As a long time scoliosis patient, I've done a lot of reading on this site and have been truly impressed with the knowledge and caring by all!! Hopefully you'll have some advice to pass along.....

Here's my short history:
A rural farm girl from mid Michigan, diagnosed with scoliosis ("S" curve of 36 and 45 degrees) at age 17 in 1972 at Henry Ford Hospital in Detroit. A Harrington rod was recommended, but my parents wanted to try the Milwaukee Brace instead....which I wore until age 19 and in college. Yes, it was the BIG monster with the metal head posts along the back of the skull and the chin rest, etc. I wore it 23 out of 24 hours every day for two years. My lower curve was reduced to 26 degrees. I finished college, worked, married, had two lovely daughters, and tolerated the growing curve and pain well through the years with exercise and a busy work schedule. I had L2-L4 fused around age 24 or 25. At age 35, the "hump" on my back was growing larger, and my lower curve measured 68 degrees. I started visiting some doctors and getting advice. At age 45, I took the plunge and had spinal fusion with instrumentation done from S1 to T11 with great success by Doctor Herbert Roth, Beaumont Hospital in Troy. The pain and discomfort was greatly reduced for many years. I then had cervical fusion with instrumentation done in 2011, C4, C5 & C6. Again, great success. Due to increasing pain and "flat back" syndrome (even with the rods, my curves are 39 and 48 degrees), I'm now looking at revision surgery with Dr. Patel at University of Michigan Hospital in Ann Arbor, S1 to T7 or T4. I would love to return to Dr. Herbert Roth, but he has retired. :-(

I meet with Dr. Patel February 2nd to discuss the surgery, as I have more questions. I'm a high school secretary - 60 years old - and was told I could return to work in three months??? Really??? I'm a front desk secretary who is constantly up and down, squatting, bending, etc. I was off 6 months after my fusion 15 years ago, and I was much younger. Dr. Patel said this surgery will be much worse because of having to remove all the old bone and fusions, rods, etc.

I would love to hear ANY and all advice you can offer on time off work, recovery compared to prior surgery, information on doctors, etc. Technology has changed so much! Also, I exist on just cymbalta, ibuprofen, tylenol for arthritis, etc. I have trouble sleeping at night due to the pain. Any ideas or suggestions there? I do not like to take any narcotics as they make me sick to my stomach.

I'm so excited to have found all of you!!! I look forward to your responses!