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Thread: RIP spinal fusions

  1. #1
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    RIP spinal fusions

    I am kind of regretting my surgery.

    https://www.statnews.com/2017/06/01/...-back-surgery/

  2. #2
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    It is up to the SRS to issue a statement if they want to stay relevant and give some credibility to what they are doing.

    This is not science-based medicine. The silence from the SRS is not acceptable anymore. We want transparency. Why they ommit horror stories?

    Big pharma, big insurance, medical implants businesses, and attorneys are washing away the truth and putting pressures on doctors to perform surgeries.

    They will become irrelevant as the truths are known and are spread to the the general public.
    Doctors and surgeons are puppets on the hands of these big businesses. Reps from these industries are influencing doctors just for the sake of money.

    If doctors are not well-paid they will become easy-preys and will be manipulated by the industries they rely on to pratice their profession.

    SPEAK UP!
    Last edited by richardis; 06-02-2017 at 07:38 AM.

  3. #3
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    richardis, you are mixing apples and oranges.

    The operation Tiger Woods got is a one or two level fusion for back pain. This is one of the most over-used and useless surgeries being done. It is scandalous.

    This has NOTHING to do with long fusions done for scoliosis. Posterior fusions are the gold standard of treatment for surgical range scoliosis. There is no other treatment as effective for curvature. For pain, the best treatment is less clear. Fusion saved the lives of my daughters. And given your curve is now <10 degrees, fusion has technically cured you of scoliosis.
    Last edited by Pooka1; 06-01-2017 at 09:52 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."

  4. #4
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    Quote Originally Posted by Pooka1 View Post
    richardis, you are mixing apples and oranges.

    The operation Tiger Woods got is a one or two level fusion for back pain. This is one of the most over-used and useless surgeries being done. It is scandalous.

    This has NOTHING to do with long fusions done for scoliosis. Posterior fusions are the gold standard of treatment for surgical range scoliosis. There is no other treatment as effective for curvature. For pain, the best treatment is less clear. Fusion saved the lives of my daughters. And given your curve is now <10 degrees, fusion has technically cured you of scoliosis.
    I second this- fusion for Scoliosis is totally different. It is bad enough that the individual scoliosis terms get all muddled up - we don't need to confuse sufferers any more with scare stories about fusion surgery for totally different back issues.

  5. #5
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    Quote Originally Posted by Pooka1 View Post
    richardis, you are mixing apples and oranges.

    The operation Tiger Woods got is a one or two level fusion for back pain. This is one of the most over-used and useless surgeries being done. It is scandalous.

    This has NOTHING to do with long fusions done for scoliosis. Posterior fusions are the gold standard of treatment for surgical range scoliosis. There is no other treatment as effective for curvature. For pain, the best treatment is less clear. Fusion saved the lives of my daughters. And given your curve is now <10 degrees, fusion has technically cured you of scoliosis.
    In some part, I agree. But why aren't spinal fusions as effective for normal spines as they do for deformities? Nerve compression isn't the cause of pain, certainly (this in spinal fusions done on normal spines) . Muscle imbalances in scoliosis? Maybe or quite certainly. But less mobility means more stiffness.

    Spinal fusions are great for deformities because of the cosmetical benefits which play a role on the mental well-being and confidence.

    I choose surgery due to pain and it hasn't worked out yet. I am not cured, I simply have less mobility and a straighter spine.
    Not to be a bummer, but let your daughters age. So far, so good. I wish them the best.

    I will always push for a cure, not a fix. The science behind a spinal fusion is the same for every condition they apply it to, be it a one-level fusion or a (+)ten-level fusion. They have to push the frontiers of knowledge. They study so many years and the best they can come up to is a rod to straighten it up? Sorry, but even a kid in elementary school would come up with that simple fix.

  6. #6
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    Quote Originally Posted by richardis View Post
    I will always push for a cure, not a fix. The science behind a spinal fusion is the same for every condition they apply it to, be it a one-level fusion or a (+)ten-level fusion. They have to push the frontiers of knowledge. They study so many years and the best they can come up to is a rod to straighten it up? Sorry, but even a kid in elementary school would come up with that simple fix.
    No the science isn't the same. One or two level fusions for pain are not usually successful as far as I know. I read about one surgeon who was doing these all day and finally just had to stop because they weren't working for pain. Now he investigates pain at the level of the brain.

    Long fusions for scoliosis in kids at least is almost always a huge success. That is what there is a consensus about fusing large progressive T curves. We have the evidence. My daughters would be dead if they weren't fused. One had a curve that moved 5 degrees a month. She was literally collapsing. She also now does not technically have scoliosis (curve < 10 degrees) and has a normal life with no deformity or pain. Her surgeon LITERALLY saved her life. I don't know how to make this any clearer to you. Surgeons save kids all the time. Not just from collapsing spines but from the stigma of being deformed even if their spines wouldn't kill them outright.

    While fusion is obviously an effective treatment for progression, it may not be for pain. That is much more complex. Many adults on this group have been fused for pain and it was successful. Some were not successful. Maybe the studies of pain at the level of the brain will eventually help you and these people.
    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."

  7. #7
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    Quote Originally Posted by richardis View Post
    Not to be a bummer, but let your daughters age. So far, so good. I wish them the best.
    They probably wouldn't be able to age now if they weren't fused. Your curve is not in the same league as theirs so maybe you are not able to relate. Their spines were collapsing. That is incompatible with life.

    You probably have AIS unrelated to some other condition. My daughters have some connective tissue disorder that may or may not be Marfans. Your experience almost certainly does not map onto theirs. They lead normal lives. One is doing an internship where she is in a mountain stream every day rowing boats, retrieving fish traps, carrying sampling gear, etc. etc. NONE of this would be possible had she not been fused.
    Last edited by Pooka1; 06-02-2017 at 08:58 AM.
    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."

  8. #8
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    Quote Originally Posted by Pooka1 View Post
    They probably wouldn't be able to age now if they weren't fused. Your curve is not in the same league as theirs so maybe you are not able to relate. Their spines were collapsing. That is incompatible with life.

    You probably have AIS unrelated to some other condition. My daughters have some connective tissue disorder that may or may not be Marfans. Your experience almost certainly does not map onto theirs. They lead normal lives. One is doing an internship where she is in a mountain stream every day rowing boats, retrieving fish traps, carrying sampling gear, etc. etc. NONE of this would be possible had she not been fused.
    I am not saying that you didn't take the best decision for them.

  9. #9
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    Quote Originally Posted by richardis View Post
    I am not saying that you didn't take the best decision for them.
    I don't mind you saying that if you have evidence for that. Only evidence matters.
    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."

  10. #10
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    Quote Originally Posted by Pooka1 View Post
    I don't mind you saying that if you have evidence for that. Only evidence matters.
    the only evidence I have is my experience. Sometimes the pain gets so bad that the only thing that I wish is to break the rods and the screws to feel free again. It is like being behind bars.

  11. #11
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    Quote Originally Posted by richardis View Post
    the only evidence I have is my experience. Sometimes the pain gets so bad that the only thing that I wish is to break the rods and the screws to feel free again. It is like being behind bars.
    I am sorry you are having this experience.

    But you should realize it is completely irrelevant to the experience of my girls.
    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."

  12. #12
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    When your the best golfer in the world with a spine problem, it sure gets covered in the media. Looks like he did a few microdiscectomies (in Park City, Utah) and finally ended up with a L5-S1 ALIF on 04/20/17. His 4th surgery. They tried microdiscectomy (which is not fusion) and it looks like it didn't work. He is under a lot of pressure to perform.

    I did see an article where he did admit "screwing up" and I would bet big on this. Instant relief happened, and he grabbed a club too early and started swinging. Wow!, think about that Tiger Woods spine FORCE swinging that golf club......Extreme sports have a tendency to wreak havoc on discs. I had 4 lumbar herniation's by age 41.

    The L5-S1 level is also the hardest level to fuse and It takes 12 months for bone to fuse. That is carved in stone someplace.

    Single level or the having the works done in a full scoliosis surgery doesn't change the fact that ANY spine surgery is serious surgery. Everyone seems to forget these things...and surgeons will set recovery dates on the short side sometimes.

    Tiger needs to wait a LONG time before picking up a golf club again..... If that level does not fuse, he will be in the news again with another serious failure and a revision on that level L5-S1 from the front can get complicated. I don't think revision surgery on this level has ever been reported here....

    I sure spine surgeons in the know realize how serious this is.

    Once surgery is done, there is no turning back....

    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

  13. #13
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    Quote Originally Posted by titaniumed View Post
    Once surgery is done, there is no turning back....
    Ed
    Don't give the researchers that comfortable pillow. Spinal fusion is reversible. There is some proof of that already.
    It is called reverse-engineering. A doctor to be should aim to reverse that. If that is the answer a doc has to give me, then I could be a doctor myself.

  14. #14
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    Quote Originally Posted by richardis View Post
    Don't give the researchers that comfortable pillow. Spinal fusion is reversible. There is some proof of that already.
    It is called reverse-engineering. A doctor to be should aim to reverse that. If that is the answer a doc has to give me, then I could be a doctor myself.
    Why do you want to reverse your surgery? Is your pain worse after surgery? How would your pain be now if you hadn't had surgery? Would you be in worse pain?

    What does your surgeon say is causing your pain?
    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."

  15. #15
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    Quote Originally Posted by Pooka1 View Post
    Why do you want to reverse your surgery? Is your pain worse after surgery? How would your pain be now if you hadn't had surgery? Would you be in worse pain?

    What does your surgeon say is causing your pain?
    I want my mobility back. I want my muscles to give me more ROM. I want a cure, not a fix.

    Yes, the pain in worse in some positions. For the most part it is worse, but for example I sit way more comfortably. Only time will tell.

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