Hi there, Michelle
Uncertain what Richard means above.
I started my "journey" like you probably will from what I have read of what you are planning.....with physiatry. Not a bad place to start. When I originally called, the receptionist asked if I wanted conservative or surgical care and I said "conservative", so off I went to the alternative to surgery, pain management. The PM MD sent me immediately to an orthopedic scoliosis spinal surgeon. He explained surgery [then had my husband come for an appointment the next week when he explained surgical option again] and I said that I wanted to continue with PT, etc to avoid surgery. I do recommend seeing a surgeon early one because you can start the relationship, maybe then get another surgical opinion because if you do need surgery down the road, the last thing that you want is to be desperate in severe pain and take the first surgeon that come along [bad idea].
Best of luck with your journey. My guess is that pain will be the factor that tips whether or not you are offered and agree on surgery. I recommend trying everything possible before agreeing to surgery. When your life is so compromised that surgery is your only option, that's a good time to have surgery. And yes, I have had numerous setbacks with surgery, but for me in severe pain and disability, it was a good option.
Last edited by susancook; 02-11-2017 at 06:18 PM.
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