bhutan, India, Fiji, the Cook Islands.... Walking with crutches or using a wheelchair does not work well in developing countries where there are no paved roads or white sandy resort beaches. I will be there someday, hopefully sooner than later.

    Again, Linda thanks for sharing your story and for being supportive. I will keep you posted on my progress. I have new empathy for your previous situation with sagittal imbalance and I hope that I do not beat your record of time looking at the ground.

    Susan, if you see a woman with 2 crutches, looking at the ground wobbling toward you, stay away!!!
    Last edited by susancook; 10-10-2015 at 02:27 AM. Reason: I must have been an editor in my prior life...I always find something to improve/change!
    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

  5. #5
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    Quote Originally Posted by LindaRacine View Post
    It's probably because of the broken rod. I wouldn't worry about it yet.

    --Linda
    Me? Worry about it? You must be joking.....
    The broken R rod at L4 concerned [read "worried" here] me a lot, but a rapid fast pitch forward coupled with pain has me big time worried.
    When will "yet" arrive?
    S.
    Last edited by susancook; 10-10-2015 at 02:33 AM. Reason: Trying to be more eloquent...hahahahahaha
    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

  6. #6
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    Susan, You forgot Papua New Guinea....

    Thinking of You...Let us know on Tuesday

    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

  7. #7
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    Quote Originally Posted by titaniumed View Post
    Susan, You forgot Papua New Guinea....

    Thinking of You...Let us know on Tuesday

    Ed
    Ed: PNG was a one time deal. I worked on a malaria eradication project. Afterwards, I toured around the highlands. PNG is not a very safe country and it is very expensive. Surprised me. Not planning to return.

    I am currently working on writing grants in Cambodia and India and plan to do a needs survey for a future project in Fiji. I renewed my NP/RN licenses in hopes of continuing to volunteer in international health. After each surgery, I get to the point that I imagine that developing nation volunteer work would work spine wise....and then I find myself in more pain with another surgery and multiple back steps. I have probably come as far as I can with recovery of my spinal cord injury. For my age group, most of the recovery [some say 90% for us older folks] occurs in the first year with some modest improvements between yrs 1-2.

    Thanks for yours and so many others well wishes.

    Susan

    I seem to have a "non-fixed" positive sagittal balance. I start out the day somewhat upright and the progressively bend over during the day. What do you make of that?
    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

  8. #8
    Join Date
    May 2008
    Location
    reno,nevada
    Posts
    3,531
    I remember your PNG posts now....and how thoughtful of you to do what you do....You might find this of interest, I know a little about Clara Maas since I was born at Clara Maas hospital. (smiley face)
    https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Clara_Maass

    Susan, you’re a kyphosis patient. Your testimonial here has taught all of us about the hardships of kyphosis or osteoporotic kyphosis. Its something I will never forget. I can understand how incredibly hard it must be to do repeated surgeries, and try to recover from them. You have my sympathy. The x-rays and ct’s will answer questions.

    If there is any pose or position you shouldn’t do, its lean forward. If you feel yourself falling forward in the afternoon, I would lay down.

    Has there been any talk on the subject of vertebroplasty or kyphoplasty? Just wondering if this is a possible option for those that have had hardware installed?

    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

  9. #9
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    Quote Originally Posted by susancook View Post
    About 2 weeks ago, I noticed that I was slumping forward and that I needed to crank my neck back far to see. A few family members said that I "looked different". In the morning, at first I walk straight up with my head held high. Shortly thereafter when I walk, I begin to slump over and after a while I am looking at the ground when I walk.

    Has this happened to anyone else....slumping over or increasing your sagittal imbalance in such a short amount of time?

    HELP!!!!

    Susan
    Hey Susan, mine was gradual - it is a result of L1/L2 vertebra that have moved forward and to the side, not a broken rod....but I was pretty much like that out of the gate after my first surgery; it's just progressed.

    You have had a tough time of it - prayers. Also, have noted that we are at Holiday time - I wanted a Nov/Dec surgery and am put off until January - the reason? Christmas. By the time I have another CT myelogram (sp) 6 weeks before surgery, it can't be squeezed in. So, it's January or later. In the meantime I am allowed NO pain meds so what I receive in the hospital is most effective (or so I'm told); and I can get off them easier.

    Has anyone (as I have) ever wondered about the manufacturers of these rods? Like Medtronics, etc. has anything to do with these issues? I'm adding this to my list for next weeks appt.

    It would be interesting to do a survey or have your surgeon weigh in on why he chooses one brand over another.
    Last edited by Chihuahua Mama; 10-30-2015 at 12:57 PM.
    Susan
    XLIF/Posterior Surgery 6/16/08. Fused T10-L5 in CA by Dr. Michael Kropf (don't go there unless it's simple, I hear he's at Cedar's now). Very deformed, had revision w/5 PSO's, rods from T-3 to sacrum including iliac screws, all posterior, 5/23/16 with Dr. Purnendu Gupta of Chicago.


    Owner of Chachi the Chihuahua, So Cal born and bred, now a resident of 'Chicagoland' Illinois. Uh, dislike it here....thank God there was ONE excellent spine surgeon in this area.

  10. #10
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    Thanks, Susan. I was told by he scheduler that she could probably schedule in January although she has not confirmed it yet. I also want to schedule when Dr. H will not be on vacation after my surgery. Having wprked in hospitals, i do know that staffing is sometimes light over the holidays.

    I went to warm water pool exercises yesterday and was in a lot of pain last night. The exercises were gentle and I was surprised that it hurt so much.

    I am limiting opioids, but unfortunately i have headaches that require pain meds.

    Just when I thought that I could get on with my life....more two steps forward and ten steps backwards. I am eating the words that I said to Irina, "I'm really glad that we are not in the revision part of the forum". Famous last words. My brother frequently says to me, "it is what it is". I have always done well through the surgeries, it is the spinal cord injury that is truly limiting for me. I still have limited sensation from below my breasts and fatigue in walking any distance. The Physiatrist said that 90% of the strength post SCI comes in the first year, and 10% in the second year. So.....this is "what I got".

    Hoping that you have a comfortable holiday season!

    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

  11. #11
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    Apr 2012
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    San Jose, CA
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    Hi Susan,

    I remember those words... I read this thread every day, but do not post because I just don't know what to say... I am thinking about you often.
    I am stronger than scoliosis, and won't let it rule my life!
    45 years old - diagnosed at age 7
    A/P surgery on March 5/7, 2013 - UCSF

  12. #12
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    Quote Originally Posted by Irina View Post
    Hi Susan,

    I remember those words... I read this thread every day, but do not post because I just don't know what to say... I am thinking about you often.
    One of the BIG negatives of not going back to California, is not getting together with you and Dave when I would come back for check-ups! I miss you a lot. Thanks for your thoughts. I will be OK....some day!

    Hugs to you, Ever-forward-leaning 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

  13. #13
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    Jan 2008
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    Oregon
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    Hi Susan,

    I also think of you every day, and I feel for you. I truly understand and can empathize because I was just in your shoes in the agony and devastating reality of suddenly broken rods. It is an unbelievably tough and discouraging situation to be in.

    I know you are working with Dr Hart's scheduler to look for a suitable surgical date. It's so tough for them to line up all the important parties on the same day. It was mental and frequently physical agony for me to wait also. I recently realized that I lived the nightmare of broken rods for exactly 2 months, with the main delay being actual X-ray confirmation of the breaks.

    Hang in there, take it easy on yourself, and know we are here to wait with you. I am confident you will get fixed and on to the road to recovery.
    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

  14. #14
    Join Date
    Sep 2016
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    21
    Quote Originally Posted by susancook View Post
    About 2 weeks ago, I noticed that I was slumping forward and that I needed to crank my neck back far to see. A few family members said that I "looked different". In the morning, at first I walk straight up with my head held high. Shortly thereafter when I walk, I begin to slump over and after a while I am looking at the ground when I walk.

    Has this happened to anyone else....slumping over or increasing your sagittal imbalance in such a short amount of time?

    HELP!!!!

    Susan
    OMG Susan! That seems to be such a sudden change in your condition. I have the opposite problem - I have tried to walk forward at times, but actually take a step or two backwards until I steady myself or grab on to something. Last year, I was on my way to the bathroom in the middle of the night, lost my balance without realizing what was happening, fell flat on my back and fractured T-5. I read some online articles by Dr. Matthew Cunningham at HHS about possible scar tissue causing limitations with walking & balance. Unfortunately for me, he doesn't take my insurance. I wouldn't play around. I would go and find out the possible cause. You make the final decision about what to do next. Good luck, and God bless...

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